It is getting to be that time of year again...We begin to look back on our time spent within the past 10 months and to make plans for January 1st’s new beginnings. In a recent press release, Whole Foods Market announced that its global buyers and experts have created a list for the most anticipated trends in the food industry for 2018. Unlike our personal resolutions, which can sometimes feel daunting as plans to achieve them are made come December, business resolutions are broken down into 10 easy-to-digest points of reference for businesses to see what lies ahead of us in the coming year.
Festive and Floral
Flowers are reaching beyond the centerplace this coming year, as edible flowers step onto plates to make dinner dishes bloom. The fresh trend highlights subtly sweet tastes and aromatic experiences. Edible flowers can be used in place of herbs for some recipes or added to cafe- favorites. Whole Foods’ experts call elderflower the MVP (most valuable petal) for cocktails, so keep that one in your back pocket come holiday party season.
Powders are an easy way for customers to incorporate an energy and healthy boost into their daily lives. Blending nicely with lattés, smoothies, nutrition bars, soups and baked goods, powders have nestled their way into every snack or meal. Some powders to showcase to your customers are matcha, maca root, and cacao for energy boosts; ground turmeric for medicinal purposes; spirulina, kale, herbs, and roots for smoothies; and protein powders for new nutrients and skin- and hair-lengthening collagen.
Varieties of the traditionally wellness-supportive ingredient are making headlines as more than a dietary supplement. Reishi, chaga, cordyceps, and lion’s mane are starring in products throughout the industry, such as bottled drinks, coffees, smoothies, and teas. Mushroom broth is another way to use these varieties in new ways while preserving the earthy, creamy notes. Lastly, be prepared to see these fungi in your body care, as they are showing up in soaps, hair care, and more.
Middle East Feast
2018 is set to see an increase in the influence of Middle Eastern tastes. Traditional items, such as hummus, pitas, and falafels, are easy transition points for new-to-the-scene customers, but those more experienced in the seemingly endless variety of spice-filled dishes hailing from Middle Eastern cultures, spices like harissa, cardamon, and za’atar are making their way into the spotlight. Eggplant, pomegranate, cucumber, parsley, mint, tahini, tomato jam, and dried fruits are also ways to infuse the tasty scents of the Middle East into homes everywhere.
Transparency for Product and Production
If customers are what they eat, it seems as though they feel like it is high time they get to know what that is exactly. Customers are looking forward to getting to know their food much better this coming year, as they focus more on product labeling and the stories behind their food. GMO transparency is first on the list to check off for your business, but Fair Trade certifications, production responsibility, and animal welfare standards are also high-ranking in what customers are looking at when making dinner-time decisions.
Plant-Based Taste and Technology
Combining nature with technology is another top trend. Plant-based diets are gaining popularity, and now science has advanced recipes and manipulated plant-based ingredients and proteins. To confuse fact with fiction, “bleeding” vegan burgers and “not-tuna” sushi from tomatoes are some alternatives for consumers. Nut milks and yogurts are also going to be updated this coming year to keep up with the rising interest in the plant-based lifestyle their consumers love.
Popped cassava chips, puffed pasta bow ties, seaweed fava chips, and puffed rice clusters are just some of the examples of how the term “crunchy” is getting revamped. New ways to chow down on crispy treats are jicama, parsnip, and Brussels sprout versions of the always-delicious and easy-to-eat chip.
Taco-bout a Trend
Taco Tuesdays have broadened their horizon to include all days ending in Y. Latin American influences are also coming in all shapes and sizes, with breakfast tacos and dessert tacos to name a few. But, not only is our tasty taco showing up on our plates at different times of the day, it is also coming dressed for success with health-enthusiasts. Seaweed wrappers for poke tacos is just one way that tacos are making things work in their favor. While you don’t have to say goodbye to your go-to favorite recipe, make room for new varieties to hit the market.
Customers are starting to like the whole package. Whole Foods’ experts is reporting that consumers want to use everything their food has to offer, from the fruit or vegetable itself to the stem and leaves that top them. They want to eat everything their produce has to offer, and this trend works great for recipes, such as pickled watermelon rinds, beet-green pesto, and broccoli-stem slaw. Adventurous consumers are looking for new and innovative ways to use all of the produce they take home from the market.
Popping bubbly is a phrase that will outlast midnight’s shouts on New Year’s Eve. Sparkling beverages are booming, and consumers can’t get enough. Flavored sparkling waters are quickly becoming a fan-favorite for customers looking for everyday bubbly options or ways to spruce up their cocktails.
Thanks to the findings by experts employed by Whole Foods, these are just some ideas your business can capitalize on the incoming year’s trends. To stay in-the-know, keep checking back with us at Deli Market News!