- Yaupon-brewed drinks, repurposed pulp, dates as well as an assortment of retro items and ingredients made Whole Foods Market’s list of top 10 food trends for the upcoming new year, according to a Wednesday press release.
- The grocer reintroduced its Trends Discovery Box containing 10 products — one item from each trends category listed — for a limited time.
- This is Whole Foods’ newest effort in continuing to market itself as a specialty grocer with a pulse on growing food trends within the industry.
Whole Foods has been releasing its trends lists for the past eight years, but this is only its second year boxing up these highlighted items and making them available for purchase.
All of the items and trends that make the list are selected by a group of over 50 Whole Foods team members, known as the Trends Council. Their predictions are based on product sourcing, consumer preferences and “in-depth workshopping with emerging and existing brands,” the press release said.
The Trends Discovery Boxes, which are valued at over $50 per the announcement, went on sale this week for $30 but, unlike last year, are only available online.
Almost all of the items and ingredients Whole Foods predicts will be trending throughout 2023 are organic, locally sourced and health-conscious, according to the grocer.
Yaupon, a holly bush and the only known native North American caffeinated plant, is the first ingredient featured by the grocer. Originally brewed by Indigenous Americans, the announcement notes, it gives drinks a “mild, earthy flavor with unique benefits” and is found in a number of Whole Foods’ kombucha drinks and teas.
“Pulp with Purpose” is another category presented by the grocer and is a trend that gained momentum from TikTok. The grocer states that TikTok creators are “exploring ways to use leftover nut and oat pulp at home” and it has inspired brands to do the same. Alternatives to flour, baking mixes and even Whole Foods bakery items are made through the upcycling of these non-dairy option byproducts — including soy, oat and almond pulp.
Another ingredient launched into popularity by social media that Whole Foods included in its top 10 is dates. Deemed “nature’s candy” in both fruit form and after being dehydrated, its natural, versatile sweetness is relied on in a number of syrups, condiments, drinks, protein bars and desserts.
Whole Foods’ “Retro Remix” trend category taps into childhood comfort foods, including mac and cheese, pizza bites and “old-school cereals.” However, these nostalgic foods have been refashioned into more health-conscious products, including Goodles pasta and cheese products, Poppi prebiotic sodas, Three Wishes Cereal and more. These brands take into account specific dietary needs and restrictions, the grocer stated.
Other trending ingredients forecasted to grow in popularity in the new year, according to Whole Foods’ top 10 list, include plant-based pastas, humanely sourced and certified chicken products, kelp, pet supplements, avocado oils and more “climate-conscious” brands.