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Fun and Fit: Free the Glutens! and Other Health Food Revolutions

Here's the 4-1-1 on trends 4-10 in the healthy food and products world

If you were with us earlier this month, you got our totally fresh grown post on three of the top 10 trends in the natural and organic products industry. If you are also a person who dabbles in eating and imbibing (always a fun pasttime!), then these trends may affect and intrigue you. And if you like cliff hangers, then hang on to this: we are back with the final seven trends on good foods and other healthy stuff you ingest or may ingest soon. But only if you want to be healthier, possibly lose weight, protect the world, run faster, and jump higher.

You wouldn't believe what we found at the 2011 Natural Products Expo West last month at the Anaheim Convention Center.
You wouldn’t believe what we found at the 2011 Natural Products Expo West last month at the Anaheim Convention Center. (New Hope Media photo)

Top Trends to Take Home

Trend 4 — Consumers are finally scared into caring about what they put into their bodies. And for good reason. If we keep going the way we have been going, we will be renamed Generation Rx. Can we finally get “foodscriptions” instead of prescriptions? We are already looking at a new disease: diabesity. How about looking at labels? Checking online to know where our food comes from and what is in it? Caring about the higher price we pay in medical costs, lost productivity, reduced quality of life when we choose highly processed food over locally grown or organic? Ergo, the natural and organic markets are only going to get bigger and better, given increased necessity and awareness. Bandwagon moment, people!

Trend 5 — Are you a mom? Do you have one? You are HAWT, mamacita in the eyes of the marketers of the food world. Businesses, ads, promotions are all targeting moms since they are the primary shoppers and family “gatekeepers.” Apparently, even when dad shops, he either brings mom’s list or gets what mom would get (or buys what mom will get mad at him for if he forgets to get it. Just sayin’). Sound obvi? Think about the marketing you’ve seen over the years — lots of it was geared toward men, singles, boomers. Manly beer, manly chips, kid-friendly treats, kid foods as entertainment for kid consumers, sexy organics. Not any more. baby ... and toddler, and tween, and pre-teen, and teen! The natural and organic products industry plans to reach kids and all others through mom: Mom colors, mom text, mom music choices, mom graphics, mom language. Mom rules! Ahem, we all knew that and finally marketers have figured it out, too.

Trend 6 — Kids, babies, wee ones are also HAWT, and the inspiration for many new healthy options just coming to market. Those moms we just mentioned are willing to spend what it takes to give their children the best. Even if we adults do not make great eating choices, we want our children to be safe, healthy and unrefined. I mean, we want no refined sugars for our little sweeties.

Trend 7 — Free the glutens! For those of us who live mostly in exercise land, not nutrition land, this might have looked like “free the glutes,” with some new, fun strength training move to achieve tight, toned tushies. Or a modern version of “mooning.” Sounds fun,eh? But this trend is actually about gluten-free everything popping up on grocery shelves and pantries. This huge shift to gluten-free food is projected to grow, grow, grow. Being on a gluten-free diet is apparently “in,” as in “Intestines.” Allergies and reactions to gluten, the protein within grains is big bidness. Who knew? Odds are good that you or someone you know is on a gluten-free diet. Compare that to a decade ago. See what I mean?

Trolling for healthy food grown in natural moonlight.
Trolling for healthy food grown in natural moonlight. (Photobucket photo)

Trend 8 — Buying and selling habits will become more and more cause driven. We will make purchasing decisions based on what charity gets a portion of the proceeds, which forest is saved, how few resources are wasted relative to the product, which indigenous peoples are not threatened. Those who value healthy food also value a healthy planet and sustainability. Entrepreneurs and business owners making products for those who care about their bodies also care about the world and all its people. They are creating healthy options because they want to make a difference, not just make a profit. Doesn’t this seem a happy counter to Trend 4? Trendsetters are shopping with values as well as pocketbooks.

Trends 9 and 10 — Honestly, I could go on all day making this stuff up and dreaming of a healthy world and a sister who cooks it all for me. But do you really read this far? Doubt it. So I am going to say that Trends 9 and 10 are all about less being more. Aaaaannnd ... done.

Readers: Do you see yourself in any of the eight trends we spotted at the recent Natural Products Expo West?

— Identical twins and fitness pros Kymberly Williams-Evans and Alexandra Williams have been in the fitness industry since the first aerobics studio opened on the European continent. They teach, write, edit, emcee and present their programs worldwide on land, sea and airwaves. They co-write Fun and Fit: Q and A with K and A. You can currently find them in action leading classes in Santa Barbara and Goleta. Kymberly is the former faculty minor adviser at UCSB for its fitness instruction degree offered through the Department of Exercise & Sport Studies; Alexandra serves as an instructor and master teacher for the program. Fun and Fit answers real questions from real people, so please send your comments and questions to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

A planet worth saving, si? When it comes to Lake Tahoe, you bet.
A planet worth saving, si? When it comes to Lake Tahoe, you bet. (Kymberly Williams-Evans photo)

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