The Top 10 Food Trends for 2023, According to Whole Foods
In 2022 we got cinnamon roll hacks, a now-debunked celeb salad, and butter boards galore, but we’re already wondering what’s in store for 2023. According to Whole Foods Market, a lot of new and returning trends are on the horizon, including avocado oil, dates, yaupon-infused beverages, and upcycled pulp (which is tastier than it sounds).
The grocer just released its annual list of the most anticipated food trends, which were compiled by dozens of Whole Foods team members, including local foragers, regional and global buyers, and culinary experts. The team, known as the Trends Council, makes these 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.”
And for the second time, Whole Foods is bringing back the Trends Discovery Box, a curated assortment of 10 products to represent each of the 10 trends in the forecast. It’s available for purchase starting today for a limited time. Let’s take a look at what the year ahead — and these boxes — have to offer.
Buy: Whole Foods Market Trends Discovery Box, $30
A natural sweetener and an ingredient that’s often found in smoothies, salads, and snacks, this dried fruit has been beloved around the world for centuries. According to the Trends Council, though, we’ll be able to find it in even more foods and drinks this year. Try Just Date Syrup swirled into oatmeal or yogurt, or Yellowbird Organic Hot Sauces — in flavors like Habanero, Serrano, Sriracha, and Ghost Pepper — drizzled over roasted Brussels sprouts.
2. Retro Remix
If you’ve noticed a renaissance of throwback groceries, you’re in good company. According to Mintel Global Consumer research, 73% of U.S. consumers enjoy things that remind them of their past, but this time around we’ll see these nostalgic foods — mac and cheese, sodas, cereals — with an updated ingredient list, like fewer artificial flavors or colorings and with special diets in mind. The shelves are packed with these new-school products, including Goodles mac and cheeses (a Kitchn Essentials winner), Poppi classic cola prebiotic soda, and Three Wishes grain-free cereals in frosted, fruity, cinnamon, and honey flavors.
3. A Poultry Revolution
More and more consumers are taking stock of how the chickens they eat are raised, and we’re seeing a growing list of companies, including Mary’s Free Range Chickens and LaBelle Patrimoine Heritage Chicken, prioritize the welfare of their animals. Egg producers in the dairy case at Whole Foods, like Vital Farms, are also stretching beyond the grocer’s better-than-cage-free Animal Welfare Standards for Laying Hens, with even more focus on outdoor time for the birds.
4. Climate-Conscious Callouts
In the last few years, sustainability has become more of a priority for shoppers, paving the way for the increase in climate-conscious callouts across a widening array of products, like Moonshot, a carbon-neutral company (and repeat Kitchn Essentials winner) that works with regenerative farmers to create climate-friendly crackers. Expect to see even more products (including dairy, alcohol, and plant-based products) touting these efforts on their labels, including how ingredients are sourced and processed, as well as the carbon footprint.
It’s taken a bit longer than expected for kelp to catch on in the U.S., but according to the trends team, its time has come. Not only does kelp remove carbon from the ocean and absorb excess nitrogen, creating a healthier habitat for marine life, but it also takes very few resources to grow — and we should all be eating more of it. Find it in 12 Tides crunchy kelp chips, Ocean’s Halo vegan instant noodle bowls, and Maine Coast Organic Kelp Granules, which can be used as you would table salt.
6. Produce-Packed Pasta
Cauliflower gnocchi, zucchini noodles, and other plant-based pastas have been popular for the last decade or so, and now other veggies want in on the saucy, cheesy, garlicky action. Expect ingredients like cassava spaghetti (Jovial), hearts of palm linguine (Whole Foods), and even green banana fusilli (Solely) to vie for the prime real estate in our pantries.
As we approach our 2030 deadline to cut food loss and waste in half, we’re seeing more and more brands and retailers finding ways to repurpose (or upcycle) production byproducts, particularly those that are created when making plant-based milks. You’ll find totally new groceries made from almond, oat, and soy pulp on shelves in the year ahead, including flours, baking mixes, and baked goods from Whole Foods and Renewal Mill.
8. Avocado Oil
Avocado oil’s nutty flavor and buttery texture has made it a staple on shelves for years. And in 2023, it’s popping up in several other sections of the supermarket, making its way into salad dressings, mayo, chips, and more. Look for it in updated classics, like Chosen Foods mayo, Primal Kitchen Greek dressing, and Siete Queso Kettle Cooked Potato Chips.
A holly bush found in the southeastern United States, Yaupon is North America’s only known native caffeinated plant. Indigenous Americans brewed it into herbal tea, and its mild, earthy flavor has become increasingly popular in teas and non-alcoholic cocktails, like Yaupon Brothers (teas) and Greenbelt (kombuchas). Outside of the grocery store, you may also start seeing it on cocktail menus as bartenders start experimenting with the buzzy plant.
10. Premium Pet Foods
More than 23 million U.S. households adopted a pet during the pandemic, according to the ASPCA, and they aren’t feeding their newest member of the family plain ol’ kibble. Instead, you’ll find both meals and treats with special diets and aging pets in mind, including organic bone broths (Osso Good), hip and joint jerky treats for adult dogs (BIXBI Liberty), and animal-welfare certified meals (Whole Paws by Whole Foods Market).
Which trend are you most excited to try? Tell us in the comments below!