There are about two months remaining in 2017, and retailers are preparing for the Thanksgiving and winter holiday seasons. However, savvy industry members are also looking to what will be hot in 2018, and Whole Foods Market is supplying some food for thought regarding food trends in the new year.
The recently-acquired food retailer published a list of ten trends it believes will play heavily in 2018. The company noted floral flavors, super powders and functional mushrooms are are the top three food trends for the coming year. Other popular foods will include Middle Eastern flavors, high-tech plant-based alternatives, puffed snacks and flavored sparkling waters.
One unique aspect of the listing was number 5: Transparency 2.0. Instead of focusing on specific product types, Whole Foods Market wrote:
"More is more when it comes to product labeling. Consumers want to know the real story behind their food, and how that item made its way from the source to the store. GMO transparency is top-of-mind, but shoppers seek out other details, too, such as Fair Trade certification, responsible production and animal welfare standards. At Whole Foods Market, this plays out in several ways, starting with these three happening in 2018: 1) In January 2018, all canned tuna in our stores will come from sustainable one-by-one catch methods; 2) In September 2018, labels will provide GMO transparency on all items in stores; and 3) Dishes from Whole Foods Market food bars and venues are now labeled with calorie information. The FDA’s deadline for nutrition labeling is among the first regulatory steps for greater transparency, but expect consumers and brands to continue leading the way into a new era of product intel."
Year to year, industry trends can be hit or miss. However, transparency seems to be a major player in the food industry as of late, and it will only get more important as consumers demand to know what is in their food.
As the end of 2017 approaches, more 2018 trends lists will emerged. Stay tuned to the Food Institute to stay on top of them all.