Health and consumer values take center stage in Whole Foods’ trend predictions for 2023. All of the trends are related to at least one of these factors.
In the health category, yaupon — North America’s only native caffeinated plant — is becoming popular for its flavor and potential benefits, which include lowering inflammation and boosting brain function. Also on the ingredient side, an avocado oil craze is leading to avocado oil replacing canola and safflower oils in a variety of products.
Next is produce meets pasta, where traditional pasta being replaced by plant-based alternatives made from produce like spaghetti squash, hearts of palm, and green bananas. And dates, aka “nature’s candy,” are having a renaissance in a trend Whole Foods calls the great date. The company notes that dates are now being found in everything from ketchup to overnight oats.
Consumers’ desire for healthier ingredients extends to the foods they buy for their pets. In the trend only the finest for Fido, pet foods and supplements are being subject to increased quality standards.
But just because consumers want healthy foods doesn’t meant they want to forgo indulgences. The retro remix trend has comfort foods, like pizza bites and mac and cheese, getting a revamp with healthier ingredients.
In the values category, consumers are becoming more interested in upcycled foods. The pulp with purpose trend describes brands that are creating baking products from the nut and oat pulp that is a by-product of making nondairy milk alternatives. In a poultry revolution, consumers are expressing their values by prioritizing animal welfare (specifically outdoor time) when purchasing poultry and eggs. And on the sustainability front, consumers expect brands to address climate change, so climate-conscious callouts on product labels are more relevant than ever.
The help from kelp trend showcases an ingredient that meets both health and values requirements. Kelp farming is sustainable, and kelp is a nutritious and versatile ingredient.
“We’re thrilled to see things like baked goods with upcycled pulp from plant-based milks and ingredients like farmed kelp continue to gain popularity,” Whole Foods Market CMO Sonya Gafsi Oblisk said in a press release. “From product labels that include sustainability efforts to poultry and egg suppliers that are leading the way in animal welfare, many of this year’s trends predictions showcase brands on a mission to make a true impact. We look forward to watching these trends come to life in our aisles in 2023.”