Drawing on more than 100 years of combined industry experience, Whole Foods Market’s product experts have pinpointed 10 top food trends to watch in 2016.
1. Uncommon meat and seafood—Lesser-known meat and seafood trend options are making their way from restaurant menus and local obscurity into mainstream American kitchens.
2. Wine in a can—As American wine drinkers become an increasingly young, diverse and playful bunch, winemakers are taking note. … Cue the aluminum can – a portable, easy-to-chill option that’s well suited for single servings and active, outdoor lifestyles.
3. Plant-based everything—Plants are playing a meatier role in a surprising number of products, and not just for vegan and vegetarian alternatives.
4. Culture Craze: Fermented foods and probiotics—Whether shoppers are seeking gut health or go-for-it flavor, fermented foods and probiotics are growing like good bacteria – and they’re not just for hippies anymore. Fiery picks like kimchi and gochujang will continue to gain steam, while innovative options like chiogga beet kraut and non-dairy tonics will add variety.
5. Non-GMO-fed verified products—As shoppers demand more transparency in their food, the non-GMO movement will continue to gain momentum. Whole Foods Market currently offers more than 11,000 non-GMO verified choices and 25,000 organic options, with even more in the pipeline.
6. Graze Craze: Grass-fed 2.0—With new grass-fed products– from milk, eggs, yogurt, butter and cheese options to packaged meat snacks and even protein powders – sprouting up across the store, grass-fed has proven it’s no longer a niche category for health fanatics or Paleo devotees.
7. Dried and true: dehydrated foods—Unlike the kale chip craze of years past, 2016’s dehydrated trend takes it to new heights – from dehydrated broccoli, Brussels sprout and parsnip chips to sophisticated salmon, bison and chicken jerkies with grown-up flavor combinations.
8. Heirloom ingredients beyond the tomato—Heirloom ingredients are making a comeback and not just in the produce aisle.
9. Alternative and wheat-free flours—People are going nuts for gluten-free flours made from legumes, ancient grains, teff, amaranth and, well, nuts. Chickpea flour is a quick riser, while other legume-based flours are showing up in bean-based pastas and other packaged goods.
10. “Old World” flavor adventures —”Old World” flavors with a twist continue to see significant gains, especially Far East flavors from Korea, Japan and Southeast Asia, as well as Middle Eastern ingredients.