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10/20/2022

Kelp, retro snacks, produce pasta and more food trends for 2023: Whole Foods

See the products Whole Foods predicts will fill shopping carts next year

Plant-based pastas, kelp, nostalgic treats and a caffeinated species of holly are just some of the trends Whole Foods expects to dominate the food industry in 2023. 

The Amazon-owned retailer’s Trends Council, a collective of more than 50 Whole Foods Market team members – including local foragers, regional and global buyers and culinary experts –  released its eight annual report Thursday (Oct. 20). 

“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. 

Read on for more of Whole Foods’ top 10 food trend predictions for 2023:

 

Photography courtesy Whole Foods

Yaupon

The species of holly bush found in the southeastern U.S. – and Native America’s only known caffeinated plant – is the newest brew on the block. 

 

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Upcycled pulp

By upcycling plant-based milk by-products like oat, soy and almond pulp, brands are creating new products for the modern baker — think alternative flours, baking mixes and ready-to-eat sweets.

 

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Plant-based pasta

There’s a new crop of plant-based pasta alternatives headed to grocery shelves, with ingredients like spaghetti squash, hearts of palm and even green bananas.

 

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Dates

The craze for dates isn’t new, but the dehydrated fruit is having a major renaissance as a sweetener — not only for at-home bakers, but also in the form of pastes and syrups, and hidden in everything from ketchup to overnight oats.

 

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Animal welfare

More than ever, consumers are prioritizing welfare when shopping for both poultry and eggs. Egg producers in the dairy case at Whole Foods Market are stretching beyond the retailer’s better-than-cage-free animal welfare standards for laying hens, with more focus on outdoor time.

 

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Kelp

Kelp grows quickly, doesn’t require freshwater or added nutrients, and is nutritious and versatile in food products. Whole Foods has seen the ingredient crop up in noodles, chips, fish-free “fish” sauce and beyond.

 

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Climate consciousness

Brands are taking to their product labels to talk about sustainability efforts in a time when consumers expect brands and retailers to do their part when it comes to carbon and climate.

 

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Retro treats

According to Mintel Global Consumer research, 73% of U.S. consumers enjoy things that remind them of their past, setting the stage for nostalgic foods to go mainstream. Retro products are being reinvented with consideration for the wellness-conscious customer.

 

Photography courtesy Whole Foods

Pet wellness

Many consumers became pet owners during the pandemic, and so pet wellness is more important than ever. Supplements like bone broth for four-legged friends and recipes that promise to be more flavourful are increasingly popular.

 

Photography courtesy Whole Foods

Avocado oil

The popular oil is taking the place of other mainstays like canola and safflower oil in snacks, mayonnaise, ready-to-eat meals and more.

 

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