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Top 10 food trends to watch out for in 2020, according to Whole Foods

Whole Foods Market just released its list of 2020 food trends to watch for and topping the list of predictions is a continued focus on environmentally conscious eats. From alternate nut butters to West African flavors to fancy nonalcoholic drinks, Whole Foods lists what you can expect to see on shelves next year. Here’s the range of general agricultural concepts, ingredients, and products Whole Foods bets you’ll be devouring.


Zero-alcoholic drinks


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Non-alcoholic happy hour? Yep! Zero-proof drinks are expected to become more popular as a growing number of people, especially millenials seek out alternatives to alcohol, Whole Foods said. Whether you call them mocktails, zero-proof or spirit-free drinks, non-alcoholic beverages are becoming a staple at happy hours around the country.


Regenerative Agriculture

White Leaf Provisions centers its message around “Healthy Soil, Healthy Food”. It's about being entirely focused on leaving a better world for the next generation. While still a slightly undefined term, the practice of “regenerative agriculture” is all about farming concepts that benefit the land as opposed to hurt it. Regenerative farming practices help to reduce greenhouse gases and replenish soil, all while making a positive impact on both farm workers and animals. While these practices are commonplace in smaller farms, we are seeing more large scale companies lean into the importance of this movement. Some successful brands include Annies, Epic Provisions. Alter Eco, Maple Hill Creamery and White Leaf Provisions.


Sugar alternatives

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Alternative sugars are popping up everywhere, including including syrupy reductions from fruit sources like monk fruit, pomegranates, coconut, and dates, according to Whole Foods.

The brands to watch (in their stores) include: “Just Pomegranate Syrup, Lakanto Monk Fruit Sweeteners, D’vash Sweet Potato Nectar, and Birch Benders Monk Fruit Sweetened Pancake Syrup in Classic Maple.” Plus, Swerve, an erythritol-based sugar replacement.


Kid-friend(lier) foods


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Think organic chicken nuggets and non-breaded salmon fish sticks. For shoppers raising the next generation of little shoppers, there’s a growing “kids’ menu” of choices, including roasted seaweed and lemon basil chia shortbread cookies. Brands are increasingly rethinking food for kids, especially as millennials begin having families, according to Whole Foods.

Restaurants and food brands are upgrading old-school kids’ menus to include things like pastas made from alternative flours and more.


Meat and plant protein blends


Burgers...just less meaty! Take a traditional beef patty, replace some of it with a filler like fresh mushrooms, and you’ve got a recipe that’s a little healthier and better for the planet. Lots of meat companies are trying this with their own variations that spread into other products like beef-quinoa-and-veggie meatballs


Plant- based alternatives to soy


In 2020, even"the trendiest brands are slowing down on soy," according to Whole Foods. 

Some brands are replacing soy with mung beans, hemp seed, and watermelon seeds. 


Nuttier butter spreads


Watermelon seeds and macadamia nuts are two additions for brands trying make peanut-butter-like products. The idea is brands are looking to not only create plant-based butters but more importantly eliminate the use of palm oil or at least use a smartly sourced version.


Food and Vegetable Flours

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How does banana flour sound? Alternative flours made from fruits and vegetables will continue to show up in the baking aisle but also look for them in the packaged food aisles as companies market tortilla chips, doughnuts and other goods made from alternative flours. "2020 will bring more interesting fruit and vegetable flours (like banana!) into home pantries, with products like cauliflower flour in bulk and baking aisles, rather than already baked into crusts and snack products," the company writes. 


Hints of West African flavour


You’ll likely see ancient grans like Fonio, teff and millet in more dishes and on grocery shelves. Indigenous ingredients with “super” benefits like mooring and tamarind will also make their way into ever more juices, condiments, and vegetable-based mix-in powders.


Refrigerated healthier snacks


Encouraging healthier grab and go snacks is the idea behind moving snacks out of your pantry and into your fridge thanks to the addition of fresh fruits and vegetables to nutrition bars, even hard-boiled eggs with savory toppings, pickled vegetables, and more.

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