Whole Foods Market Offers
Top Trends for 2017
Whole Foods Market’s global buyers and
experts offered their top trends to watch
in 2017. Wellness tonics, products from
byproducts and purple foods are just a few
top predictions, according to the trend-spotters.
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 global traditions.
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 a few products leading
Products from Byproducts. Whether
it’s leftover whey from strained Greek yogurt or spent grains from beer, food producers are finding innovative ways to give
byproducts new life.
Eco-Olea 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 and more.
New picks like coconut flour Paleo
wraps, 365 Everyday Value Fair Trade coco-
nut chips and Pacifica Blushious Coconut
& Rose Infused Cheek Color demonstrate
coconut’s growing range.
Japanese Food, Beyond Sushi. Jap-
anese-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 main-
stream 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 like Japanese-style
pickles will continue to gain popularity.
The trend 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, pick-
led plum, yuzu citrus and Azuki bean. This
is playing out in products like 365 Every-
day Value Sweet Sabi mustard, Republic of
Tea’s new Super Green Tea Matcha blends
and recipes like Coconut Mochi Cakes.
Creative Condiments. From tradition-
al 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
Look for black sesame tahini, habanero
jam, ghee, Pomegranate Molasses, black
garlic purée, date syrup, plum jam with
chia seeds, beet salsa, Mexican hot choco-
late 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 are quickly becoming fa-
vorites, while grain-free options like spi-
ralized veggies and kelp noodles are also
on the rise. More traditional fresh-milled
and seasonal pastas are popular too.
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 vibrant color
often indicates nutrient density and anti-
oxidants. Back to the Roots Purple Corn
Cereal, Jackson’s Honest Purple Heirloom
Potato Chips, Que Pasa Purple Corn Tor-
tilla Chips, Love Beets and Stokes Purple
Sweet Potatoes are all examples of this
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 skin care and
makeup products, and simplifying rou-
tines by eliminating the need for special
brushes or tools.
Trending products include Mineral Fu-
sion 3-in-1 Color Stick, Well People Uni-
versalist Multi-Stickand Spectrum Essen-
tials Organic Coconut Oil Packet.
Flexitarian. In 2017, consumers will
embrace a new, personalized version of
healthy eating that’s less rigid than typi-
cal vegan, Paleo, gluten-free and other
“special diets.” 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” ap-
proach to making conscious choices about
what, when and how much to eat.
Mindful Meal Prep. People aren’t just
asking themselves what they’d like to eat,
but also how meals can stretch their dol-
lar, 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.
Fresh oven-ready meal kits and vegeta-
ble medleys are also on the upswing.
This year’s predictions came from Whole
Foods Market’s experts and industry lead-ers 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. NW