Our Top Food Trends for 2018

We asked Whole Foods Market’s global buyers and experts and other trend-spotting industry leaders to predict the hottest trends that’ll sweep the nation in 2018.

What will everyone be eating (and tweeting about) in 2018? Time will tell — but if you can’t wait, our annual trend forecast has the delicious scoop! We asked Whole Foods Market's global buyers and experts and other trend-spotting industry leaders to predict the hottest trends that’ll sweep the nation next year.
…and they did not disappoint. Read on see the top picks that’ll take off in 2018, and find a store near you to try these daring trends yourself.

1. Floral Flavors

Floral inspiration is finally in full bloom. From adding whole flowers and petals into dishes to infusing botanical flavors into drinks and snacks, this top trend makes for a subtly sweet taste and fresh aromatics. 
Try the Trend: 

  • 365 Everyday Value Lavender Lemon Granola

  • GoodPop Hibiscus Mint Frozen Pop

  • 365 Everyday Value Raspberry Geranium Fruit Bars

  • Belvoir Fruit Farms Elderflower Lemonade

  • Whole Foods Market Dark Chocolate Violet Marshmallow


2. Super Powders

Because they’re so easy to incorporate, powders have found their way into lattés, smoothies, nutrition bars, soups and baked goods — including matcha, maca root, cacao and the age-old ground turmeric powder (the ever-popular spice used in Ayurvedic medicine).
Smoothie fans are also raising a glass to powders like spirulina, kale, herbs and roots for an oh-so-green vibrancy that needs no Instagram filter. Even protein powders have evolved beyond bodybuilders to pack in new nutrients like skin- and hair-enhancing collagen.  
Try the Trend: 

  • Gaia Herbs Golden Milk with Turmeric, Dates and Herbs

  • Amazing Grass Protein Superfood

  • RX Bars (made with powdered egg-white protein)

  • Whole Foods Market Spirulina Powder

  • Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides

  • MatchaBar Bottled Beverages

3. Functional Mushrooms

Shoppers are buzzing about functional mushrooms, which are traditionally used to support wellness as an ingredient in dietary supplements. Now, varieties like reishi, chaga, cordyceps and lion’s mane star in bottled drinks, coffees, smoothies and teas. The rich flavors also lend themselves to mushroom broths, while the earthy, creamy notes pair well with cocoa, chocolate or coffee flavors. Body care is hot on this mushroom trend, too!
Try the Trend:

  • Om Reishi Mushroom Powder

  • Kettle & Fire Mushroom Chicken Bone Broth

  • Rebbl Reishi Beverages (in flavors like chocolate and cold brew)

  • Alaffia Coconut Reishi Chai Shower Gel and haircare

Middle Eastern-inspired grocery items

4. Feast from the Middle East

Middle Eastern culinary influences have made their way west for years, and 2018 will bring these tasty traditions into the mainstream. Flavors of harissa, cardamom and za’atar are hitting more menus, as well as dishes like shakshuka, grilled halloumi and lamb. Other trending Middle Eastern ingredients include pomegranate, eggplant, cucumber, parsley, mint, tahini, tomato jam and dried fruits.
Try the Trend: 

  • Saffron Road Falafel Crunchy Chickpeas

  • Seed + Mill Tahini and Halva (Whole Foods Market Bryant Park)

  • Aphrodite Halloumi

  • 365 Everyday Value Organic Tahini

Grocery items

5. Transparency 2.0

People want to know the real story behind their food, and how that item made its way from the source to the store. Transparency is top-of-mind, but shoppers seek out other details, too, such as Fair Trade certification, responsible production and animal welfare standards. 
Try the Trend: 

  • Pole & Line Canned Albacore Tuna

  • Animal Welfare Certified Fresh Meat and Poultry

  • Non-GMO Project Verified Products (or go for organic, which also means non-GMO)

  • Fair Food Certified Tomatoes and Strawberries

  • 365 Everyday Value Cage-Free Plus Eggs

  • Labels on all seafood in Whole Foods Market seafood department indicate sustainably wild-caught or Responsibly Farmed


High-tech plant-forward foods

6. High-Tech Goes Plant-Forward

Using science to advance recipes and manipulate plant-based ingredients and proteins, foodmakers have created mind-bending alternatives like “bleeding” vegan burgers, sushi-grade “not-tuna” made from tomatoes, new varieties of nut milks and yogurts, and dairy-free indulgences like vegan frosting, brownies and crème brûlée. 
Try the Trend: 

  • Beyond Meat Burger

  • Ocean Hugger Foods Ahimi Vegan Tuna (select Whole Foods Market stores in New York and Los Angeles)

  • Ripple Pea Milks

  • Kite Hill Dairy-Free Cheeses and Yogurts

Puffed and popped snacks

7. Puffed & Popped Snacks

Everybody loves a crunchy snack, but new extrusion methods (ways of processing and combining ingredients), have paved the way for popped cassava chips, puffed pasta bow ties, seaweed fava chips and puffed rice clusters. And good-old-fashioned chips also get an upgrade as part of the trend, with better-for-you bites like jicama, parsnip or Brussels sprout crisps.
Try the Trend:

  • Dang Sticky Rice Chips

  • JicaChips (in six flavors)

  • 365 Everyday Value Organic Pea Crisps 

  • Unreal Dark Chocolate Crispy Quinoa Gems

Taco makings

8. Tacos Come Out of Their Shell

This street-food star is no longer limited to a tortilla, or to savory recipes: Tacos are showing up for breakfast, and trendy restaurants across the country have dessert variations opens in a new tab. Most of all, tacos are shedding their shell for new kinds of wrappers and fillings – think seaweed wrappers with poke filling. 
Classic tacos aren’t going anywhere, but greater attention to ingredients is upping their game. One end of the spectrum is hyper-authentic cooking with things like heirloom corn tortillas or classic barbacoa. And thanks to brands like Siete, there are grain-free options for paleo fans too. Taco ‘bout options!
Try the Trend: 


9. Root-to-Stem

Between nose-to-tail butchery and reducing food waste, a few forces are combining to inspire root-to-stem cooking, which makes use of the entire fruit or vegetable, including the stems or leaves that are less commonly eaten. 
Try the Trend: 

  • Root-to-Stem Salad Bar Items (featuring Brussels sprouts, broccoli and other seasonal varieties)

  • Melon Seed Agua Fresca

  • Bagged Broccoli Slaw

Sparkling beverages

10. Say Cheers to the Other Bubbly

LaCroix may have paved the way, but now there’s an entire booming category of sparkling beverages vying for consumer attention. Flavored sparkling waters like plant-derived options from Sap! (made with maple and birch) and sparkling cold brew from Stumptown are shaking up a fizzy fix. 
Shoppers are also toasting mocktail must-haves like Topo Chico and Whole Foods Market Lime Mint Elderflower Italian Sparkling Mineral Water. 
Try the Trend: 

  • Waterloo Sparkling Water

  • Sap! Maple and Birch Sparkling Waters and Seltzers

  • Stumptown Sparkling Cold Brew (Original, Honey Lemon and Ginger Citrus)

  • Whole Foods Market Italian Sparkling Mineral Waters (Citrus Blend, Lemon, Strawberry, Lime, Lemon Raspberry, Grapefruit and Lime Mint Elderflower flavors)

  • 365 Everyday Value Canned Sparkling Water (Pure, Lime, Lemon, Orange and Grapefruit flavors)

Read more about what TIME opens in a new tab, Fortune opens in a new tab, Food & Wine opens in a new tab and Well+Good opens in a new tab are saying about our 2018 Trends Forecast!

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