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Whole Foods Market Reveals Top Food Trends for 2018

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Retailer's global and local experts forecast up-and-coming flavors,
products and culinary influences

Whole Foods Market's (NASDAQ:WFM) global
buyers and experts
 today announced the most anticipated food trends
for the year ahead. Floral flavors, functional mushrooms and
root-to-stem recipes are just a few of the picks expected to take off in
2018. The seasoned trend-spotters thoughtfully compiled this list based
on more than 100 years of combined experience in product sourcing and
studying consumer preferences.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:
http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20171106005488/en/

(Photo: Business Wire)

(Photo: Business Wire)

Whole Foods Market's top 10 trends for 2018:

  1. Floral Flavors
    Foragers and culinary stars have embraced
    edible petals for years, but floral inspiration is finally in full
    bloom. From adding whole flowers and petals into dishes to infusing
    botanical flavors into drinks and snacks, this top trend makes for a
    subtly sweet taste and fresh aromatics. Look for flowers used like
    herbs in things like lavender lattés and rose-flavored everything.
    Bright pink hibiscus teas are a hot (and iced) part of the trend,
    while elderflower is the new MVP (most valuable petal) of cocktails
    and bubbly drinks.

    Try the Trend: Whole Foods
    Market™ Lime Mint Elderflower Italian Sparkling Mineral Water; 365
    Everyday Value® Lavender Lemon Granola; GoodPop Hibiscus
    Mint Frozen Pop; 365 Everyday Value® Lavender Lemonade Tea
    Bags with Hibiscus; Belvoir Fruit Farms Elderflower Lemonade; Whole
    Foods MarketTM Dark Chocolate Violet Marshmallow; Artisan
    Coffee's Lavender Latté inside Whole Foods Market 365 Akron Store;
    Jacobs Farm Organic Edible Flowers.
  2. Super Powders
    Powders are serious power players. Because
    they're so easy to incorporate, they've found their way into lattés,
    smoothies, nutrition bars, soups and baked goods. For an energy boost
    or an alternative to coffee, powders like matcha,
    maca
    root
    and cacao are showing up in mugs everywhere. Ground turmeric
    powder is still on the rise, the ever-popular spice used in Ayurvedic
    medicine. Smoothie fans are raising a glass to powders like spirulina,
    kale, herbs and roots for an oh-so-green vibrancy that needs no
    Instagram filter. Even protein
    powders
    have evolved beyond bodybuilders to pack in new nutrients
    like skin- and hair-enhancing collagen.

    Try the Trend:
    Vital
    Proteins
    Collagen Peptides; RX
    Bars
    made with powdered egg-white protein; Gaia
    Herbs Golden Milk with Turmeric, Dates and Herbs
    ;
    MatchaBar
    bottled beverage; Whole Foods Market™ Spirulina Powder;
    Whole
    Foods MarketTM Apple Cider Vinegar
    Turmeric Ginger Sparkling Tonic.
  3. Functional Mushrooms
    Shoppers are buzzing about functional
    mushrooms, which are traditionally used to support wellness as an
    ingredient in dietary supplements. Now, varieties like reishi, chaga,
    cordyceps and lion's mane star in products across categories. Bottled
    drinks, coffees, smoothies and teas are leading the way. The rich
    flavors also lend themselves to mushroom broths, while the earthy,
    creamy notes pair well with cocoa, chocolate or coffee flavors. Body
    care is hot on this mushroom trend too, so look for a new crop of
    soaps, hair care and more.

    Try the Trend: Rebbl
    Reishi beverages (in flavors like Chocolate
    and
    Cold Brew
    ), Kettle
    & Fire Mushroom Chicken Bone Broth
    ; Om
    Reishi Mushroom Powder
    ; Alaffia
    Coconut Reishi Chai Shower Gel
    or haircare products.
  4. Feast from the Middle East
    Middle Eastern culinary
    influences have made their way west for years, and 2018 will bring
    these tasty traditions into the mainstream. Things like hummus, pita
    and falafel were tasty entry points, but now consumers are ready to
    explore the deep traditions, regional nuances and classic ingredients
    of Middle Eastern cultures, with Persian, Israeli, Moroccan, Syrian
    and Lebanese influences rising to the top. Spices like harissa,
    cardamom and za'atar are hitting more menus, as well as dishes like
    shakshuka, grilled halloumi and lamb. Other trending Middle Eastern
    ingredients include pomegranate, eggplant, cucumber, parsley, mint,
    tahini, tomato jam and dried fruits.

    Try the Trend: Saffron
    Road Falafel Crunchy Chickpeas
    ; Seed + Mill tahini and halva at
    Whole Foods Market Bryant Park; Aphrodite Halloumi; eggplant; 365
    Everyday Value® Organic Tahini; bulk pistachios and dried
    fruit; seasonal spring salad bar item made with carrots, pomegranate
    molasses and harissa.
  5. Transparency 2.0
    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.

    Try
    the Trend:
    Pole & Line canned albacore tuna traceable to the exact
    captain and vessel that caught the fish; calorie information on dishes
    from Whole Foods Market food bars and venues; 5-Step®
    Animal Welfare Rated fresh meat and poultry; Perky
    Jerky
    Animal Welfare Rated beef jerky; sustainability
    certification or ratings on every type of wild-caught seafood in Whole
    Foods Market's seafood department; Non-GMO Project Verified products; Fair
    Food
    certified tomatoes and strawberries.
  6. High-Tech Goes Plant-Forward
    Plant-based diets and dishes
    continue to dominate the food world, and now the tech industry has a
    seat at the table, too. By using science to advance recipes and
    manipulate plant-based ingredients and proteins, these techniques are
    creating mind-bending alternatives like "bleeding" vegan burgers or
    sushi-grade "not-tuna" made from tomatoes. These new production
    techniques are also bringing some new varieties of nut milks and
    yogurts made from pili nuts, peas, bananas, macadamia nuts and pecans.
    Dairy-free indulgences like vegan frosting, brownies, ice cream,
    brioche and crème brûlée are getting so delicious, non-vegans won't
    know the difference – or they might choose them anyway!

    Try
    the Trend:
    Beyond
    Meat
    Burger; Ocean Hugger Foods Ahimi
    vegan tuna (available in NYC and LA Whole Foods Market stores); Ripple
    milks made from peas; Sophie's
    Kitchen Vegan Toona
    ; MALK
    cold-pressed nut milks; Mooala
    Bananamilk; Forager Cashew Yogurt; Laava Pili Nut Yogurt; Cado
    avocado ice cream.
  7. Puffed & Popped Snacks
    Crunchy snacks are perennial
    favorites, but new technology is revolutionizing all things puffed,
    popped, dried and crisped. New extrusion methods (ways of processing
    and combining ingredients), have paved the way for popped cassava
    chips, puffed pasta bow ties, seaweed fava chips and puffed rice
    clusters. Good-old-fashioned chips also get an upgrade as part of the
    trend, with better-for-you bites like jicama, parsnip or Brussels
    sprout crisps.

    Try the Trend: Dang
    Sticky Rice Chips
    , Seapoint
    Farms Seaweed Fava Chips
    ; JicaChips
    (in six flavors); 365 Everyday Value® Ranch Lentil Crisps;
    Unreal Dark Chocolate Crispy Quinoa Gems; Lesser Evil Crunchy Paleo
    Puffs.
  8. Tacos Come Out of Their Shell
    There's no slowing down the
    craze for all things Latin American, but the taco trend has a life of
    its own. This street-food star is no longer limited to a tortilla, or
    to savory recipes: Tacos are showing up for breakfast, and trendy
    restaurants across the country have dessert
    variations
    . Most of all, tacos are shedding their shell for new
    kinds of wrappers and fillings too – think seaweed wrappers with poke
    filling. Classic tacos aren't going anywhere, but greater attention to
    ingredients is upping their game. One end of the spectrum is
    hyper-authentic cooking with things like heirloom corn tortillas or
    classic barbacoa. And thanks to brands like Siete, there are
    grain-free options for paleo fans too. Taco ‘bout options!

    Try
    the Trend:
    Whole Foods Market's new Mexico-City-inspired taco
    venues in more than 175 stores, featuring jackfruit al pastor, and a
    paleo chicken burrito; Siete paleo tortillas and chips; shaved jicama
    taco shells; Crab
    and Bacon Breakfast Tacos
    ; Frontera Tortilla Chips and fresh
    tortillas featuring Masienda
    heirloom corn
    ; 365 Everyday Value® Korean Style
    Gochujang Hot Sauce.
  9. Root-to-Stem
    Between nose-to-tail butchery and reducing
    food waste, a few forces are combining to inspire root-to-stem
    cooking, which makes use of the entire fruit or vegetable, including
    the stems or leaves that are less commonly eaten. Recipes like pickled
    watermelon rinds, beet-green pesto or broccoli-stem slaw have
    introduced consumers to new flavors and textures from old favorites.

    Try
    the Trend:
    produce butcher at Whole Foods Market Bryant Park;
    root-to-stem salad bar items, featuring Brussels sprouts, broccoli,
    and celery seasonal varieties; Melon
    Seed Agua Fresca
    ; Butternut
    Squash with Celery Leaves and Orecchiette
    ; bagged broccoli slaw.
  10. Say Cheers to the Other Bubbly
    LaCroix
    may have paved the way, but now there's an entire booming category of
    sparkling beverages vying for consumer attention. Just don't call them
    "soda." These drinks are a far cry from their sugary predecessors.
    Flavored sparkling waters like plant-derived options from Sap! (made
    with maple and birch) and sparkling cold brew from Stumptown will are
    shaking up a fizzy fix. Shoppers are also toasting mocktail must-haves
    like Topo Chico and Whole Foods MarketTM Lime Mint
    Elderflower Italian Sparkling Mineral Water. Cheers to the other
    kind of bubbly!

    Try the Trend: Waterloo
    Sparkling Water
    ; Sap!
    maple and birch sparkling waters and seltzers; Stumptown Sparkling
    Cold Brew (in Original, Honey Lemon and Ginger Citrus); Alta
    Palla
    Sparkling Waters; Whole Foods MarketTM Italian
    Sparkling Mineral Waters (in Citrus Blend, Lemon, Strawberry, Lime,
    Lemon Raspberry, Grapefruit and Lime Mint Elderflower flavors), 365
    Everyday Value® Canned Sparkling Water (Pure, Lime, Lemon,
    Orange and Grapefruit flavors).

This year's predictions came from Whole
Foods Market's experts
 and industry leaders who source items and
lead trends across the retailer's cheese, grocery, meat, seafood,
prepared foods, produce and personal care departments, and spot trends
for the retailer's more than 470 stores. Shoppers can try the trends in
their local
Whole Foods Market stores
or on Amazon.com.
For interviews with Whole Foods Market's experts, or to learn more about
their 2018 predictions, contact media@wholefoodsmarket.com.

About Whole Foods Market®

For 39 years, Whole Foods Market has been the wo

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