What foods will fill store shelves next year? In its sixth annual forecast, Whole Foods Market consulted the experts to identify emerging food trends heading into 2021. Here are the picks that can help bakers prepare for the future.
All about health and wellness
Foods with functional ingredients are popping up everywhere as consumers seek to improve their immune systems, digestive health, and mental wellbeing. To keep up with this trend, bakers can add health-boosting ingredients like probiotics, superfoods, and adaptogens to their formulations.
But first, breakfast
With the rise of remote work, more people are starting each morning with a delicious, healthy breakfast. So it might be time to level-up traditional breakfast favorites like pancakes, eggs, and baked goods, including bagels, muffins, and pastries.
More ways to enjoy coffee
Consumers can now get their daily dose of coffee outside the mug — in the form of bars and granolas, flavored yogurt, smoothies, and more. As this trend brews, bakers can stir a little java into their baked goods and desserts to give them an energy boost.
Fighting food waste with upcycling
Upcycled foods take byproducts and turn them into coproducts. This effort helps cut down on food waste, save energy, and support sustainability goals. Upcycled products in the bakery category often involve flour — for example, turning coffee cherries into flour that bakers can blend into cookies, breads, and more.
The next generation of oils
Sunflower oil is the new olive oil. Manufacturers of packaged goods are already jumping aboard this trend, using sunflower oil to make tortillas, cookies, and food bars. There’s also a place at the table for oils made from walnuts and pumpkin seeds.
Last year, Whole Foods predicted the rise of alternative flours, including those made with cauliflower, nuts and seeds, and ancient grains. This year, the protein-packed and fiber-rich chickpea is the ingredient to watch. Manufacturers are using chickpeas not only in flour but in pastas, cereals, and snacks.
From new products and formulations to sustainable practices, these developing trends will help baking manufacturers plan for the year ahead.