Whole Foods isn’t just a grocery store with a dizzying array of health-friendly foods known for consuming one’s Whole Paycheck, but it’s also a place to look into the future of food. First, it’s at Whole Foods, then it shows up at your local convenience store — consider new staples like seaweed snacks, kale chips, and kombucha, for example. Just call it trickle-down food trend economics. After all, if people are willing to pay $50 for it, it must be good.
So, when Whole Foods releases its annual predictions for next year’s top food trends, we listen up. Last year, they anticipated the CBD craze and sustainable packaging. For 2020, these are three of their top picks.
Out-of-the-Box, Into-the-Fridge Snacking
Snacks, by definition, are ephemeral. If I’m nearby, a snack’s life expectancy is halved. But unless they’re fresh fruit or nuts, snacks have often been made and packaged to last a lifetime and pile up in our cupboards until they’re overflowing with FiberOne bars and tiny packages of Cheese Nips. While these indulgent snacks are great, we don’t exactly need preservative-packed treats. Perhaps that’s why the next generation of snacks are going to live in our fridges: Whole Foods lists pickled vegetables, mini dips, and hard-boiled eggs with savory toppings.
Spreads & Butters
Our toast obsession doesn’t seem to show signs of fading, but we are, thankfully, finally moving beyond smashed avocados. Thanks to this expanding category, we might be able to recover from our avocado shortage. Over the past few years, we’ve been branching out beyond peanut butter, to the point where almond butter is now a supermarket mainstay. Now, we are in the land of macadamia butter and year-round pumpkin butter. Veganized versions of popular spreads like cream cheese are also expected to go beyond imitation and begin leaning towards innovation. Pili and other newcomer ingredients are set to expand our spreadable options. And Whole Foods really asked us if we’ve ever tried “watermelon seed butter,” because apparently fancy nut butter was just the beginning.
In 2020, drinks are going to be liquid snacks. Hear me out: Drinks have long been primarily made to either hydrate, energize, or inebriate us. If you happen to be a fan of Gatorade or coffee or beer and crave it throughout the day, you always face the potential of over-caffeination, over-hydratation, or over-drinking. The rise of sparkling water and seltzers finally gave us something to cup in our hands and sip on all day long, but we’ve swished and tasted every sparkling water under the sun, and so in 2020, we are going to see our options expand with non-alcoholic beverages, like alt-gin, zero-proof aperitifs, and hops-infused sparkling water. So raise a glass to a growing variety of sippable snacks.