Whole Foods just released a list of projected food trends for 2018 based on data from its experts and buyers in the food industry. Sounds like some heavy detective work to us, but hey, we'll take it.
So what's going to be the It food next year? Will it be something we can't buy for less than $20 but is somehow all over Instagram? Well, probably. Some things never change. Here's the full list:
1. Floral Everything
Using edible flowers to decorate cakes is nothing new, but you're about to see and taste florals in a whole new way. Get ready for elderflower seltzers and rosé-flavored everything.
3. More Mushrooms
Don't love eating mushrooms? They don't look or taste like mushrooms when they're ground up into a powder. You can put functional mushrooms in pretty much anything: Try drinking them, sprinkling them in your morning coffee, or adding them to broths to get that earthy umami flavor.
4. Middle Eastern Flavors
Hummus and falafel are old friends, but what about other Middle Eastern flavors? Whole Foods predicts Persian, Israeli, Moroccan, Syrian, and Lebanese influences are about to crop up everywhere. Think spices such as harissa, cardamon, and za'atar, and ingredients such as tahini, tomato jam, and halloumi. We've got zero complaints about this one.
5. Transparency 2.0
Knowing that your food came from the shelves of Whole Foods isn't enough anymore—2018 will be the year of knowing *everything.* Like how that package of chicken got to aisle 10 and how many square feet it had to roam during its short but stress-free lifetime.
6. Plant-Based Technology
If you're trying to go plant-based with your diet, good news: Next year will bring all sorts of scientifically manipulated foods that taste like meat but aren't. Plan on seeing more "bleeding" veggie burgers and sushi-grade "not-tuna" (made from tomatoes). You can also expect a wider variety of nut milks and better dairy-free desserts (!!!), so get excited.
7. Puffed and Popped Snacks
New technology means new ways to process ingredients into foods that taste as close to potato chips as possible while remaining lower in sodium and fat. We know, we know, nothing beats classic ruffled potato chips, but up-and-comers like jicama crisps, popped cassava chips, and puffed rice clusters are a lot easier on your body.
8. Taco Fiesta
Taco Tuesday isn't going anywhere. In fact, every night could become taco night with all these new ways to make and enjoy tacos. In 2018, you might be eating them for breakfast or with a lettuce wrap instead of a tortilla. Grain-free and Paleo peeps can also get in on the fun with tortilla alternatives made from coconut flour, almond flour, and more.
9. No Food Left Behind
Food waste is on the decline (hopefully). Nose-to-tail butchery and its vegetable equivalent (using the entire fruit or veg, including the stems and leaves) are on the rise thanks to funky new recipes. Prepare to try things such as pickled watermelon rinds and broccoli-stem slaw in 2018. Sounds strange, but less food waste is something we can always get behind.
10. Bubbly Bevs
Whole Foods thinks sparkling soda will continue to be the It beverage next year, and why not? It's way better for you than sugary sodas and more flavorful than plain water. Plus, sparkling drink options are about to get a lot funkier with plant-derived options and sparkling cold brew (whaaaaat?!). It seems staying hydrated is about to get a whole lot easier.