Whole Foods Market's Trends Council foresees CPG natural foods featuring upcycled ingredients, natural sweeteners and meats raised with animal welfare in mind.

October 20, 2022

9 Min Read
Whole Foods Market forecasts top 10 food trends for 2023
Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods Market's Trends Council unveiled its top 10 anticipated food trends for 2023 in the retailer's eighth annual trends predictions. Yaupon-infused beverages, produce-packed pastas, repurposed pulp and climate-conscious callouts are among the food trends expected to rise in popularity in the next year.

Each year, the Trends Council—a collective of more than 50 Whole Foods Market team members, including local foragers, regional and global buyers, and culinary experts—compile trend predictions based on decades of experience and expertise in product sourcing and studying consumer preferences, as well as in-depth workshopping with emerging and existing brands.

"Our trends predictions are an exciting look at where we believe both product innovation and customer preferences are headed in the coming year. We anticipate seeing these trends in the food industry at large, on dinner tables, in lunch boxes and on our store shelves," said Sonya Gafsi Oblisk, chief marketing officer at Whole Foods Market. "We're thrilled to see things like baked goods with upcycled pulp from plant-based milks and ingredients like farmed kelp continue to gain popularity. From product labels that include sustainability efforts to poultry and egg suppliers that are leading the way in animal welfare, many of this year's trends predictions showcase brands on a mission to make a true impact. We look forward to watching these trends come to life in our aisles in 2023."

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New brew: Yaupon

Yaupon is a holly bush found in the southeastern United States and happens to be North America's only known native caffeinated plant. Indigenous Americans brewed it into herbal tea and prepared it as a "black drink" consumed during purification rituals. With its mild, earthy flavor and unique benefits, yaupon has become increasingly popular. In Austin, home of Whole Foods Market headquarters, bartenders are even experimenting with yaupon on cocktail menus.

Try the trend: Greenbelt Kombucha: Elderberry Sangria Yaupon Kombucha, Grapefruit Paloma Yaupon Kombucha, Juniper & Tonic Yaupon Kombucha, New Fashioned Kombucha; CatSpring Yaupon: Pedernales Green Yaupon Tea, Lost Maples Medium Roast Yaupon, Marfa Dark Roast Yaupon; Yaupon Brothers: Lavender Coconut Tea, Florida Chai Tea, American Green Tea; Lost Pines: Basil Lemon Yaupon Tea Concentrate, Mint Lemon Yaupon Tea Concentrate, Dark Roast Yaupon Tea Bags, Light Roast Yaupon Tea Bags; Local Leaf: Yaupon Matcha Powder.

Pulp with purpose

One in three consumers uses a nondairy milk alternative at least once a week according to a recent poll from Morning Consult. But what about the often-wasted by-products of their production? TikTok creators are exploring ways to use leftover nut and oat pulp at home, and we're now seeing an influx of brands begin to innovate in the space too. By upcycling by-products like oat, soy and almond pulp, brands are creating new products for the modern baker — think alternative flours, baking mixes and ready-to-eat sweets.

Try the trend: Whole Foods Market Gluten Free Baking Mixes (made with okara flour): Dark Chocolate Brownie, Almond Coconut Sugar Cake, Orange Olive Oil Cake; Renewal Mill: Oat Milk Flour, Oat Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix.

Produce meets pasta

First it was chickpea pasta, then cauliflower gnocchi. And who could forget zoodles? Now there's a new crop of plant-based pasta alternatives to help everyone increase their veggie and fruit intake, with ingredients like spaghetti squash, hearts of palm and even green bananas. Whether you're looking for a special diet substitute, a way to incorporate more produce into your diet, or simply want to try something new, these new plant-powered pasta alternatives offer something for everyone.

Try the trend: Solely: Green Banana Fusilli, Organic Spaghetti Squash Pasta; Jovial: Cassava Spaghetti, Cassava Orzo; Whole Foods Market Hearts of Palm Linguine.

The great date

In spring 2022, dates went viral on TikTok after a creator shared a Snickers-like recipe using the fruit. But the craze for dates isn't new—they've been cultivated and enjoyed since the days of ancient Mesopotamia. Now, thousands of years later, the dehydrated fruit often referred to as "nature's candy" is having a major renaissance as a sweetener—not only for at-home bakers, but also in the form of pastes and syrups, and hidden in everything from ketchup to overnight oats. With a classic caramel note we can all get behind, dates are having their moment.

Try the trend: Just Date Syrup; Let's Date Organic Date Sugar; MUSH Overnight Oats: Vanilla Bean, Dark Chocolate, Coffee Coconut, Peanut Butter Swirl; Good Food For Good: Organic Classic Ketchup, Organic Classic BBQ Sauce; Yellowbird Organic Hot Sauce: Habanero, Serrano, Sriracha, Ghost Pepper; Date Cardamom; 365 by Whole Foods Market: Chewy Protein Bites Coconut & Macadamia, Cinnamon & Apple; Maxine's Heavenly Cookies: Chocolate Chunk, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip; Cerebelly Smart Bars: Carrot Raisin, Apple Kale, Strawberry Beet, Blueberry Banana Sweet Potato; Pop & Bottle: Vanilla Oat Milk Latte, Mocha Oat Milk Latte, Thai Tea Almond Latte, Matcha Green Tea Almond Latte, Cacao Almond Latte.

A poultry revolution

More and more consumers believe chickens should be able to act like chickens, so they're prioritizing welfare when shopping for both poultry and eggs. Global Animal Partnership (G.A.P.) is implementing a new initiative, The Better Chicken Project, to help improve the birds' lives as well as the quality of the chicken we eat. Additionally, animal welfare is continuing to trend in chicken eggs, and we are here for it. Egg producers in the dairy case at Whole Foods Market are surpassing the retailer's better-than-cage-free Animal Welfare Standards for Laying Hens, with even more focus on outdoor time.

Try the trend: Vital Farms Organic Restorative Eggs; Alexandre Kids Regenerative Organic Eggs; Wilcox Family Farms: Pasture Raised Omega-3 Large Brown Eggs, Organic Medium Brown Eggs, Free Range Large Brown Eggs, Free Range Large White Eggs; 365 by Whole Foods Market Outdoor Access Eggs; Mary's Pasture Raised Slow-Growth Heirloom Chicken; LaBelle Patrimoine Heritage and Slow Growing Breed Chicken; Whole Foods Market G.A.P.'s Better Chicken Project Certified Pasture Raised Whole Chicken.

Help from kelp

In its original form, kelp can absorb carbon in the atmosphere, making kelp farming more important than ever in the age of climate consciousness. Kelp grows quickly, doesn't require freshwater or added nutrients, and is nutritious and versatile in food products—we're seeing it in noodles, chips, fish-free "fish" sauce and beyond. As consumers seek out alternative ingredients and experiment with new flavors, kelp-inspired foods are gaining popularity.

Try the trend: 12 Tides Organic Puffed Kelp Chips: Sea Salt, Everything; Sea Tangle Noodle Company Kelp Noodles; Ocean's Halo: Kombu, Vegan Fish Sauce, No Chicken Broth Pods, No Beef Broth Pods, Pho Broth, Miso Broth, Ramen Broth, Vegan Big Noodle Bowls (Beef, Chicken, Thai Coconut); Atlantic Sea Farms Sea-Chi; Maine Coast Organic Kelp Granules.

Climate-conscious callouts

Climate consciousness is more relevant than ever, and as a result, brands are working to improve the impact of food and beverage production. Across the aisles, products are using their labels to talk about sustainability efforts in a time when consumers expect brands and retailers to do more related to carbon and climate. Whole Foods Market has a team of experts who take the lead on setting our rigorous quality standards, providing guidance around this ever-evolving topic to help customers have confidence in what they see on product labels.

Try the trend: Moonshot Snacks: Sourdough Sea Salt Crackers, Rosemary Garlic Crackers, Margherita Pizza Crackers; Neutral: Carbon Neutral Organic Whole Milk, Carbon Neutral Organic 2% Milk; Field Roast: Miniature Corn Dogs, Buffalo Wings; Natreve: Vegan Protein Powder French Vanilla Wafer Sundae, Vegan Protein Powder Fudge Brownie, Vegan Protein Powder Strawberry Shortcake; Bonterra Organic Estates: Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé.

Retro remix

Mac and cheese, pizza bites, classic old-school cereals and more: Everyone craves the occasional comfort of a meal from childhood. According to Mintel Global Consumer research, 73% of U.S. consumers enjoy things that remind them of their past, setting the stage for these nostalgic treats to go mainstream. The twist? Retro products are being reinvented with consideration for the wellness-conscious customer, creating the ultimate mash-up of throwback indulgences with better ingredients and special diets in mind.

Try the trend: Goodles: Cheddy Mac, Vegan is Believin', Twist My Parm; Poppi Prebiotic Soda: Classic Cola, Root Beer; Feel Good Foods Mac & Cheese Bites; Three Wishes Cereal: Frosted, Fruity, Cinnamon, Honey; Simple Mills: Cocoa Cashew Crème Nut Butter Stuffed Sandwich Cookies, Creamy Peanut Butter Nut Butter Stuffed Sandwich Cookies; 365 by Whole Foods Market: S'mores Granola, Birthday Blondie Almondmilk Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert; Milk Bar: Fruity Cereal Cookies, Confetti Cookies; Annie's Homegrown: Three Cheese Pizza Poppers, Mini Pizza Bagels.

Only the finest for Fido

More than 23 million American households adopted a pet during the pandemic, according to the ASPCA. Now, with a return to the office for many pet parents, a focus on Fido's wellness and palate is more important than ever. Pet supplements like bone broth have exploded onto the scene, and pet food recipes are dialing up the deliciousness. Plus, all pet food and supplements at Whole Foods Market are required to meet the retailer's industry-leading quality standards for ingredients, making well-being easy for shoppers' furry friends.

Try the trend: Portland Pet Food Company: Brew Biscuits with Bacon, Brew Biscuits with Beef Broth, Brew Biscuits with Pumpkin, Tuxedo's Chicken & Yams Homestyle Dog Meal, Hopkins' Pork N' Potatoes Homestyle Dog Meal, Rosie's Beef N' Rice Homestyle Dog Meal; Bixbi Liberty: Hip & Joint Chicken Jerky Treats, Hip & Joint Beef Liver Jerky Treats; Osso Good Organic Bone Broths for Dogs and Cats, available in Chicken or Beef; Whole Paws by Whole Foods Market: Grass-Fed Lamb and Garbanzo Grain-Free Dog Food, Chicken & Quinoa Ancient Grain Dog Food, Grain-Free Ocean-Caught Whitefish and Sweet Potato Dog Food.

Avocado oil craze

A staple on natural grocery shelves for years, avocado oil is finally going mainstream in packaged products across the board. It has some big positive attributes, including high oleic fatty acid content and a high smoke point, to thank for its popularity. Taking the place of other oils like canola and safflower oil in snacks, mayonnaise, ready-to-eat meals and more, avocado oil is sure to stick around.

Try the trend: Boulder Canyon Potato Chips: Classic Sea Salt, Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper, Classic Sea Salt Multipack, Thin & Crispy Sea Salt, Thin & Crispy Cheddar Sour Cream, Thin & Crispy Jalapeño, and Boulder Batch Seasonal Flavors; Siete Foods: Grain Free Tortilla Chips (Sea Salt, Lime, Nacho), Potato Chips (Fuego, Queso, Chipotle BBQ); gimMe Seaweed Snacks Sea Salt & Avocado Oil; Chosen Foods: Classic Avocado Oil Mayo, Vegan Avocado Oil Mayo; Primal Kitchen: Garlic Aioli Real Mayonnaise Made with Avocado Oil, Chipotle Lime Real Mayonnaise Made with Avocado Oil, Tartar Sauce Made with Avocado Oil, Greek Vinaigrette and Marinade Made with Avocado Oil, Honey Mustard Vinaigrette and Marinade Made with Avocado Oil.

Source: Whole Foods Market

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