Retailers are always looking to be ahead of the game when it comes to food. Global experts forecast emerging flavors, products, and culinary influences all in the hopes of inspiring innovation.
With that being said, Whole Foods Market’s trend spotters studied consumer preferences and industry exhibitions in order to release its top ten food trends for the coming year. The company’s fourth annual installment finds that Pacific Rim flavors, eco-conscious packaging, and faux meat snacks are among the trends expected to take off in 2019.
Here is the rest of the top ten:
- Pacific Rim Flavors – Flavor inspiration from Asia, Oceania, and the western coasts of North and South America will pop up in restaurants. Vibrant tropical fruits such as jackfruit and guava will be especially popular inclusions.
- Shelf-Stable Probiotics – New strains of probiotics are making more shelf-stable applications possible as they can be found in a wider variety of products.
- Phat Fats – Fats are making a comeback on diets, and they are appearing in creative, convenient foods. Items such as coconut butter–filled chocolates and butter coffee-inspired beverages are bursting onto the scene.
- Next Level Hemp – Hemp has risen in recent years and its many parts are now being used in a variety of foods both sweet and savory. A new interest in the potential benefits of hemp has companies looking for ways to incorporate the plant into products.
- Faux Meat Snacks – Retailers are looking for ways to make more products vegan and vegetarian-friendly. The meat-based snacking world of jerkies and pork rinds is the latest focus. Mushrooms and other vegetables can be reinvented to satisfy these flavor cravings.
- Eco-Conscious Packaging – There have been increased efforts by companies to keep the environment in mind, from banning plastic straws to more reusable packaging.
- Trailblazing Frozen Treats – Frozen food aisles will feature more adventurous flavors. Desserts in particular will take on more global inspirations, such as the mochi and Thai rolled ice cream trends of 2018. Indulgences such as Mexico’s nieves de garrafa and Turkish ice creams might be the next big things in the U.S. market.
- Marine Munchies, Beyond Seaweed – The rise of seaweed snacks in recent years has led to more ocean influence on foods. Sea greens are showing up in products such as seaweed butter and kelp noodles, and snacks such as kelp jerky and puffed snacks made from water lily seeds are being tested as well.
- Snack Time, Upgraded – Snacking has become an occasion, and things like charcuterie or cheese boards have influenced more casual snacks. Portable snack packages will feature bites like prosciutto and aged mozzarella, and artisanal versions of classic snacks like cheese or peanut butter cracker sandwiches.
- Purchases that Empower – Shoppers expect more from the brands and businesses they choose to support. Environmental stewardship and animal welfare will continue to be important, and human equality will become a big factor as well. Brands are focusing on female-led farming cooperatives, consumers will look to support women-owned businesses, and female chefs are getting a spotlight in many different resources.