Going into 2020, Whole Foods Market has predicted that there will be a growing demand for additional types of nut butters; alternative flours; and zero-proof beverages as the continued healthy eating trend moves into the next year.
The market recently published its food trends for the upcoming year. The company polled culinary experts, buyers and foragers in its global offices and across its 490 stores to find out what food trends are gaining ground while others may be dropping out.
Here are the 10 food trends the company predicts will take the U.S. by storm throughout the next year:
Regenerative Agriculture: Whole Foods predicts that companies will be looking to improve soil health and sequester carbon. It predicts that consumers will be looking to support companies that use regenerative practices.
Flour Power: As alternative diets and lifestyles continue to grow, so do alternative flours that go beyond almond, arrow root and coconut. Whole Foods predicts that 2020 will bring more interesting fruit and vegetable flours (like banana!) into home pantries, with products like cauliflower flour in bulk.
West African Flavors: Whole Foods notes that West African flavors run the gamut from traditional earthy dishes to its own brand of superfoods. The market says that brands will be looking to add things like moringa and tamarind to its pre-packaged foods, while home cooks will experiment at home with new flavors. These include the base of tomatoes, onions and chili peppers with the addition of peanuts, ginger and lemongrass.
Expanded Snack Options: New snack options that put the emphasis on fresh and healthy are gaining ground with the U.S. consumer. These include hard-boiled eggs with savory toppings; pickled vegetables; drinkable soups; and mini dips and dippers of all kinds; all perfectly portioned and in convenient single-serve packaging.
Plant Based But Soy-Less: Companies are beginning to swap soy for things like mung bean, hempseed, pumpkin, avocado, watermelon seed and golden chlorella, as soy has increasingly become an allergen to some people. Whole Foods predicts that plant-based prepared foods, condiments and more will be going soy-less through 2020.
Everything Butters And Spreads: Sunflower butter, cashew butter and more have taken over store shelves as alternatives to peanut butter and almond butter. This trend is poised to continue throughout the year with butters coming from new places (like chickpea and macadamia nut). There may also be interesting seasonal flavors available as the trend grows, Whole Foods adds.
Rethinking the Kids’ Menu: Millenninal parents that grew up in the age of Food Network are now passing their palates along to their children. This has caused companies to rethink options for children, which now include bites like non-breaded salmon fish sticks; foods that are fermented, spiced or rich in umami flavors and colorful pastas in fun shapes made from alternative flours.
Not-So-Simple Sugars: Whole Foods predicts that there will be a new array of sweeteners hitting the market throughout the year. These include syrupy reductions from fruit sources like monk fruit, pomegranates, coconut and dates as well as syrups made from starches like sorghum and sweet potato.
Meat-Plant Blends: Burgers, meatballs and more will be incorporating more vegetables in their blends instead of solely meat, Whole Foods notes. Some brands, like Applegate, are already doing this and are blending at least 25% fresh mushrooms into their beef blends. Some benefits to this include monetary, as meat will stretch further when blended with vegetables, as well as environmental.
Zero-Proof Drinks: As healthy eating and mindful drinking continue to grow as consumer trends, there will still be sippers who will want to enjoy a night out, but with a mocktail instead. Whole Foods believes that there will be in influx of beverages on the market that will re-create classic cocktail flavors using distilling methods typically reserved for alcohol, creating an alternative to liquor meant to be used with a mixer rather than a drink on its own.