- Whole Foods Market announced its 10 food trends predictions for 2024, with a particular focus on products that tout nutritional and sustainability benefits.
- The forecasted trends for next year include plant-based products with more vegetables, the use of buckwheat and brands that promote water conservation.
- This marks Whole Foods’ ninth year releasing its trends list as the specialty grocer continues to market itself as a retailer with a keen understanding of emerging food trends.
As a grocer focused on natural and organic ingredients, Whole Foods is well-versed in meeting the needs of health-conscious consumers, and a number of its predictions this year focus on balancing health as well as the use of natural ingredients for supplements.
Whole Foods noted that the “OGs of plant-based cuisine are making a comeback” with the emergence of protein-forward products with mushrooms, walnuts, tempeh and legumes to replace complex meat alternatives.
Plant-based seafood brands are also gaining momentum, bringing improved flavor and texture that can “rival the real thing.” Carrots are replacing lox; trumpet mushrooms are used for scallops; and konjac, a root vegetable, is being found in sushi rolls and poke bowls, per the announcement.
Caffeine is another area where brands are adding health benefits with the addition of mushrooms, probiotics and more into new coffee and energy drinks, Whole Foods said.
Buckwheat is growing in popularity as brands turn to it to boost protein, carbs and fiber in products, the grocer said, noting that the cover crop is also gluten-free and can be used to support soil health.
Just as consumers are finding products that improve their own health and wellness, they are also paying more attention to how environmentally conscious brands are, Whole Foods said.
“Brands across the aisles are promoting water conservations, and consumers are listening,” the press release said, adding that regenerative agriculture is a growing trend with consumers. The grocer predicts that consumers will tap into new water brands using water from fruit by-products that would otherwise be discarded, and “water-conscious products” like dry shampoos and laundry detergent sheets.
Whole Foods’ Trends Council, which is made up of more than 50 Whole Foods team members including buyers and culinary experts, is responsible for compiling trend predictions. The group of experts look to consumer preferences and meet with emerging and existing brands to draw their conclusions, according to the announcement.
In the past, Whole Foods has sold a “discovery box” that included products listed in its annual trends predictions. This year’s announcement did not mention the product box, though it did outline products it sells that align with each trend.