Austin, TX—Whole Foods Market’s Trends Council released the ninth-annual edition of its Trends predictions report. The council is a collective of WholeFoods Market team members including more than 50 foragers, buyers, and culinary experts. According to a press release, the forecast is based on decades of experience and expertise in product sourcing and studying consumer preferences, combined with workshopping with emerging and existing brands.
“Our annual food trends predictions list is a way for us to pull back the curtain for customers and share insight into what our buyers and culinary experts are keeping on their radar for the upcoming year,” said Cathy Strange, Ambassador of Food Culture for Whole Foods Market and member of the Trends Council. “From specific product ingredients and flavor trends, to growing movement in the food industry, we can’t wait to see these trends gain momentum in the year ahead.”
Highlights from Whole Foods Markets 2024 Trend Report
Plant-based has been trending for years, but many believe the category has lost the focus on plants and vegetables being used, especially in some meat-alternative options. Thankfully, in the past year there has been a resurgence of veggie burgers being made with protein-forward products like mushrooms, walnuts, tempeh, and legumes. Companies are also simplifying their ingredient labels, using just two ingredients.
Tinned fish and caviar gained traction in the first half of the year, but the spotlight has started to shift to faux fish options. Plant-based seafood brands are elevating their game, creating products that better mimic the flavor and texture of real fish. Popular veggie replacements? Look for carrots in place of lox, trumpet mushrooms for scallops, and the root vegetable konjac used in sushi rolls and poke bowls.
Regenerative Organic & Water Stewardship
Consumers are looking for products made with regenerative agriculture and water conservation practices. To earn Regenerative Organic Certification, brands are required to follow soil health initiatives that conserve water. Innovative brands are creating drinks using fruit by-products. Farmed oysters have gained support from non-governmental organizations, leveraging aquaculture to filter water and help restore coastal ecosystems, the trends ream reports. Lifestyle and household products are also eco-friendly, with products like dry shampoos, shampoo bars, and laundry detergent sheets.
Scorpion peppers and Guajillo or Hungarian Goathorn Peppers are appearing in botana sauces and chili oils. The peppers can be found in fresh, whole, ground or pickled varieties. For even more heat, consumers can crack open a pepper-infused drink, like kombuchas, cold-pressed juices and smoothies, and ready-to-drink canned tepache.
Hormonal remedies and women's health topics are buzzing on social media and brands are taking notice. Whole Foods Market points to “sleepy girl mocktails,” carrot salad for estrogen management, and seed cycling energy bites for each cycle phase. Brands are formulating products to support periods, pregnancy, postpartum, menopause, and sleep. Snack brands have formulated menopause energy bars. Other brands, like Here We Flo, support the cause by making monthly donations to menstrual charities.
A Better Boost
Coffee and caffeine have been given a healthy makeover with added mushrooms, probiotics, and more.