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2018 top health trends

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Here are some of the top trends from CHFA East.

By Helen Long


CHFA East saw many new trends this year – with new products added to the roster! It’s an exciting time to be in this industry; many are becoming more aware of why it’s important to choose natural health and organic products, and CHFA East is proud to be a platform for these new and innovative items to be showcased.

Below are some of the top trends I saw the most of from CHFA East:

 Lifestyle Preference Products

We all consume food and choose products differently and for different reasons. This has caught on and there are now a ton of products that cater to each consumer’s preference – vegan and ketogenic were top contenders in this category. There were many keto-friendly foods, including, ice cream. People can still satisfy their sweet tooth! For those who are vegan, plant-based beverages were everywhere from “mylk” to skin-care options.

Products for Parents

We saw an influx of products for kids, including peanut-free options, smaller portion sizes and convenience as an overall theme for parents looking for quick and healthy choices. Many varieties of natural and organic gummies and pasta were available for the choosing to help parents feel more confident and understand the ingredients in the treats they might be giving to their kids.

When it came to inside the home, more naturally derived cleaning supplies were all the rage. We’re definitely seeing formula innovation on this front.


It’s been a category of its own for years as consumers look to support their skin and joints. This show saw a flurry of new products and innovation in the formats for how people can take it – powders, teas, bone broth and capsules. There was a big focus on the processing and formulation of collagen products to ensure they’re clean and provide maximum value, being mixed with other nutrients.

Fermented Foods

Gut health is a topic that we know many are talking about and will be a point of study for a while, as studies are uncovering the uniqueness of each person’s microbiome. When it comes to fermented foods, the ante has been upped in this space from the days of kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut and kimchi. While these are still favourites, the repertoire of what is being fermented is growing. We saw fermented herbs and kefir and kombucha with mushrooms. It’s clear these foods are revolutionizing to appeal to tastes and variety.

Innovative Beverages

Being able to consume a variety of drinkable beverages is healthy and also convenient, as consumer schedules become busier and products that offer an on-the-go substitutes are desired. CHFA East was packed with these options: vegetable drinks, pre-and probiotic drinks with apple cider vinegar benefits. The list goes on!  It’s a trend to continue to watch and see what else might pop-up in this space.


I would say a theme we’re seeing overall is a focus on sustainable packaging, with many companies looking to be more eco-friendly. Many of the plastic-free alternatives are also very popular as people look to reduce waste in the products they use every day.

These are just some of the trends we’ll start to see more of – and that Canadians can benefit from when shopping in their local CHFA member store. To find these options and more while shopping, go to to find your nearest retailer.

Helen Long has been the President of the Canadian Health Food Association since 2011.  Recently recognized as one of Canada’s top 100 most influential people in the industry, Helen’s persistence and guidance in advocacy efforts have illustrated the strength and importance of this industry to the Canadian Government and have resulted in increased overall awareness, greater consultation with industry, and helped to ensure relative regulatory consistency in an ever changing retail environment.


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