Health food trends have taken consumers by storm in the last decade as the spread of information and research regarding the effects of foods on our well-being. Recently, consumers have become increasingly aware of the the positive impact of gut-friendly foods and healthy bowel movements on their health. A trend towards integration of ingredients such as broccoli, kale, and fermented plant-based ingredients into drinks and meals that are sold at health-foods establishments. Research conducted by Schieber Research shows gut-friendly food to emerge as a dominant trend in 2018 as the population turns to products including kombucha and apple cider vinegar for the purpose of weight loss and reduced bloating. 


Kombucha, is a live fermented tea drink, touted by health aficionados in their droves and drunk for decades in Asia. This fermented drink is derived from sweetened tea and a probiotic culture. To develop its distinct flavor, the bacteria and yeast is combined, which then coverts the sugar into ethanol and acetic acid. Acetic acid is distinctively sour, providing kombucha with a tangy taste. The longer the booch is left to ferment, the fizzier it becomes. When it’s ready to go, flavourings through addition of fruits or spices can be added to deliver varying flavor profiles. Through fermentation, a number of probiotic bacteria are produced naturally; probiotics balance the gut microbiome and improve digestion. The global kombucha market size exceeded USD 700 million in 2015 and is expected to witness high growth over the forecast period from 2018-2019. The growing awareness of the health benefits associated with consuming probiotic beverages on a regular basis is anticipated to boost industry growth. 

Apple Cider Vinegar

As the name suggests, apple cider vinegar is made from apples. To turn apples into vinegar, they need to be combined with yeast, which starts the fermentation process. Acetic acid is the active ingredient found in all types of vinegar, and it’s what gives vinegar its signature sour taste and smell. Studies suggest acetic acid is one of the reasons why apple cider vinegar is said to have so many health benefits, similar to kombucha. One of the most discussed health benefits of apple cider vinegar is for improving digestion, especially when it comes to bloating, acid reflux, and chronic digestive conditions. In addition, apple cider vinegar is known to contain an ingredient called pectin, which is a type of fiber that acts as a prebiotic and helps keep your digestive system healthy. Some people also swear by using apple cider vinegar to help soothe acid reflux and to aid with protein digestion before heavy meals; this is especially important when considering that many have turned to high-protein, low-carb diets for the sake of weight loss. 

For years the science of gut health has focused on probiotics and maintaining the balance of good and bad bacteria living in the digestive tract. A growing portion of the population is becoming more informed and consuming products known to benefit their health. This expanded awareness of gut health and foods that contain the fiber that nourishes beneficial bacteria in the gut is dominating food trends this year. Blending great taste and improved gut health, these foods will appeal to our tastebuds as well as our stomachs.