Here Are the 10 Biggest Food Trends of 2023, According to Whole Foods

We see you, kelp!


Whole Foods

While 2022 was all about non-alcoholic beverages, and bold flavors like yuzu and hibiscus, the folks at Whole Foods are already looking ahead to 2023 and predicting the food trends we will be talking about for many months to come. The retailer just shared its eighth-annual trends predictions, and it looks like next year will be loaded with produce-packed pasta, delicious dates, and climate-conscious callouts from a bevy of brands.

The report, which was released on Oct. 19, was compiled by a Trends Council that consists of more than 50 Whole Foods Market team members. This includes local foragers, regional and global buyers, and culinary experts, who forecast trend predictions based on decades of experience and expertise in product sourcing, as well as studying consumer preferences.

“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,” Sonya Gafsi Oblisk, chief marketing officer at Whole Foods Market, shared in a statement. “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.”

In years past, the Whole Foods team has predicted the rise in popularity of edible items and trends such as reducetarianism, turmeric, and upcycled foods that promote sustainability, so there’s no reason to believe that this crop of predictions won’t be accurate. Keep reading for a list of must-have food items for 2023.

Year of yaupon

For those who aren’t familiar with yaupon, it’s a holly bush found in the southeastern United States, and has the distinction of being North America’s only known native caffeinated plant. Thanks to its mild, earthy flavor and unique benefits, yaupon is rising in popularity. In addition to being brewed in a tea, yaupon has also been popping up in trendy cocktails across the country.

Pulp with purpose

While non-dairy milks are a great alternative to cow’s milk for those with dairy allergies or those who are trying to lead a greener lifestyle, there’s no denying that these dairy-free options often create by-products during the production process that are frequently wasted. As TikTok fans may know, creators on that platform have been exploring ways to use leftover nut and oat pulp at home, and now several brands (including Whole Foods) are following suit. In fact, by upcycling by-products like oat, soy, and almond pulp, companies are creating new products for the modern baker—think alternative flours, baking mixes, and ready-to-eat sweets.

Produce meets pasta

Making pasta out of veggies and other foods is nothing new (hello, chickpea pasta and zucchini noodles!) but there’s a new gaggle of plant-based pasta alternatives that are ready to join the party. Lately, brands have been experimenting with pasta made with hearts of palm, cassava, and even green bananas. 

The great date

In 2022 dates went viral on TikTok when a creator shared a Snickers-like recipe using the fruit, but the date frenzy is nothing new. However, brands are now experimenting with how we enjoy and cook with dates, and using the fruit as a sweetener—not only for at-home bakers, but also in the form of pastes and syrups. By transforming dates into, say, a syrup, we can enjoy them and their caramel notes in everything from ketchup and barbecue sauce to overnight oats.

A poultry revolution

While plant-based eating is on the rise, consumers who still eat meat and animal products are also more cognizant of how some of their favorite products are produced. In fact, 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. Case in point: Global Animal Partnership (GAP) 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, egg producers in the dairy case at Whole Foods Market are stretching beyond the chain’s better-than-cage-free Animal Welfare Standards for Laying Hens, with even more focus on outdoor time.

Help from kelp

Kelp is one of those foods that tastes good and has the ability to help the planet, and brands and consumers alike have taken notice. In its original form, the algae can absorb carbon in the atmosphere. It also grows quickly, and doesn’t require freshwater or added nutrients. Look for the nutritious and increasingly popular food in noodles, chips, fish-free “fish” sauce, and beyond.

Climate-conscious callouts

Climate consciousness is more relevant than ever, and brands are (and have been) pivoting to meet consumers’ needs. To that end, brands are taking to their labels to talk about sustainability efforts, and creating carbon-neutral milk, wine, and more. At Whole Foods Market, there’s even a team of experts who take the lead on setting the brand’s rigorous Quality Standards, providing guidance around this ever-evolving topic to help customers have confidence in what they see on product labels.

Retro remix

According to Mintel Global Consumer research, 73 percent of U.S. consumers enjoy things that remind them of their past, which is why it’s no surprise that foods such as mac and cheese, pizza bites, and old-school cereals are experiencing a boom in popularity. Currently, retro products are being reinvented with consideration for the wellness-conscious customer, yielding the ultimate mash-up of throwback indulgences with better ingredients and special diets in mind. Look out for products such as Goodles vegan mac and cheese, Milk Bar Fruity Cereal Cookies, and more.

Only the finest for Fido

Considering more than 23 million American households adopted a pet during the pandemic, it’s no surprise that many new pet owners are looking to give their furry friends the very best. Pet supplements like bone broth have exploded onto the scene, and pet food recipes are dialing up the deliciousness with grain-fed meat and organic ingredients. Additionally, all pet food and supplements at Whole Foods Market are required to meet the company’s industry-leading Quality Standards for ingredients, making well-being easy for pets nationwide.

Avocado oil for all

According to the Whole Foods team, 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, and has begun to replace other oils in snack foods and condiments. Look for it in Boulder Canyon Potato Chips, Siete Foods Grain Free Tortilla Chips, and more.

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