Every year, there are a few buzz-worthy food trends we can’t help but participate in. The latest craze of 2022 is butter boards—beautiful spreads of butter topped with flaky salt, lemon zest, and anything else you think complements the rich dairy product. But with the year nearing a close, we can’t help but wonder what food trends 2023 has in store for food lovers. To help, Whole Foods recently released its list of the top 10 food trends for the upcoming year.
“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, Chief Marketing Officer at Whole Foods Market.
The list was compiled by the company’s trends council—a group of more than 50 Whole Foods Market employees, including local foragers, regional and global purchasers, and culinary experts. The council based their predictions on decades of expertise in both product sourcing and consumer preferences. They also participated in workshops with existing and new brands to help guide their report.
Whole Foods’ Top 10 Food Trends 2023 Predictions
We’ve seen kombucha have its moment—and next year, yaupon will have similar success, according to the Whole Foods trends forecast. A holly bush found in the Southern region of the US, yaupon is the only known caffeinated plant native to North America. Historically, Indigenous Americans have brewed it into herbal tea. Expect to see the mild, earthy beverage appear on cocktail menus and in teas come 2023.
Non-dairy milk has become increasingly popular in recent years, but what about the by-products of their production? According to Whole Foods, brands have been experimenting with ways to up-cycle dairy alternative by-products, like oat, soy, and almond pulp. These companies are creating new products for bakers, including flours, baking mixes, and ready-to-eat sweets.
3. Plant-based pasta
You’re likely familiar with chickpea pasta and cauliflower gnocchi, but expect to also see a few new plant-based pasta alternatives crop up in 2023. Made with ingredients like spaghetti squash, hearts of plants, and green bananas, plant-powered pasta isn’t going anywhere.
While our love for dates isn’t a recent discovery, the fruit is slated to have a major renaissance in the coming year. Consumers should anticipate seeing it used as a sweetener, in the form of pastes and syrups, as well as in ketchup and overnight oats.
5. Better Poultry and Eggs
The Global Animal Partnership is implementing a new initiative, The Better Chicken Project, which is designed to help improve the life of birds and the quality of the chicken we eat. Egg producers in the dairy case at Whole Foods Market are going beyond their better-than-cage-free animal welfare standards for laying hens, too; they’re putting more focus on outdoor time.
Kelp, which helps absorb carbon in the atmosphere, is becoming increasingly popular among the climate-conscious consumer. Expert to see it in noodles, chips, fish-free “fish” sauce, and more in 2023.
7. Climate-conscious callouts
As shoppers place more of an emphasis on choosing environmentally-friendly products, expect to see brands and retailers call out their own sustainability efforts on product labels. From snacks to alcoholic beverages and protein powders, Whole Foods anticipates seeing more companies set higher standards this year when it comes to being eco-conscious in the grocery store and beyond.
8. Nostalgic foods
If you’ve been feeling extra nostalgic lately, you’re not alone. According to consumer research, 73% of US consumers enjoy things that remind them of the past. New spins on mac and cheese, pizza bites, classic old-school cereals, and other throwback favourites will be seen on shelves in the coming year.
9. Premium pet foods
You want what’s best for your pet, which is why many new treats and food recipes on the market are being formulated with pet wellness at the forefront. Hip and joint treats, pet-friendly bone broth, and meals designed for ageing pets are expected to take off in food trends 2023.
10. Avocado Oil
It’s no secret that avocado oil has been having a moment, but that’s a trend that Whole Foods believe will continue next year. The canola oil replacement will be found in snacks, mayonnaise, ready-to-eat meals, and more.
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