Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods Market’s Trends Council unveiled its top 10 anticipated food trends for 2023 in the retailer’s eighth-annual trends predictions.
Each year, the council – a collective of more than 50 Whole Foods Market team members, including local foragers, regional and global buyers and culinary experts – compiles trend predictions based on decades of experience and expertise in product sourcing and studying consumer preferences, as well as in-depth workshopping with brands.
“Our trends predictions are an exciting look at where we believe both product innovation and customer preferences are headed in the coming year. We anticipate seeing these trends in the food industry at large, on dinner tables, in lunch boxes and on our store shelves,” said Sonya Gafsi Oblisk, CMO.
Whole Foods Market’s top 10 food trend predictions for 2023:
- New brew: yaupon – a holly bush found in the southeastern U.S. and happens to be North America’s only known native caffeinated plant. Indigenous Americans brewed it into herbal tea and prepared it as a “black drink” consumed during purification rituals.
- Pulp with purpose – One in three consumers uses a nondairy milk alternative at least once a week, according to a recent poll from Morning Consult. Creators are exploring ways to use leftover nut and oat pulp at home.
- Produce meets pasta – There’s a new crop of plant-based pasta alternatives, with ingredients like spaghetti squash, hearts of palm and green bananas.
- The great date – In spring 2022, dates went viral on TikTok when a creator shared a Snickers-like recipe using the fruit. The dehydrated fruit, often referred to as “nature’s candy,” is having a renaissance as a sweetener in the form of pastes and syrups.
- A poultry revolution – Global Animal Partnership is implementing a new initiative, The Better Chicken Project, to help improve the birds’ lives as well as the quality of the chicken we eat.
- Help from kelp – In its original form, kelp can absorb carbon in the atmosphere, making kelp farming more important than ever in the age of climate consciousness. Kelp grows quickly, doesn’t require freshwater or added nutrients, and is nutritious and versatile in food products.
- Climate-conscious callouts – Climate consciousness is more relevant than ever, and brands are working to improve the impact of production.
- Retro remix – According to Mintel Global Consumer research, 73 percent of consumers enjoy things that remind them of their past. Retro products are being reinvented with consideration for the wellness-conscious customer.
- Only the finest for Fido – More than 23 million American households adopted a pet during the pandemic, according to the ASPCA. All pet food and supplements at Whole Foods Market are required to meet Quality Standards for ingredients.
- Avocado oil craze – Avocado oil is finally going mainstream in packaged products across the board. It has some positive attributes, including high oleic fatty acid content and a high smoke point, and has begin taking the place of other oils like canola and safflower oil in snacks, mayonnaise and ready-to-eat meals.
Whole Foods Market is also bringing back the discovery box, a curated assortment of 10 products to represent each of the 10 trends in the forecast. The boxes, available for $30 (estimated value at more than $50) allow consumers the chance to taste all the trends at once. Boxes are available for a limited time only at wholefoodsmarkettrendsbox.com.