BOULDER, COLO. — Purple corn, green chickpeas and natural food coloring are among the top nine natural food trends compiled by Sterling-Rice Group.

“It’s a very colorful year for natural trends,” said Kara Nielsen, culinary trendologist at Sterling-Rice Group, in an interview with Food Business News.

Kara Nielsen, culinary director and trendologist at Sterling-Rice Group
Kara Nielsen, culinary trendologist at Sterling-Rice Group

To create its Natural Nine list of food trends, the Boulder-based consulting firm collected expertise from food industry experts, publications and trade shows to identify nine emerging trends within the segment.

“Some of the most exciting innovation is coming out of the natural space,” Ms. Nielsen said. “I’m always thrilled and delighted when I see new uses for familiar ingredients, as well as some brand new ingredients and some ingredients we haven’t seen before that I think we will continue to see more of in the future.

“I think it’s going to be a delicious year for consumers going forward trying some of these new ingredients and products.”

Click for a slideshow of the nine natural food trends.