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Whole Foods Market : Reveals Top Food Trends for 2018
11/06/2017 | 02:02pm CEST
Retailer’s global and local experts forecast up-and-coming flavors,
products and culinary influences
Whole Foods Market’s (Nasdaq: WFM) global
buyers and experts today announced the most anticipated food trends
for the year ahead. Floral flavors, functional mushrooms and
root-to-stem recipes are just a few of the picks expected to take off in
2018. The seasoned trend-spotters thoughtfully compiled this list based
on more than 100 years of combined experience in product sourcing and
studying consumer preferences.
Floral Flavors Foragers and culinary stars have embraced
edible petals for years, but floral inspiration is finally in full
bloom. From adding whole flowers and petals into dishes to infusing
botanical flavors into drinks and snacks, this top trend makes for a
subtly sweet taste and fresh aromatics. Look for flowers used like
herbs in things like lavender lattés and rose-flavored everything.
Bright pink hibiscus teas are a hot (and iced) part of the trend,
while elderflower is the new MVP (most valuable petal) of cocktails
and bubbly drinks.
Try the Trend: Whole Foods
Market™ Lime Mint Elderflower Italian Sparkling Mineral Water; 365
Everyday Value® Lavender Lemon Granola; GoodPop Hibiscus
Mint Frozen Pop; 365 Everyday Value® Lavender Lemonade Tea
Bags with Hibiscus; Belvoir Fruit Farms Elderflower Lemonade; Whole
Foods MarketTM Dark Chocolate Violet Marshmallow; Artisan
Coffee’s Lavender Latté inside Whole Foods Market 365 Akron Store;
Jacobs Farm Organic Edible Flowers.
Super Powders Powders are serious power players. Because
they’re so easy to incorporate, they’ve found their way into lattés,
smoothies, nutrition bars, soups and baked goods. For an energy boost
or an alternative to coffee, powders like matcha,
root and cacao are showing up in mugs everywhere. Ground turmeric
powder is still on the rise, the ever-popular spice used in Ayurvedic
medicine. Smoothie fans are raising a glass to powders like spirulina,
kale, herbs and roots for an oh-so-green vibrancy that needs no
Instagram filter. Even protein
powders have evolved beyond bodybuilders to pack in new nutrients
like skin- and hair-enhancing collagen.
Functional Mushrooms Shoppers are buzzing about functional
mushrooms, which are traditionally used to support wellness as an
ingredient in dietary supplements. Now, varieties like reishi, chaga,
cordyceps and lion’s mane star in products across categories. Bottled
drinks, coffees, smoothies and teas are leading the way. The rich
flavors also lend themselves to mushroom broths, while the earthy,
creamy notes pair well with cocoa, chocolate or coffee flavors. Body
care is hot on this mushroom trend too, so look for a new crop of
soaps, hair care and more.
Feast from the Middle East Middle Eastern culinary
influences have made their way west for years, and 2018 will bring
these tasty traditions into the mainstream. Things like hummus, pita
and falafel were tasty entry points, but now consumers are ready to
explore the deep traditions, regional nuances and classic ingredients
of Middle Eastern cultures, with Persian, Israeli, Moroccan, Syrian
and Lebanese influences rising to the top. Spices like harissa,
cardamom and za’atar are hitting more menus, as well as dishes like
shakshuka, grilled halloumi and lamb. Other trending Middle Eastern
ingredients include pomegranate, eggplant, cucumber, parsley, mint,
tahini, tomato jam and dried fruits.
Try the Trend:Saffron
Road Falafel Crunchy Chickpeas; Seed + Mill tahini and halva at
Whole Foods Market Bryant Park; Aphrodite Halloumi; eggplant; 365
Everyday Value® Organic Tahini; bulk pistachios and dried
fruit; seasonal spring salad bar item made with carrots, pomegranate
molasses and harissa.
Transparency 2.0 More is more when it comes to product
labeling. Consumers want to know the real story behind their food, and
how that item made its way from the source to the store. GMO
transparency is top-of-mind, but shoppers seek out other details, too,
such as Fair Trade certification, responsible production and animal
welfare standards. At Whole Foods Market, this plays out in several
ways, starting with these three happening in 2018: 1) In January 2018,
all canned tuna in our stores will come from sustainable one-by-one
catch methods; 2) In September 2018, labels will provide GMO
transparency on all items in stores; and 3) Dishes from Whole Foods
Market food bars and venues are now labeled with calorie information.
The FDA’s deadline for nutrition labeling is among the first
regulatory steps for greater transparency, but expect consumers and
brands to continue leading the way into a new era of product intel.
the Trend: Pole & Line canned albacore tuna traceable to the exact
captain and vessel that caught the fish; calorie information on dishes
from Whole Foods Market food bars and venues; 5-Step®
Animal Welfare Rated fresh meat and poultry; Perky
Jerky Animal Welfare Rated beef jerky; sustainability
certification or ratings on every type of wild-caught seafood in Whole
Foods Market’s seafood department; Non-GMO Project Verified products; Fair
Food certified tomatoes and strawberries.
High-Tech Goes Plant-Forward Plant-based diets and dishes
continue to dominate the food world, and now the tech industry has a
seat at the table, too. By using science to advance recipes and
manipulate plant-based ingredients and proteins, these techniques are
creating mind-bending alternatives like “bleeding” vegan burgers or
sushi-grade “not-tuna” made from tomatoes. These new production
techniques are also bringing some new varieties of nut milks and
yogurts made from pili nuts, peas, bananas, macadamia nuts and pecans.
Dairy-free indulgences like vegan frosting, brownies, ice cream,
brioche and crème brûlée are getting so delicious, non-vegans won’t
know the difference – or they might choose them anyway!
Meat Burger; Ocean Hugger Foods Ahimi
vegan tuna (available in NYC and LA Whole Foods Market stores); Ripple
milks made from peas; Sophie’s
Kitchen Vegan Toona; MALK
cold-pressed nut milks; Mooala
Bananamilk; Forager Cashew Yogurt; Laava Pili Nut Yogurt; Cado
avocado ice cream.
Puffed & Popped Snacks Crunchy snacks are perennial
favorites, but new technology is revolutionizing all things puffed,
popped, dried and crisped. New extrusion methods (ways of processing
and combining ingredients), have paved the way for popped cassava
chips, puffed pasta bow ties, seaweed fava chips and puffed rice
clusters. Good-old-fashioned chips also get an upgrade as part of the
trend, with better-for-you bites like jicama, parsnip or Brussels
Tacos Come Out of Their Shell There’s no slowing down the
craze for all things Latin American, but the taco trend has a life of
its own. This street-food star is no longer limited to a tortilla, or
to savory recipes: Tacos are showing up for breakfast, and trendy
restaurants across the country have dessert
variations. Most of all, tacos are shedding their shell for new
kinds of wrappers and fillings too – think seaweed wrappers with poke
filling. Classic tacos aren’t going anywhere, but greater attention to
ingredients is upping their game. One end of the spectrum is
hyper-authentic cooking with things like heirloom corn tortillas or
classic barbacoa. And thanks to brands like Siete, there are
grain-free options for paleo fans too. Taco ‘bout options!
the Trend: Whole Foods Market’s new Mexico-City-inspired taco
venues in more than 175 stores, featuring jackfruit al pastor, and a
paleo chicken burrito; Siete paleo tortillas and chips; shaved jicama
taco shells; Crab
and Bacon Breakfast Tacos; Frontera Tortilla Chips and fresh
tortillas featuring Masienda
heirloom corn; 365 Everyday Value® Korean Style
Gochujang Hot Sauce.
Root-to-Stem Between nose-to-tail butchery and reducing
food waste, a few forces are combining to inspire root-to-stem
cooking, which makes use of the entire fruit or vegetable, including
the stems or leaves that are less commonly eaten. Recipes like pickled
watermelon rinds, beet-green pesto or broccoli-stem slaw have
introduced consumers to new flavors and textures from old favorites.
Say Cheers to the Other Bubbly LaCroix
may have paved the way, but now there’s an entire booming category of
sparkling beverages vying for consumer attention. Just don’t call them
“soda.” These drinks are a far cry from their sugary predecessors.
Flavored sparkling waters like plant-derived options from Sap! (made
with maple and birch) and sparkling cold brew from Stumptown will are
shaking up a fizzy fix. Shoppers are also toasting mocktail must-haves
like Topo Chico and Whole Foods MarketTM Lime Mint
Elderflower Italian Sparkling Mineral Water. Cheers to the other
kind of bubbly!
Try the Trend:Waterloo
Sparkling Water; Sap!
maple and birch sparkling waters and seltzers; Stumptown Sparkling
Cold Brew (in Original, Honey Lemon and Ginger Citrus); Alta
Palla Sparkling Waters; Whole Foods MarketTM Italian
Sparkling Mineral Waters (in Citrus Blend, Lemon, Strawberry, Lime,
Lemon Raspberry, Grapefruit and Lime Mint Elderflower flavors), 365
Everyday Value® Canned Sparkling Water (Pure, Lime, Lemon,
Orange and Grapefruit flavors).
This year’s predictions came from Whole
Foods Market’s experts and industry leaders who source items and
lead trends across the retailer’s cheese, grocery, meat, seafood,
prepared foods, produce and personal care departments, and spot trends
for the retailer’s more than 470 stores. Shoppers can try the trends in
Whole Foods Market stores or on Amazon.com.
For interviews with Whole Foods Market’s experts, or to learn more about
their 2018 predictions, contact [email protected].
About Whole Foods Market®
For 39 years, Whole Foods Market has been the world’s leading natural
and organic foods retailer. As the first national certified organic
grocer, Whole Foods Market has over 470 stores in the United States,
Canada and United Kingdom. Whole Foods Market was named “America’s
Healthiest Grocery Store” by Health magazine and has been ranked
one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in America by FORTUNE
magazine for 20 consecutive years. To learn more about Whole Foods
Market, please visit media.wfm.com.