Whole Foods predicts top 10 food trends for 2018
American grocer Whole Foods has revealed its annual list of food and beverage trends for 2018.
Whole Foods tapped into its global buyers and experts to determine what items will make their way onto stores shelves and into shopping baskets next year.
In 2017, trends included wellness tonics such as organic shots and drinking vinegars, an excess of coconut, a surge in Japanese food and purple products such as purple cauliflower and purple sweet potato.
Trends predicted for 2018 are as follows:
- Floral flowers
Edible flowers such as lavender, rose and hibiscus are increasingly being included in lattes, granolas and marshmallows.
Whole Foods has called out elderflower as its MVP (Most Valuable Petal).
Powdered matcha, maca root, cacao and ground turmeric will be included in everything from nutrition bars to baked goods and soups.
Maca root has become a popular supplement, growing mainly in Peru and at high altitudes.
Function varieties of mushrooms like reishi and chaga, which are used as “wellness ingredients” and appear in beverages like coffee and tea are predicted to take off in 2018.
These types of mushrooms are also expected to be found in body products like soaps and body washes.
- Middle Eastern Cuisine
Middle Eastern fare will be popular as it is expected to hit the mainstream market in a big way.
Consumers will look beyond the traditional staples of hummus and falafel, but will use these as entry points into the category.
Spices like harissa, cardamom and za’atar will see a surge in consumption.
Consumers will demand more information about their food.
Manufacturers are responding by filling their labels with more and more information. Things like GMO-free, responsibly grown and fair trade are just some of a few tags that are expected to be increasingly seen.
- Plant-based products
Plant proteins are no longer just for vegans and vegetarians.
Better food technology has made plant-based burgers and nut ‘milks’ even more appealing, even to meat and dairy eaters.
- Pop and puff
A new way of processing and combining ingredients means that snacks are now appearing in many different formats.
Puffed, popped and dried snacks such as pea crisps, quinoa chocolate gems and chips are just a few examples Whole Foods mentions.
- Shell-less tacos
The word taco is changing with the Mexican staple expected to hit new heights.
Tacos eaten at all times of the day are going to be norm, with chefs pushing the boundaries on what can be used as a wrapper and filling for the Mexican treats.
- Less food waste is more
Cutting back on food waste is gaining traction with customers according to Whole Foods.
Manufacturers are answering the call by using all parts of plants or animals, including stems and rind.
One example expected to become popular is pickled watermelon rinds.
Sparkling drinks, either as water or cold brew coffee, will be more popular than ever.
Consumers are shying away from soft drinks and will prefer a low sugar alternative.
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