Hot 2019 Trends For Functional Foods

We’ve been scanning hot new research to discover new functional food trends. Join us for a sneak peek into the dietary supplement space.

People today are increasingly more conscious of their health and overall wellbeing. This sparks innovative trends for vitamins, minerals, and dietary supplements.  Smart business owners can use trends to create new products that excite customers.

Trend #1 – Probiotic Performers

Consumers purchase probiotics to maintain health, promote their health and reduce the risk of disease.   Probiotics (the “helpful” or the “good bacteria) are delivered via functional foods, drinks and supplements.

Dairy probiotic products have traditionally delivered profits for companies, but non-dairy products offer new opportunities. DairyReporter states, “The non-dairy beverages segment is expected to grow at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 9.6% from 2017 – 2022. With a rise of more than 30% in sales of refrigerated probiotics drinks and juices since 2016.”   The drink figures include yogurt, but new trends show customers are eager for variety, including probiotic juices, almond milk, water, herbal tea, and coffee.

Scientific studies are proving that the balance or imbalance of bacteria in the human digestive system affects overall health. Probiotics play an instrumental part in maintaining gut health.   See the World Journal of Gastroenterolog  for recommendations on probiotic use.

Trend #2 – Brain-Boosting Foods

The movie Limitless made $161 million USD. The film features NZT a fictional, nootropic (brain-boosting) pill that allows the main character to power-up his entire brain. This premise caught the interest of millions of people.

Although NZT doesn’t exist, nootropics aren’t science fiction.   The Complimentary and Evidence Based Alternative Medicine Journal (CEBA) reports the best nootropics for memory are widely studied and impactful in supporting healthy memory.

Functional food recipes can be the most powerful nootropics. The book Genius Foods, talks about many ingredients that support brain function.  Beans, greens, nuts and seafood are all natural food sources for nootropics.  Creating products containing the most potent nootropic foods is a sure-fire way to take advantage of new trends for snack foods and sports nutrition.

Brainboosters address scientific findings in neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the ability of nerve cells in the brain to overcome injury and disease and to adjust to new situations or environmental changes. This means we can change our brain structure.

Additionally a peer-reviewed scientific journal, PLOS One, reports interesting nootropic results. A Taiwanese study showed median survival time for dementia patients was 3.39 years without nootropics, and 6.62 years with them.

Elderly people wish for nootropics, as do brain-weary college students and others wanting to improve brain function, which is almost everyone. Your company can capitalize on this upcoming moneymaker.

Trend #3 – Dietary Supplements with Eco-Conscious Packaging

We’re entering a new era of packaging.  Some dietary supplement brands have already switched to environmentally sustainable packaging as more consumers become eco-friendly and demand the same from their brands .

In 2019, we expect to see less plastic and more compostable packaging. Additionally, Mintel’s 2018 Global Packaging Trends Report highlights customer wishes for less packaging and less waste. Other trends include e-commerce-friendly packaging, easy to understand clean labels and contemporary packaging attractive to young consumers.

Trend #4 – Mitochondria Powers Up the Ketogenic Diet

A few years back, the buzzword was microbiome.  The 2019 trend is mitochondria . These “power plants” of our cells convert food and oxygen into the energy that our bodies require to thrive.

The best way to support healthy mitochondrial function is to consume more fat. Yes, but only healthy fat. This created a demand for the Ketogenic Diet and consumers are seeking low carbohydrate ketogenic products to help them choose the right kinds of fats and build energy.

Smart niche entrepreneurs are creating natural products that appeal to Keto enthusiasts. According to PRNewswire the U.S. diet industry is worth $66 billion. This offers plenty of room for newcomers.

Trend #5 – Collagen

Collagen attracts a lot of interest as a bioavailable source of protein.  People add it to smoothies; and lattes, to promote healthy joint growth, glowing skin, and gut healing.

In 2019, look for opportunities to create and market collagen products, which improve skin elasticity and moisture. Ideas include new drinks, gummies, collagen powders, vegan-friendly collagen offerings, and even marine collagen powders to treat osteoarthritis and joint disorders.

Hot trends for dietary supplements and functional foods continue to evolve as science releases new findings. Keep watching this space for new developments and utilize them to increase your bottom line. 


Kendeyl Johansen, a tech geek and award-winning journalist, creates multimedia health and wellbeing content.


Susan Ulery utilizes her legal background plus 20 years of manufacturing expertise in the dietary supplement industry to help clients overcome regulatory challenges.


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