The grocery chain's buyers and experts predict the foods, drinks, and nutrition trends that will gain steam in the new year.
Green juice, kale, and matcha are about to be so last year. Whole Foods Markets just released its list of food trend predictions for 2017, assembled by a team of pro trend-forecasters who are experts at tracking consumer preferences and products at hundreds of the chain's stores.
Here's the company's top 10 list of the trends to be on the lookout for—and we love, well, all of them:
Whole Foods expects to see healthful bottled beverages that pack powerful benefits from superfood ingredients pick up steam. Look out for drinks with add-ins including maca, turmeric, and apple cider vinegar. (FYI, turmeric has been shown to have antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties; and ACV may help regulate blood sugar and boost digestive health.)
Products from byproducts
Trend forecasters predict food manufacturers will create new foods from manufacturing products that are typically thrown away—think whey from yogurt production to create probiotic drinks, or repurposing the liquid left over after cooking chickpeas (called aquafaba) to make a vegan "mayonaise." (Yes, one brand is already doing that.)
We'll take your coconut oil and raise you a coconut tortilla. Coconut is now popping up in the form of sandwich wraps, chips, and other "who knew that existed?" products featuring the fan-favorite superfood.
Japanese food, beyond sushi
The Japanese diet has received praise over the past year thanks to new research that linked the dietary practices (which involve loading up on fish, plants, and vegetables) to a longer life. But in addition to sushi (and those sushirritos we've seen all over Instagram), Whole Foods is anticipating less-expected ways that the diet will inspire your everyday eating. An example? More Japanese condiments may earn a permanent in your pantry, such as ponzu, miso, and sesame oil.
You may still be in a serious relationship with chipotle aioli, but expect to cheat on it with new tastebud-arousing dips like beet salsa, black sesame tahini, habanero jam, and ghee.
Noodles made from chickpeas, quinoa, and lentils are still gaining popularity (reminder, they're gluten-free). For the "zoodle" fans out there, spiralized veggies will continue to own the spotlight, along with other exciting plant options, like kelp noodles.
We're talking recipes and packaged snacks and foods that feature purple asparagus, purple cauliflower, purple sweet potatoes, black rice, acai...you get the picture.
If you're a natural beauty product devotee, this trend's for you. Whole Foods expects more natural makeup and skincare products to gain shelf space—specifically products with multitasking ingredients and ones that are super-simple to apply while you're on the move.
The New Year in nutrition will be about doing healthy eating your way. Get used to the buzzword "flexitarian," which typically means semi-vegetarian. But Whole Foods expects to see that definition expand to encompass any sort of personalized nutrition, or when you just don't fit into a perfect strict diet category, like gluten-free or vegan. So if you're a kinda-sorta meat eater, sometimes Paleo, other times not, so be it.
Mindful meal prep
In 2017, meal prepping will focus on more than trying to eat better, or hoping to save money on expensive food court lunches. The next level: being more cognizant of food waste and trying to stretch every grocery purchase into as many meals as possible, or using what Whole Foods calls a make some-buy some approach (aka preparing a main dish from scratch and using store-bought items as side dishes).