The Austin-based grocery chain released its projections for next year in a press release entitled "Whole Foods Market reveals top food trends for 2018," that includes a list of ten foods singled out by Whole Foods "global buyers and experts."
So, what's going to be on our shelves and plates next year? According to this team of "seasoned trend-spotters" with "100 years of combined experience in product sourcing and studying consumer preferences," a wide range of things—and some of them might make your eyes roll.
First on the forecast list is "floral flavors," like lavender lattes and elderflower lemonade, which means that you can do all your foraging at your local Whole Foods instead of outside, in that dirty old place called 'nature.' Next up are "super powders" that can be mixed into drinks. According to the experts who compiled this forecast list, "Smoothie fans are raising a glass to powders like spirulina, kale, herbs, and roots for an oh-so-green vibrancy that needs no Instagram filter." A quick check of #spirulina on Instagram suggests that Whole Foods is on the right track here in terms of the popularity of this stuff.
Flowers and "super greens" are not exactly the most surprising food trends, but things start getting weird in the "functional mushrooms" section, wherein fungus-based coffee and hygiene products are cited as up-and-coming must-haves.
Also did you know that tacos are a "trend"?
"There's no slowing down the craze for all things Latin American, but the taco trend has a life of its own," the press release states, as if some people might not know what a taco is. And if you want to taste the future of tacos, according to Whole Foods, it's in the form of shaved jicama taco shells and jackfruit al pastor.
Other interesting projected trends include food-waste-based products like "pickled watermelon rinds, beet-green pesto, or broccoli-stem slaw"; "high-tech" puffed snacks and dairy-free milks like banana milk; and Middle-Eastern ingredients like eggplant and dried fruits.
Overall, Whole Foods seems to be embracing, or at least forecasting, a move toward more sustainable plant-based foods and conveniently packaged, nutritionally dense meals, all of which are probably being loaded onto Jeff Bezos's spaceship as we speak.