October 21, 2019 at 02:00PM by CWC

As far as healthy trend-spotting goes, Whole Foods is pretty up on it. Even with grocery stores getting healthier across the board (a major positive), the organic market is still a leader in the wellness industry. Its aisles continue to be places consumers discover emerging brands that later turn into full-blown popular faves. (A few they started stocking early: Siete Foods, Caulipower, and Siggi’s.)

As part of their scouting, Whole Foods has trend spotters (what they call foragers) all over the world, all on the hunt to discover small brands (often with just a small table at the local farmers’ market) with big dreams of landing on their shelves. Every year, the retailer uses this intel—as well as market data and stats—to create their carefully curated wellness trends calling the ingredients and foods that will dominate the health world (and their store shelves) in the coming year. Ready for a peek inside Whole Foods’ crystal ball? Here are some of the trends we are most excited about.

Check out this video to see a registered dietitian’s favorite foods to buy at Whole Foods:

1. Regenerative agriculture as a priority

Whole Foods recognizes that consumers not only want to support healthy brands, they want to make sure they’re supporting sustainable ones too—a topic Well+Good devoted a recent event to. Regenerative agriculture essentially describes farming practices that restore soil quality, improve local biodiversity, and increase carbon capture to benefit the environment. Whole Foods acknowledges that more brands are shifting to regenerative agriculture, including White Oaks Pastures and Cowgirl Creamery.

2. More alternative flours

The rise in gluten-free eaters (and people cutting carbs) has led to an uptick in the number of alternative flours on the market, and Whole Foods is pledging to be the place to find quite the variety. Besides the ones you’ve likely already heard of, like almond flour and oat flour, Whole Foods trend spotters predict more interesting ones to come out next year, like banana flour and tigernut flour.

3. Foods from West Africa

Whole Foods’ consistently has their eye on international trends in their annual predictions, and West Africa is their standout region for 2020. Besides moringa (one of Well+Good’s Wellness Trends in 2018), expect to see more foods made with other West African staples, such as cereal grains like sorgum, teff, and millet.

4. The fridge and freezer as the hub of the kitchen

Well+Good reported earlier this year on the healthy makeover the frozen food section has gotten. Not only do Whole Foods’ foragers see it too, they expect this section of the grocery store to become even more populated with healthy snacks in 2020. Looks like you’ll need a bigger fridge.

5. Blended meat

As Well+Good previously reported, there’s a whole slew of products coming out that combine meat with vegetables to give flexitarian consumers the best of both worlds. Whole Foods has taken notice, too. While you’re still going to see many all-out vegan alternatives coming out, you can expect to see more of these blended products right beside them, too.

6. More innovative alternatives to alcohol

As the sober-curious scene continues to gain momentum, more alcohol alternatives are coming out—and they go way beyond just seltzer and kombucha. At Well+Good, we’ve seen alt-alcohol products made with adaptogens, nootropics, and botanicals. Now, it looks like you’ll be able to get many of these type of products at your local Whole Foods. Healthier, better options are definitely worth raising a glass to.

Check out Whole Foods’ trends from last year to see how they played out. Well+Good will be announcing its wellness trends soon too. Here’s what we predicted for 2019.

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Author Emily Laurence | Well and Good
Selected by CWC

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