Kroger Has Gone Full Wellness With Its 2019 Trends—and We’re Totally Here for It

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Whether you grew up with a neighborhood Kroger or not, the grocery store chain's 2019 food trend predictions are serving up major inspo for filling your cart with wellness-approved eats. According to the chain (which has 2,782 locations across the U.S.), its team of product developers, chefs, and innovators have named regional flavors, plant-based foods, eating styles (like ketogenic or vegan), gut healthy foods, and low-sugar and natural sweeteners as the top five crazes that will reign supreme next year.

1. Regional flavors: Kroger's experts say, "Foods influenced by regions across the country are bringing flavor and fun to any meal. From tried-and-true barbecue sauces and flavorful potato chips with a twist—inspiration is coming from Nashville hot chicken, Southern Appalachian pimento cheese and other geographies." Take next year as your excuse to explore the nutritious gastronomy of your local scene. (Healthified soul food, here I come!)

2. Plant-based foods: Citing Mintel's US protein report, Kroger remarks that 31 percent of consumers went meat-free at least once per week during 2017. "Our consumers are finding it is easier than ever before to incorporate more plant-based fare into their daily diets. By choosing to go meat- or dairy-free, whether for a meal, a Meatless Monday, Flexitarian Friday, or every day of the week, there will be more plant-based options available to power through the day," says the company.

3. Eating styles: Whether you're vegetarian, ketogenic, Paleo, or adhering to another popular diet, the grocery chain fully intends on accommodating whatever eating style makes you feel your best. "We are responding by offering and developing new products that make it easy for any customer practicing any lifestyle to find foods to support their health and wellness journey," reps from the retailer say via their trends report.

4. Gut healthy foods: "Medical studies show that a healthy gut is the foundation of overall wellness, and more than ever before, consumers are seeking foods that support self-care and healthy immune systems. Our consumers will find a growing number of products rich in probiotics— good bacteria—and flavor," reads the report. Kombucha, kimchi, and kefir, we're looking at you.

5. Low-sugar and natural sweeteners: According to Kroger, consumers are finally battling it out with the sucrose hiding in seemingly healthy eats. "...47 percent of consumers say they are working to minimize their sugar intake. New solutions and foods will continue to be added to grocery shelves to help consumers find products rich in nutrition and flavor and lean on sugars," the report says.

If Kroger's crystal ball is any indication, it looks like 2019 might be one of overflowing veggies in your crisper drawer, monk fruit frequenting your baked goods, and even (maybe?!) home-brewed kombucha. All in favor?

Scan food labels for optimum nutritional value using this handy app, and here's how to shop the aisles like a dietician

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