Here's what's trending for food, nutrition and wellness in 2017!
It's time for our first Women in Food interview of 2017 and what better way to start than talking about trends? Today's blog post is with Louise Pollock who is the president and founder of Pollock Communications (a PR agency in New York). I've had the pleasure of working with some of Louise's team throughout the past year and when I heard their annual "What's Trending in Nutrition" report was out I emailed as fast as I could to have have Louise on the blog. If you're curious to know what's going to be big this year in the nutrition world, keep reading!
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1. Tell us about yourself and your business.
I’m Louise Pollock, President and Founder of Pollock Communications, an independent food, health and wellness public relations agency based in New York City. I have more than 25 years of experience helping our health and wellness clients create awareness about the benefits of their brands.
2. With a new year right upon us, what was your favorite food trend of 2016?
The most interesting food trend of 2016 was clean eating. It was the first time that trend rose to the top of our survey results, and the 2017 What’s Trending in Nutrition survey shows that it will continue to remain strong into the new year. I’ve been tracking this trend for four years and when it first started, it was about eating wholesome fresh foods and shopping the perimeter of the grocery store. The trend has grown to include processed foods, with many consumers demanding more transparency from food companies. This trend has staying power.
3. What trend do you wish got more attention/a bigger following in 2016?
According to our 2016 survey, 76% of registered dietitian nutritionists said they use MyPlate as a tool to help consumers eat right. It would be nice to see more consumers use MyPlate as a guide for eating healthy. Instead the survey showed that consumers often turn to celebrities and social media for diet trends and advice.
4. Technology was a big theme in the 2017 trend report! 84% of dietitians thought technology could help consumers make better food choices. What is your personal favorite technology helper?
Technology is shaping every aspect of our lives including how and what we eat. With a variety of apps available to help consumers count calories consumed or burned, dietitians believe technology could help consumers make better food choices. My personal favorite technology helper is Fitbit. I love the ability to check nutrition facts for many restaurants before going out. It’s a simple and easy way to compare menu items and make healthy choices.
5. What's one health/food task technology will never replace for you that you enjoy?
One health task technology will never replace for me is exercising! Even if a gadget is created that would allow me to work out without getting up from the sofa, I would resist it. I love my Pilates fitness routine and the natural energy I get from being physically active. No app or machine could take the place of the real thing for me.
6. From the top 10 superfood predictions for 2017, which are you most excited about?
The food trend of 2017 to watch is fermented foods. This trend has transitioned from emerging to a growth opportunity for foods such as yogurt, cheese and pickled foods. Expect it to move up from fourth to third or second place in 2017. The reasons are many—first is the importance of gut microbiota. The research continues to build in support of gut health and fermented food are a good source of healthy bacteria. And of course, I love yogurt for its delicious taste and smooth texture, but more importantly, I try to eat it every day because it provides benefits to the gut.
7. What are your go-to resources for all things food (websites/magazines/groceries etc.)?
Interestingly, dietitians surveyed in the What’s Trending in Nutrition survey forecast that consumers will get their food and nutrition information from traditional and social media primarily. I turn to these sources as well, but I rely on our extensive network of registered dietitian nutritionists to help forecast, understand and translate nutrition trends. As the foremost experts in food, they are one of my go to resources. My go-to resource for recipes is my large library of cookbooks, all of the food magazines we get on a monthly basis to track trends for our clients, and websites such as Food Network and Pinterest. I am very experiential when it comes to food, so I don’t order groceries on line because I really enjoy shopping for food.
8. Do you have a 'must-have' kitchen tool?
My French chopping knife! I love chopping scallions, onions and garlic as they are the basis for many great sauces and pasta dishes. Cooking for friends and family is very relaxing for me.
9. What’s the one thing you learned this year that changed the way you think about food?
I’ve been following the latest shift in consumer food perception and the growing trend of "mindful eating," a slower and more thoughtful approach to eating. Based on the survey, 49 percent of RDs say that consumers will choose mindful eating over dieting in the coming year. This approach to eating has changed the way I think about food – focusing more about how much I’m eating and how my body feels, rather than how many calories are on my plate.
10. All-time favorite meal?
My all-time favorite meal is salmon and rice with broccoli! It’s the perfect mix of high-quality protein, coupled with a hearty grain and nutritious vegetable. It was exciting to see salmon on the top 10 superfood list this year for the first time – it’s my favorite fish!
Dietitian Nutritionist. My husband Chris and I create food and beverage photos, videos, stopmotions and recipes. And they're really cool.