Four Food Trends for Summer

Vegan offerings, low-cal ice cream, bold snacks and flavored sparkling waters are in.

June 18, 2018

NEW YORK – No one is going cold turkey on hot dogs, burgers or backyard barbecues, but this summer, consumers are expected to sample new, different foods and beverages, according to the Mintel Summer Food & Drink Trends report for 2018.

Four food and drink trends stand out as defining products for the summer of 2018. They include vegan offerings, low-calorie ice cream, bold snacks and flavored sparkling water.

Vegan products will be making appearances at summer parties and celebrations. According to the consumer research organization, 33% of consumers and 37% of millennials in the United States say they plan to buy more plant-based food products in the coming year.

As for ice cream products, the success of Halo Top Creamery of Los Angeles “was the surprise of last summer,” the report says.

In July 2017, the company’s low-sugar, low-calorie, high-protein ice cream was the best-selling ice cream pint in the United States, and Mintel predicts similar products will be in big demand this year. “Better-for-you” ice cream offerings already are coming online from Breyers, Skinny Cow and Arctic Zero.

When it comes to snacking, 36% of U.S. consumers surveyed said they would buy more chips if there were new flavors to try, Mintel reports, indicating that the demand for more unique and flavorful varieties of chips and snacks will continue.

Last year, Kellogg responded to this desire by introducing Pringles Loud, with the “loud” denoting the zesty flavor options, including spicy queso, salsa fiesta, super cheesy Italian, fiery chili lime and mighty Margherita pizza.

Healthy concerns have had an impact on the popularity of traditional drinks, such as soda and lemonade. Beverage makers have responded by introducing flavored sparkling waters that contain no sugar or artificial ingredients. According to the Mintel report, 37% of Americans ages 25 to 34 drank flavored sparkling water in the last three months.