Whole Foods is predicting the future — well, the future of our shopping carts, that is. In the grocery chain’s latest report, they shared the top ten food trends that shoppers will be buying into in 2019, as determined by a team of buyers and experts who study consumer preferences and industry exhibitions. Those trends: Pacific Rim flavors, shelf-stable probiotics, “phat” fats, next-level hemp, faux meat snacks, eco-conscious packaging, unusual frozen treats, marine “munchies,” upgraded snacks and purchases that “empower.” Wellness seems to be a big focus, as well as unusual uses for ingredients sourced from farther afield. (Think: tahini-based soft serve, dried shrimp snacks and kelp noodles.) Here are five of the food trends that might be most surprising to shoppers.
Pacific Rim flavors
These are foods and flavors native to Asia, Oceania and the western coasts of the Americas. On the savory side, that will include items like Filipino pork sausage (called longganisa), dried shrimp and shrimp paste, while on the sweet side, tropical fruits like guava, passionfruit and dragonfruit will loom large.
While cannabis and CBD products are becoming popular, they’re still prohibited in food and body care on the federal level. But other hemp-based products are finding ways into the supermarket aisle in the form of hemp plant stem cells and phytocannabinoids, which are not actually derived from cannabis. And then there are hemp hearts, seeds and oils.
Faux meat snacks
The Impossible Burger has been popping up on hip restaurant menus, so it’s no surprise that non-meat products are also bound to be gaining ground in stores, and not just for vegans and vegetarians. Mushrooms — in particular the king trumpet variety — are a Whole Foods highlight as a pork and bacon alternative.
New frozen treats
Tahini, avocado, hummus and coconut water are getting new exposure as the bases for frozen desserts, like savory soft serves and ice creams. Meanwhile, Asian delicacies like Thai rolled ice cream and mochi and chewy Turkish ice cream are also poised for popularity.
Marine munchies, beyond seaweed
Seaweed snacks are so 2018, apparently. Whole Foods predicts that items like seaweed butter, kelp noodles, salmon skins and kelp jerkies will become more mainstream, while ingredients including water lily seeds, algae, sea fennel and kelp will appear in a number of other snacks, too.