Food/Nutrition Columnist
Coming To Your Local Supermarket In 2018
Jan 1, 2018 - 7:07:05 AM

( - Phil Lempert, the Supermarket Guru, has long been known as the soothsayer of the supermarket industry. He recently laid out what he believes will be the 2018 food trends to watch in the upcoming year. Lempert believes that the supermarkets that survive and are able to attract shoppers will be those chains that understand how shoppers want to acquire food. After transportation and housing, food gobbles up the largest part of a family’s income.

What you might be seeing in 2018:

Mindfulness when choosing food will become important both for food companies and for shoppers. People are connected to the planet and they want to know that food companies will not only produce delicious food but that the company will have a social conscience, too. Is the coffee fair trade? Does the company donate to worthy causes? Are the foods sourced locally? Can you understand every word on the ingredient list?

We still want to touch our food. Online grocery shopping will not disappear but shoppers still want to be connected to a local market. Food sounds – slurping, chewing, crunching are drivers to food enjoyment. Stores that sample or cook fresh food will persuade shoppers to buy by enticing their sensory experiences.

Young farmers are rockstars. For the first time since the early 1900s the number of young farmers is increasing and many have college degrees. Consumers want a direct farm to consumer connection and younger farmers understand this and often employ nontraditional farming methods – rooftop urban farms, vertical indoor crops, and hydroponics, growing food without soil.

Food and politics will become even more tightly connected. Lempert predicts more yelling and screaming about food in Washington in 2018. As regulations are being changed or dropped food will become a bigger political issue.

NeuroNutrition will gain more prominence as people look to define their geno-palate, analyzing their DNA to create a customized nutrition profile.

TechnoFoodolgy is here to stay. Food, eating, and grocery shopping will be increasingly tied to the 50 million smart devices that people own. People will use smart phones to shop, analyze their food choices, select specific brands, and microsensors will alert us when food is no longer fresh.

Food advertising is changing from traditional ads to storytelling episodes. To build trust with a company, people want to know the back story of a brand. They are looking for transparency in packaging and labeling, and the ability to trace the source of ingredients found in food.

Safety becomes more important. One-third of Americans report feeling anxious. Times are scary and people want to know that their food is safe. Will they be safe shopping in a store or in the parking lot? Retail dietitians will become more prominent in stores to assure customers about the health and safety of the foods they choose.

Supermarkets chains will evolve or disappear. Lempert predicts, and some chains have already implemented, some of these cutting-edge ideas.

To entice new shoppers and to promote shopper loyalty supermarkets need a wow factor that makes people want to use their store. There is no doubt that 2018 will be an interesting year for grocery shoppers.

© NRH Nutrition Consultants, Inc.
Jo-Ann Heslin, MA, RD, CDN is a registered dietitian and the author of 30 books. Available as eBooks from iTunes and Kindle/Amazon:

Diabetes Counter – the most up-to-date information on managing diabetes

Calorie Counter – a weight loss guide that won’t let you down

Protein Counter – put the latest protein recommendations to work for you

Healthy Wholefoods Counter – planet-friendly eating made easy

Complete Food Counter – food counts and nutrition information at your fingertips

Fat and Cholesterol Counter – newest approach to heart-healthy eating

Available in print from Gallery Books:

Most Complete Food Counter, 3rd Ed.

Your Complete Food Counter App:

For more information on Jo-Ann and her books, go to:


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