You may find yourself sipping some surprising beverages in 2018, if Whole Foods’ predictions for the hottest food trends next year come true. Floral influences, such as elderflower and lavender, will increasingly come to teas and sodas, while a growing number of people will incorporate wellness powders — and even ground-up mushrooms — into smoothies and other drinks, according to the grocery chain. In the solid food world, creative veggie options will be the highlight. Here are five of Whole Foods’ predicted food trends for 2018:
Certain varieties of mushrooms have long been used in dietary supplements to support the immune system or boost antioxidant levels. Next year, expect to see mushroom varieties like reishi, chaga and cordyceps infusing your coffee, chocolate, broths and tea, marketed as a way to promote wellness. Apart from eating or drinking the mushrooms, the fungi will also increasingly be used in lines of soaps and hair care, according to Whole Foods.
Engineered plant-based food
As more people gravitate toward plant-based diets, the tech industry is diving into ways to bring meatless products to the table that taste just like the real thing. Expect more foods like the widely buzzed-about “bleeding” vegetarian burgers. Innovations include sushi that uses tomato instead of tuna and dairy-free desserts that get a creamy texture through scientific manipulation of nuts.
2018 will be the year you stop throwing out your carrot stems or other bits and pieces from vegetables formerly thought to be garbage. Instead, you can turn them into treats like pickled watermelon rind, broccoli stem slaw or beet green pesto.
You may have spent years stirring protein powder into your smoothie, but 2018 could be the time to try powders made from spirulina, kale, roots or herbs. Whole Foods says next year will see more growth in the ever-popular turmeric-based drinks, while powders like matcha, maca root and cacao are also increasingly being incorporated into beverages.
If you noticed an uptick in lavender or elderflower flavors in the last year, that trend is not going anywhere. Whole Foods predicts an increase in hibiscus and rose flavors, among other botanical inspirations.
Other food trends on Whole Foods’ top 10 list include companies offering greater transparency about where food comes from, a rise in use of Middle Eastern spices and ingredients, more puffed and popped snacks, non-traditional tacos and a boom in sparkling water.
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