Retailer’s global buyers forecast flavors, ingredients, appetites
AUSTIN, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, Whole Foods Market’s (NASDAQ:WFM) global
buyers and experts announced the trends to watch in 2017. Wellness
tonics, products from byproducts and purple foods are just a few top
predictions according to the trend-spotters,
who share more than 100 years of combined experience in sourcing
products and tracking consumer preferences.
Whole Foods Market’s top 10 trends for 2017 include:
Wellness Tonics – The new year will usher in a new wave of
tonics, tinctures and wellness drinks that go far beyond the
fresh-pressed juice craze. The year’s hottest picks will draw on
beneficial botanicals and have roots in alternative medicine and
Buzzed-about ingredients include kava,
Tulsi/holy basil, turmeric, apple cider vinegar, medicinal mushrooms
(like reishi and chaga), and adaptogenic herbs (maca and ashwagandha).
Kor Organic Raw Shots, Suja Drinking Vinegars and Temple Turmeric
Elixirs are just a few products leading the trend.
Products from Byproducts – Whether it’s leftover whey from
strained Greek yogurt or spent grains from beer, food producers are
finding innovative – and delicious – ways to give byproducts new life.
is using water from its olive oil production as the base for a
household cleaner line; condiment brand Sir Kensington’s is
repurposing leftover liquid from cooking chickpeas in a vegan mayo;
and Atlanta Fresh and White Moustache are using leftover whey from
yogurt production to create probiotic drinks.
Coconut Everything – Move over coconut oil and coconut water –
coconut flour tortillas, coconut sugar aminos
and more unexpected coconut-based products are on the rise. Virtually
every component of this versatile fruit-nut-seed (coconuts qualify for
all three!) is being used in new applications. The sap is turned into
coconut sugar as an alternative to refined sweeteners; the oil is used
in a growing list of natural beauty products; and the white flesh of
the coconut is now in flours, tortillas, chips, ice creams, butters
New picks like coconut flour Paleo wraps, 365
Everyday Value® Fair Trade coconut chips and Pacifica
Blushious Coconut & Rose Infused Cheek Color demonstrate
coconut’s growing range.
Japanese Food, Beyond Sushi – Japanese-inspired eating is on
the rise and it doesn’t look anything like a sushi roll.
Long-celebrated condiments with roots in Japanese cuisine, like ponzu,
miso, mirin, sesame oil and plum vinegar are making their way from
restaurant menus to mainstream American pantries. Seaweed is a rising
star as shoppers seek more varieties of the savory greens, including
fresh and dried kelp, wakame, dulse and nori, while farmhouse staples
pickles will continue to gain popularity.
will also impact breakfast and dessert, as shoppers experiment with
savory breakfast bowl combinations and a growing number of mochi
flavors like green tea and matcha, black sesame, pickled plum, yuzu
citrus and Azuki bean. This is playing out in products like 365
Everyday Value® Sweet Sabi mustard, Republic of Tea’s new Super Green
Tea Matcha blends and recipes like Coconut
Creative Condiments – From traditional global recipes to brand
new ingredients, interesting condiments are taking center stage. Once
rare and unfamiliar sauces and dips are showing up on menus and store
Look for black sesame tahini, habanero jam, ghee, Pomegranate
Molasses, black garlic purée, date syrup, plum
jam with chia seeds, beet salsa, Mexican hot chocolate spreads,
sambal oelek or piri piri sauce, Mina Harissa, and Frontera Adobo
Sauces (Ancho, Chipotle and Guajillo varieties).
Rethinking Pasta – Today’s pastas are influenced less by
Italian grandmothers and more by popular plant-based and clean-eating
movements. Alternative grain noodles made from quinoa, lentils and
chickpeas (which also happen to be gluten-free) are quickly becoming
favorites, while grain-free options like spiralized veggies and kelp
noodles are also on the rise. That said, more traditional fresh-milled
and seasonal pastas are having a moment too, which means pasta is
cruising into new territories with something for everyone.
Purple Power – Richly colored purple foods are popping up
everywhere: purple cauliflower, black rice, purple asparagus,
elderberries, acai, purple sweet potatoes, purple corn and cereal. The
power of purple goes beyond the vibrant color and often indicates
nutrient density and antioxidants.
Back to the Roots Purple
Corn Cereal, Jackson’s Honest Purple Heirloom Potato Chips, Que Pasa
Purple Corn Tortilla Chips, Love Beets and Stokes Purple Sweet
Potatoes are all examples of this fast-growing trend.
On-the-Go Beauty – “Athleisure” is not just a fashion trend;
the style is now being reflected in natural beauty products, too. With
multitasking ingredients and simple applications, natural beauty
brands are blurring the line between skincare and makeup products, and
simplifying routines by eliminating the need for special brushes or
Flexitarian – In 2017, consumers will embrace a new,
personalized version of healthy eating that’s less rigid than typical
vegan, Paleo, gluten-free and other “special diets” that have gone
mainstream. For instance, eating vegan before 6 p.m., or eating Paleo
five days a week, or gluten-free whenever possible allows consumers
more flexibility. Instead of a strict identity aligned with one diet,
shoppers embrace the “flexitarian” approach to making conscious
choices about what, when and how much to eat.
demand for products like 365 Everyday Value® Riced Cauliflower (used
for clean-eating favorites like gluten-free pizza crusts), Epic Bison
Apple Cider Bone Broth and Forager Cashew Yogurt point to growth in
this clean-eating category.
Mindful Meal Prep – People aren’t just asking themselves what
they’d like to eat, but also how meals can stretch their dollar,
reduce food waste, save time and be healthier. Trends to watch include
the “make some/buy some,” approach, like using pre-cooked ingredients
from the hot bar to jumpstart dinner, or preparing a main dish from
scratch and using frozen or store-bought ingredients as sides.
oven-ready meal kits and vegetable medleys are also on the upswing as
shoppers continue to crave healthier options that require less time.
Whole Foods Market’s Freshly
Made video series highlights the kinds of recipes and ingredients
shoppers are seeking.
This year’s predictions came from Whole
Foods Market’s experts and industry leaders who source items and
lead trends across the retailer’s cheese, grocery, meat, seafood,
prepared foods, produce and personal care departments, and spot trends
for the retailer’s more than 465 stores. For interviews with Whole Foods
Market’s experts, or to learn more about their 2017 predictions, contact McKinzey.Crossland@wholefoods.com