The 10 Biggest Healthy Food Trends For 2018, According To Whole Foods

Pana Chocolate Parfaits, 2018 Foods Trends Report Whole Foods
Image: @veganfoodspot

It goes without saying, if it’s stocked on the shelves at Whole Foods, it has a place in our pantry. The giant supermarket chain is every American’s one-stop-shop for all things healthy.
But while you may think a product is new when you spot it in the store, WFM had it planned for quite some time (they have to think pretty far ahead, you know?).
As we’re gearing up for the end of the year, Whole Foods is looking to the future. The global buyers and trendy experts recently got together to predict what’s hot and what’s not in the year ahead and they just dropped their food trends report for 2018.
Here’s what will be filling their shelves—and your plates—next year.

Floral flavours

It’s not unusual to be treated to a mini garden atop your café pancakes or fine dining dinner but when you’re wolfing down a grab-and-go bagel? Not so much. Well, that’s about to change. Expect to see floral flavours a lot next year. From adding petals to your dishes to infusing botanical flavours into drinks and snacks, this trend is set to delight multiple senses (they’re just so darn pretty). But it’s not all about aesthetics—flowers such as lavender, elderflower and rose have some potent therapeutic effects, too. Look out for more iced hibiscus tea, elderflower sparkling drinks and rose-everything, the trendsetters say.

Super powders


It doesn’t take a genius to realise that the world is driven by convenience and when choosing between eating 10 servings of kale and mixing a teaspoon of “daily greens” into our post-workout shake, we know which one we’d go for. So it’s no surprise that we’ll be packing more mason jars full of powders in 2018.
The usual culprits—think matcha, maca and cacao—are set to become even more popular and turmeric may remain the golden boy, but there’ll be some new players too. Expect a lot more from the world of edible beauty, interesting new proteins (hemp, anyone?), and even products that combine them both. Along with smoothies and lattes, power powders will be mixed into snack bars, tonics, gummies and more.
Try the trend: Do beauty supplements actually work? Read our writer’s honest review of one of American’s most popular brands. And pick up some of Pressed Juicery’s green gummy bears while you’re at it.

Functional mushrooms

It looks like the West is finally cottoning on to the true magical properties of this underrated vegetable. While you may think of mushrooms for their more common varieties—like shiitake and mushroom, for instance—there is a whole world of functional mushies with medicinal potential. Along with reishi, expect to see chaga, cordyceps and lion’s mane sprouting onto the scene in the form of powders, broths, bottled drinks, lattes and even skin care.

Feast from the Middle East


As long as humans have taste buds, hummus and falafel will be on trend, but according to the report, we’ll be dipping much deeper into the regional nuances of Middle Eastern cuisines, with Persian, Israeli, Moroccan, Syrian and Lebanese influences rising to the top. Spices like za’atar and harissa will become mainstream; tahini will appear on more menus and with more people adopting a plant-based diet, we’ll see eggplant and chickpeas hero the dish.
Try the trend: Make your own insanely delicious falafels from this recipe. 

Transparency in product labelling

More than ever before, people want to know what’s in the products they’re buying—what they’re putting on their skin and into their mouths. With a rising paddock to plate philosophy, consumers are not only concerned with GMO and pesticides but responsible practices, too. In 2018, we’ll be picking up more certified organic, cruelty-free and Fair Trade products and Whole Foods is leading the way.
“1) In January 2018, all canned tuna in our stores will come from sustainable one-by-one catch methods; 2) In September 2018, labels will provide GMO transparency on all items in stores; and 3) Dishes from Whole Foods Market food bars and venues are now labeled with calorie information,” the report reads.
Try the trend: spruce up on your label decoding by checking out these six things to look for. 

Puffed and popped snacks

Monday #MealPrep with #HIPPEAS 🍽️

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It’s not just cereal that’s getting snapped, crackled and popped anymore. Thanks to new processing methods, ingredients like seaweed, quinoa and fava can now be puffed and popped without the help of omega 6-filled oils so you can get your snacks without the side of inflammation. Along with rice crispies, you can expect popped cassava chips, puffed pasta bow ties and even seaweed fava chips. Not to mention, classic chips are getting a healthy fry up with better-for-you bites like jicama, parsnip or brussel sprouts.
Try the trend: make these healthy root vegetable chips.

Tacos are coming out of their shell

While some of you may opt for the taco-less taco already, 2018 is set to bring something more enticing than lettuce as tacos are shedding their shell for new kinds of wrappers and fillings. Expect to see tacos in all varieties—like poké-filled seaweed wrappers—on menus from breakfast to dessert. While they’re getting less authentic in one regard, they’re getting more so, too, with companies emerging that follow traditional Mexican practices (like ) so don’t fear, the traditional taco isn’t going anywhere. And anyway, por que no los dos?
Try the trend: whip up this healthy taco bowl in just 15-minutes or check our these 11 tasty tacos for filling inspiration.

Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles

Served.

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We know what you’re thinking, champagne just got healthy! Right? Not quite. Fizzy drinks are making a comeback, but not as you know them. LaCroix may have started the trend but there are a number of new players emerging to spritz our summer afternoons. Expect flavoured sparkling waters—like Sap!, made with maple and birch and new Mount Franklin Lightly Sparking cans with zero-sugar—fizzy tonics and even ACV-infused prebiotic drinks. They’re perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up … or weekend mixer, if you know what we mean? Just don’t call them “soda”—they’re a far cry from their sugary predecessors.
Try the trend: Check out these 3 new fizzy drinks that aren’t kombucha.

Root-to-stem

Nose to tail butchery has been popular with adventurous chefs for quite some time and now, root-to-stem vegetables are following suit. Another initiative from the all-important-anti-food-waste-movement, producers are using the entire fruit or vegetable in cooking and products. While it’s a win for #zerowaste, it’s introducing consumers to new flavours too—like beet-green pesto and broccoli stem slaw.
Try the trend: 11 easy life hacks to reduce waste and save $$.

High-tech faux meat

It’s no surprise that veganism is becoming more popular. Along with supporting animal welfare, it’s recently come to light in mainstream media just how much better it is for the environment. And with delicious meat-free delis popping up all over town, it’s easier than ever to say sayonara salami. But if you’re planning to make the switch or still missing your meat, 2018 will bring new plant-based alternatives like “bleeding” vegan burgers and sushi-grade faux tuna. Plus, new production techniques are allowing for new milks and yoghurts made from pili nuts, peas (which is a whole lot higher in protein than almond), bananas, and pecans.
Try the trend: Make one of these 9 tasty veggie burgers or try these pulled jackfruit tacos and funky green tacos. 

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