The Top 10 Health Food Trends Predicted For 2020, According To Whole Foods Market

Words by Julia Giampietro

You know what they say, out with the old and in with the new. Whilst we’re not ready to say goodbye to things like adaptogens, hemp and gut health just yet, there are some new contenders on the block that are about to get quite a lot of airtime, according to the Whole Foods Market annual ‘trends predictor’ report for 2020.

The giant supermarket chain has revealed the most anticipated and innovative foods trends for 2020 and guess what? You might already have discovered some of them through GMB! (*coughs* ahead of the game). 

Compiled by the retailer’s trend-spotters based on more than 100 years of combined experience in product sourcing, consumer preference studies and global food exhibitions, here’s what set to be huge in 2020:

  1. Regenerative Agriculture

bennetto chocolate whole foods market trends

Image: @bennettonaturalfoods

According to the wholefoods report, whilst the term “regenerative agriculture” can have many definitions, it generally describes farming and grazing practices that restore degraded soil, improve biodiversity and minimise carbon footprint. Expect to see more food brands like Bennetto Natural Foods making it their business to help tackle the effects of climate change through both environmentally-friendly processes and packaging.

Try the trend: Bennetto Certified Organic Chocolate (carbon-neutral)

  1. Alternative flours

cauliflower flour whole food trends

Image: @pompompaddock

Chances are you've already come across flour made from things like cauliflower and banana⁠—and you better believe there'll be lots more where this came from! The year 2020 will bring forth an interesting array of other flour alternatives which is said to make at-home baking more inclusive and adventurous. Packaged goods are also getting in on the trend, with varieties popping up in ready-to-eat items such chips and pastries.

Try the trend: PomPom Paddock Cauliflower Mix

  1. Foods from West Africa

whole foods trend west africa

Photo by Correen on Unsplash

More and more brands are said to look to West Africa for indigenous superfoods believed to offer a plethora of health benefits. Although some fresh produce like tomato, onion and chilli peppers along with peanuts, ginger and lemongrass are already considered mainstream, the prediction here is an influx of rich, earthy dishes and traditional West African flavours. Whole Foods also predicts an increased use of West African cereal grains, including sorghum, fonio, teff and millet—all rich in protein and fibre.

Try the trend: Ginger Tea

  1. Revamped fridge section

 whole foods trend report

Image: @wholefoods

Gone are the days that the only healthy snacks you can grab on the go were muesli bars and a packet of nuts. Now, you’ll find all sorts of things at your supermarket including drinkable soups, mini dips (hello, hummus)all perfectly portioned in easy-to-eat serves. Even hard-boiled eggs with savoury toppings and pickled veggies were forecasted in the report. (This is a US trend report, and although we’re yet to see them in Australia, we’re all for the idea!). 

Try the trend: The healthiest dips you can buy from the supermarket

  1. Less soy

whole food trends no soy

Photo by Anh Nguyen on Unsplash

It wasn't that long ago when tofu scrambles were all the rage, and although they may always have a place at the vegan breakfast table, Whole Foods predicts that 2020 is the year we slow down on soy which has traditionally dominated the plant-based protein space. Instead, it will be replaced with innovative blends such as grains and mung beans to mimic its creamy texture. The grocer also stated that more brands are focusing on avoiding as many top allergens as possible, with soy being a big one. 

  1. ‘Everything’ butters and spreads

whole foods trend report 2020

Photo by Irene Kredenets on Unsplash

Although peanut butter, tahini and chia jam have reigned supreme in the arena of spreads for quite some time now, the health world is getting a lot more creative when it comes to what we're putting on our toast (or eating by the spoonful!). Enter: Lori's Wholesome Pantry watermelon seed butter. A truly innovative (and may we add, absolutely delicious) product that recently featured in our January 2020 Health Box. The report also drops hints of things like pumpkin spread which are expected to kick off in 2020 as well as chickpea spread (which, apparently is different to hummus). Either way, YUM. 

Try the trend: Watermelon seed bread

  1. Next-gen foodies

Photo by Freshh Connection on Unsplash

Now this is definitely one we can get on board with! (And not only because of our awesome monthly Kids Boxes). According to the report, when it comes to food, little ones are getting more savvier than ever. Parents are introducing their children to more adventurous foods and with great results. This one’s all about bridging the gap and taking more sophisticated younger palates into consideration. Think; healthier options of nostalgic foods and colourful pastas in fun shapes made with alternative flours. 

  1. Not-So-Simple Sugars

whole foods market trends 2020

Image: @goodnessmebox

By now, you probably already have your favourite natural alternatives for refined sugar. Honey, rice malt syrup, maple syrup and stevia are those high on our list, but word on the street is that there’s going to be LOTS more to choose from. Syrup-like reductions from fruit sources like monk fruit, pomegranates and dates are said to be a new way to add concentrated, sweet flavours to recipes for desserts, glazes and marinades. Sweet syrups made from starches like sorghum and sweet potato will also be a thing—mimicking the flavour of honey and used for baking and sweetening beverages.

Try the trend: Gingerbread Loaf made with Lakanto Australia Monkfruit Sweetener

  1. Meat-Plant Blends

meat plant hybrid whole food market

Photo by Deryn Macey on Unsplash

Flexitarians, rejoice. This year, more traditional meat brands will embrace the plant-based movement. Now, we're not referring to a 'Hungry Jacks making vegan burgers' type scenario here, but more so adding a growing percentage of plant-based ingredients to ready-made products like meatballs and patties, without turning them completely vegetarian. One example is the Lika Plus Burger coming launching in Whole Foods that uses 75% ground beef coupled with a 25% wheat, mushroom, barley and yeast blend to boost its nutritional profile. 

     10. Zero-Proof Drinks

whole foods market trend

Image: @seedlipdrinks

As Forbes reported back in 2017 (and contrary to popular belief), there's a growing number of millennials opting not to drink alcohol on the weekends as a way of prioritising their wellbeing so that they can “show up powerfully to their personal and professional lives”. In reflection of this trend, it's no surprise that consumers are seeking out alternatives to alcohol. Unique, non-boozy options are popping up everywhere and re-creating classic cocktail flavours using distilling methods typically reserved for alcohol. Faux martini, anyone?

Try the trend: Healthy Beverage Swaps

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