Fresh snacking, plant-based foods beyond soy and regenerative agriculture made the list of Whole Foods Market’s 2020 food trend predictions.
The company noted in a news release that the grab-and-go food category has expanded significantly and will continue to do so.
“The refrigerated section is filling up with the kind of wholesome, fresh snacks typically prepared and portioned in advance at home: hard-boiled eggs with savory toppings, pickled vegetables, drinkable soups and mini dips and dippers of all kinds, all perfectly portioned and in convenient single-serve packaging,” Whole Foods wrote in the release. “Even nutrition bars have made their way from the shelves to the chiller, thanks to the addition of fresh fruits and vegetables. These snacking innovations mean ingredients lists are shrinking and there’s a lot less guesswork in picking up a quick snack you can feel better about.”
Plant-based is another area in which there are more options than ever as companies get creative.
“Some of the products touting ‘no soy’ in the next year will be replacing it instead with innovative blends (like grains and mung beans) to mimic the creamy textures of yogurts and other dairy products,” Whole Foods wrote in the release. “In the supplement aisle, brands are swapping soy for mung bean, hempseed, pumpkin, avocado, watermelon seed and golden chlorella, maintaining the smooth textures in vegan protein powders and bringing a spectrum of plant-based amino acids to the table.
“As the plant-based movement gains traction with flexitarian eaters, brands are looking to avoid as many of the top allergens as possible, so look for plant-based prepared foods (especially meat alternatives) and traditionally soy-based condiments going soy-less,” the company wrote.
Another trend Whole Foods spotlighted was regenerative agriculture.
“In general it describes farming and grazing practices that restore degraded soil, improve biodiversity and increase carbon capture to create long-lasting environmental benefits, such as positively impacting climate change,” the company wrote. “You can help by seeking out brands that support regenerative practices.”
Other trends that could dovetail with produce include meat-plant blends and flours and sugars derived from produce — think cauliflower flour, reductions from fruit like pomegranates, coconuts and dates, and syrups made from sweet potato are a few examples Whole Foods gave.
The full list of 2020 food trends as predicted by the retailer is:
- regenerative agriculture
- flour power
- foods from West Africa
- out-of-the-box, into-the-fridge snacking
- plant-based beyond soy
- everything butters and spreads
- rethinking the kids menu
- not-so-simple sugars
- meat-plant blends
- zero-proof drinks