Whole Foods predicts top food trends for 2021

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The future of snacking will be packed with immunity-boosting ingredients, like mushroom broth, fruit and veggie jerky and probiotic-fueled packs of roasted garlic sauerkraut.

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More Americans are apparently looking to incorporate healthy supplements into their snacking habits, according to Whole Foods Market’s list of “Top 10 Food Trends for 2021,” released Monday.

Mushroom broth, sauerkraut snacks and other immunity-boosting snack foods will be trending in 2021 as consumers prioritize health and wellness, according to Whole Foods. (Whole Foods)

“There have been radical shifts in consumer habits in 2020. For example, shoppers have found new passions for cooking, they’ve purchased more items related to health and wellness, and more are eating breakfast at home every day compared to pre-COVID,” Sonya Gafsi Oblisk, chief marketing officer at Whole Foods Market, said in a statement.

“Food trends are a sign of the times, and our 2021 trends are no exception," she added.

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The retail trend could be a sign of the times, as consumers look for functional food to increase health and wellness during the pandemic. And 77% of consumers reported they want to do more to increase their health habits for the future, according to separate research from Chicago-based food processing company Archer Daniels Midland, released last month.

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In its new report, Whole Foods projects that retailers will be looking to stock shelves with snacks containing superfoods and probiotics, as well as broths and sauerkrauts, all containing immune-system supporting ingredients like vitamin C and adaptogen-rich herbs.

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Whole Foods says, among these foods, items like Cleveland Kraut in roasted garlic flavor, loaded with pre and probiotics, will be a sought-after item. Others on the food trend list, like umami-packed mushroom broth, said to improve gut health, will also be a hotly selling item because of its included vitamins content, as well as minerals like phosphorous, magnesium and potassium.

Whole Foods has also dubbed chickpeas as the "new" cauliflower, as more brands are incorporating the ubiquitous legume into snacks like chickpea tofu, flour and even cereal.

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And instead of loading pantries up with ultra-processed snacks like chips, crackers and cookies, fruit and veggie-forward jerky will be a growing food trend with new varities containing mushrooms or jackfruit, and served in a more shelf-stable and easy-to-eat form. Specific examples on Whole Food’s trending list include a Thai mushroom jerky; mango with chili, salt and pineapple; and banana and ginger teriyaki-flavored jerky.

What's more, baby foods with adult tastes like rhubarb, rosemary, purple carrots and omega-3 rich flax seeds will also shine on shelves for parents looking to diversify their child's fruit and veggie intake, according to the trends report.

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