Each year, people always look forward to the newest innovations in the food industry. One year, it was the implementation of vegan food chains around major cities, another year it was matcha, the year after it was bubble tea, and so on. If you think everything imaginable has already been created, boy, were you wrong. Here is a complete list of the food trends to look out for this upcoming year, according to Kroger Supermarkets

1. Regional Flavors

cream, butter, cheese, dairy, dairy product, milk
Caroline Ingalls

Did you know that regions across the country have a powerful influence on many foods that are served right at your own dining room table? In 2019, you won't find a single restaurant that doesn't serve eclectic meals from major areas in the US. Nashville never fails to deliver on the comfort foods like fried chicken and chili. Pimento cheese derived from the Southern Appalachian Mountains has a rich flavor and texture that perfectly represents the unique geographic features of the area, proving that America's culinary heritage is just as diverse as it is delicious. 

Some other regional flavor products you can try are Kroger's Private Selection barbecue sauces inspired by the Carolinas, Texas, Memphis and Kansas City, Kroger Cuban Sandwich Kettle Chips, Private Selection Brown Butter Bourbon Truffle Ice Cream, and Private Selection Bourbon Barrel Cola.

2. Plant-Based Foods

vegetable, berry
Kristine Mahan

Ever heard of Meatless Monday or Flexitarian Friday? Well if not, have no fear, because it is now easier than ever to participate in the movement of making more informed choices about the food you consume with the increase in plant-based products on the market. These animal-free products can be incorporated into your everyday diet without having to go completely vegan. By consuming one less piece of meat per meal, you are successfully working to decrease global warming and save animal populations on the verge of extinction. 

Some of the best plant-based products to try are from the brand Simple Truth, and they include their coconut milk, meatless patties, tofu, grains & risotto, organic lentils and kidney beans, and organic hummus. 

3. Gut-Healthy Foods

Torey Walsh

Recent medical studies show that a healthy gut is the basic foundation of overall wellness, and more than ever before, consumers are seeking foods that promote self-care and healthy immune systems. In 2019, consumers will work to find a growing number of products rich in probiotics (aka good bacteria) and flavor.

Some gut foods to look for on the market are kombucha (I recommend the brand Synergy or Health-Aid), apple cider vinegar, greek yogurt, and probiotic low-fat milk. 

4. Low Sugar and Natural Sweeteners 

Kayla Hawthorne

Many consumers are motivated to reduce or eliminate their sugar intake by consuming alternate natural sweeteners like honey and agave. In fact, 47 percent of consumers say they are working to minimize their sugar intake. New solutions and foods will continue to be added to grocery store shelves to help consumers find products rich in nutrition and flavor without added sugar. 

Some foods Kroger suggests to reduce sugar consumption are Simple Truth Organic Blue Agave Light Golden Syrup, Simple Truth Orange Blossom Honey, Simple Truth Organic Seltzer Water, and Simple Truth Organic Coconut Sugar.

With all that being said, I think it's pretty safe to say that 2019 is going to be the best year in food yet. Not only are the trends advancing, but they're stimulating the mind and body with nutritional benefits as well, which is what definitely sets the upcoming year apart from previous ones. So what are you waiting for? Get to your local supermarket and kickstart the year early with a healthy bang.