Each Fall, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics hosts the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo, or FNCE (FEN-SEE) for short. It is our annual conference for education, training, and of course, the newest healthy foods on the market today.
This year, it was in Chicago and it was fun. I learned a lot, met many, MANY new people and took notice of the latest food trends on the horizon. The tides of food trends are not changing much this year. Not a lot has come on the market that varies widely from the popular foods of 2017. I really was looking for something to blow my socks off. With the wind in Chicago, that shouldn’t have been hard, but there were a few hits within the sea of misses.
- Biggest Take Away: Minimal Ingredients. This is what the public wants and some brands are listening. Transparency in ingredient lists, with not a lot of junk is what we will see more of in 2018. The signs were everywhere, from the products, to the educational sessions, to the discussions sponsored by big food companies. They know that if they want to sell their products to the health conscious consumer, their ingredient list needs to shrink.
The food trends this year are about the same as last year. A lot of health bars, milk, yogurt, high protein, grains, and natural/organic foods.
I love that we get to see the newest products hitting the shelves, but I never feel like I get a good representation of the brand, because the Expo floor is always so crazy. There are some brands that I really love. KIND Bars is one of my favorites. I love their Pressed bars and their new fruit bites. Better yet, my kids love them too! And they alway bring a great display.
I also love RX bars. I brought home the chocolate chip for my kiddos and they gobbled them up. And the Chocolate Coconut for me – LOVE! Like I said, simple ingredient lists. Genius marketing here – ingredient list on the front.
I like that grains are front and center at FNCE. They bring gorgeous displays and great nutrition education. Alas, I did not get any of their delicious samples this year. The lines were always too long. Patience was not part of my persona this year.
This one right above was one of my favorite newcomers to FNCE 2017. I’m so happy quark is making its way into the U.S. I ate it all the time in Germany and even blogged about it. It’s coming to a grocery store near you. Unfortunately, not at the super cheap price that I’m accustomed to.
2. I got to meet some pretty cool people. I was awarded a grant from Siggi’s Dairy to provide nutrition education to military families. I met Siggi at a brunch where I got to speak for a minute about my event!
and Ellie Krieger
I was admittedly a little starstruck. Siggi and Ellie are so nice!
3. Chicago is a really cool city. It’s always busy. It definitely reminded me of NYC, all the way down to the crazy traffic. I’ve been in many downtowns across the U.S. and rarely does traffic stress me out. Congrats Chicago, you stressed me out. Here are some of my pics from my downtime in Chicago.
Until next year – continue to eat healthy and try new recipes. I’ll leave you with our theme for National Nutrition Month in March: