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10 trends predicted by Whole Foods


December 7, 2016
By Bakers Journal
The power of purple often indicates nutrient density and antioxidants. Photo: Whole Foods Market Blog

Austin, Texas – As the year draws to a close more retailers, suppliers and research firms are voicing their opinions on where the food industry is heading in 2017. Successful natural and organic grocer Whole Foods Market has released its trends to watch as compiled by its team of global buyers and experts. Top picks this year see turmeric appearing in wellness drinks and purple foods showing up in all sorts of places. Following are their top 10 trends for 2017:

Wellness Tonics – going beyond the fresh-pressed juices, tonics will draw on botanicals and alternative medicines and global traditions. Ingredients will include kava, Tulsi/holy basil, turmeric, apple cider vinegar, medicinal mushrooms (like reishi and chaga), and adaptogenic herbs (maca and ashwagandha).

Products from Byproducts – Whether it’s leftover whey from strained Greek yogurt or spent grains from beer, food producers are finding innovative ways to give byproducts new life.

Coconut Everything – Move over coconut oil and coconut water – coconut flour tortillas, coconut sugar aminos and more coconut-based products are on the rise. The sap is turned into coconut sugar and the white flesh is now in flours, tortillas, chips, ice creams, butters and more. Look for coconut flour wraps.

Japanese Food, Beyond Sushi – Condiments with roots in Japanese cuisine, like ponzu, miso, mirin, sesame oil and plum vinegar are moving from restaurant menus to mainstream pantries. Seaweed is a rising star, including fresh and dried kelp, wakame, dulse and nori, while Japanese-style pickles will gain popularity. The trend will also impact breakfast and dessert with flavours like green tea and matcha, black sesame, pickled plum, yuzu citrus and Azuki bean.

Creative Condiments – Look for black sesame tahini, habanero jam, ghee, Pomegranate Molasses, black garlic purée, date syrup, plum jam with chia seeds, beet salsa, Mexican hot chocolate spreads, sambal oelek or piri piri sauce, Mina Harissa, and Frontera Adobo Sauces (Ancho, Chipotle and Guajillo varieties).

Rethinking Pasta – Alternative grain noodles made from quinoa, lentils and chickpeas along with grain-free options like spiralized veggies and kelp noodles are on the rise. Yet more traditional fresh-milled and seasonal pastas are having a moment too.  

Purple Power – Richly coloured purple foods are popping up everywhere: purple cauliflower, black rice, purple asparagus, elderberries, acai, purple sweet potatoes, purple corn and cereal. The power of purple often indicates nutrient density and antioxidants.

On-the-Go Beauty – “Athleisure” is not just a fashion trend; the style is now being reflected in natural beauty products, blurring the line between skincare and makeup products.

Flexitarian – In 2017, consumers will embrace a personalized version of healthy eating that’s less rigid than typical vegan, Paleo, gluten-free and other “special diets”. For instance, eating vegan before 6 p.m., or eating paleo five days a week, or gluten-free whenever possible. Instead of a strict identity aligned with one diet, shoppers embrace the “flexitarian” approach to making conscious choices about what, when and how much to eat.

Mindful Meal Prep – People are asking themselves how meals can stretch their dollar, reduce food waste, save time and be healthier. Trends to watch include the “make some/buy some,” approach, like using pre-cooked ingredients from the hot bar to jumpstart dinner, or preparing a main dish from scratch and using frozen or store-bought ingredients as sides.


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