Innovation’s so-called superfoods

Innovation’s so-called superfoods

In the last few years, we’ve seen any number of fad superfoods cross our desks at Product of the Year. From avocado and coconut to quinoa and kefir, it seems like there’s always some new food on the block promising to make us better inside and out.

Does anyone really know what a superfood actually is?

Usually stereotypically healthy, superfoods promise often semi-miraculous benefits, from smoother skin to stronger muscles, often within astonishingly small timeframes. And whilst many so-called superfoods are genuinely healthy choices, the NHS warns against relying too heavily on their seemingly magical powers, for the truth is, there is no true definition.

At Product of the Year we love the way that superfoods often spark into exciting innovation. Some brands lead the way, developing coconut teas and kefir drinks before anyone else; others reap in the sales by innovating their existing range to include the hottest ingredients. They’re always popular with shoppers – who doesn’t like to see that their favourite yogurt is now even better for them? – as well as driving change where it’s most needed.

More than anything, we’re always really excited to see innovation where it succeeds in crossing more than one sector. Look at the humble watermelon. Not just a fruit any more – it’s set to become next year’s hottest superfood, after surging in popularity recently. Since the weather has been getting hotter, watermelons have been flying off the shelves – and our Instagram feeds have been flooded with watermelon snacks and sticks and even What a Melon watermelon water, this crazy trend’s new coconut water.

But watermelon isn’t confined to the kitchen – it’s also become a beauty trend, thanks to K-beauty influence from the east, with watermelon moisturisers, cleansers and spritzers. The water-heavy fruit is a natural moisturiser, perfect for re-hydrating skin and hair, as well as being used as a sun-mask to treat burned or tanned skin.

Multi-purpose products have been growing in popularity, and at Product of the Year, we think the true superfoods are the innovations that are capable of crossing multiple sectors. The Groovy Food Company tapped into this trend a couple of years ago with their coconut oil, designed for cooking, skincare, and even cleaning. With more superfoods from kefir to watermelon sprouting up everywhere, I’m excited to see what new innovations they can bring – and whether or not they can prove themselves to truly be a superfood – the Product of the Year way.