Supermarkets are looking a lot healthier these days, in large part to chains like Costco, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods that are willing to test innovative products and see if they resonate with consumers, who vote with their dollars.
Curious as to see what the big offerings will be in 2019? Get ready: Whole Foods just released its trends report, indicating what their primary focuses will be when stocking their shelves for the year ahead. Last year, adaptogenic mushrooms, flavored sparkling beverages, and floral flavors all took center stage at the retailer. (So feel free to blame your La Croix addiction on them.)
Scroll down to see Whole Foods’ 2019 wellness trends.
1. Pacific Rim flavors: Last year Whole Foods was all about expanding #TacoTuesday into an all day, everyday trend. This year, the Pacific Rim is serving up major food inspo. Expect to see more products made with tropical fruits, like dragonfruit, not only being featured in juices and smoothie bowls, but also other beverages and in nutrition bars. Another Asian staple Whole Foods says you’ll see popping up more is jackfruit.
2. Shelf-stable probiotics: Whole Foods predicts that supplements and yogurt will no longer be the only ways consumers will get their fill of good bacteria. “New strains of probiotics such as bacillus coagulans GBI-30 and bacillus coagulans MTCC 5856 are making more shelf-stable applications possible,” the retailer says in a press release. “Wellness-focused brands are making it easier to get more probiotics in your day by adding functional probiotic ingredients to your pantry staples through products like granola, oatmeal, nut butters, soups, and nutrition bars.” That’s really good news for your gut.
3. Healthy fats: Okay, now this is a direct result of listening to consumers. As more people look to limit carbs and fill up on healthy fats, Whole Foods is looking to meet that need, stocking its shelves with products made with MCT oil, coconut butter, grass-fed ghee, and other keto-approved ingredients. Cutting carbs is just getting easier and easier.
4. Next-level hemp: CBD is still a gray area in many states, but there’s no debate about its rise in popularity. Whole Foods expects the hemp plant to surge in popularity for reasons other than CBD and says you can expect to see more hemp hearts, seeds, and oils being used in products across the board.
5. Faux meat snacks: Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods continue to expand and gain popularity—which is paving the way for other plant-based meat substitutes to spring up. (We’ve come along way since hockey puck veggie patties.) Whole Foods says shoppers can expect to see more vegan jerkies and cracklin’ snacks—basically your gas station faves, but healthier.
6. Eco-conscious packaging: Whole Foods is making a commitment to champion brands that use eco-friendly and biodegradable packaging by naming this trend as one of their big focuses for next year. You know how straws are, like, insanely uncool now? Expect excessive plastic packaging to follow suit.
7. Trailblazing frozen treats: “While there is something comforting and classic about a scoop of vanilla ice cream, some consumers are wanting something a little less, well, vanilla,” Whole Foods’ trends press release reads. Besides globally-inspired frozen desserts like mochi and Thai rolled ice cream, the retailer says you can expect to see more healthy options, like avocado-based soft serve and other plant-based options. This is what dairy-free dreams are made of.
8. Marine munchies: You probably already know about seaweed snacks, and Whole Foods is riding that wave into more oceanic influence. Think: seaweed butter, kelp jerkies, and more miso-laden products.
9. Upgraded snacks: Your snacking habit is about to get a major upgrade. While before you may have reached for a bar or veggie chips, Whole Foods hints at fancier options to come, like artisanal peanut-butter crackers or mini cheese boards.
10. Feel-good purchasing: With this trend, Whole Foods is recognizing that shoppers are becoming more cognizant of where their food is coming from—including who makes it. “Contributing toward social movements via purchasing goods and services with missions you believe in can make for big changes that extend far beyond the world of retail,” the retailer’s press release says. Here’s to hoping this goes beyond a trend, and becomes a movement.
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