Buckwheat is a darling of regenerative agriculture and in a crop of new products, per Whole Foods trend watchers.
Whole Foods Market is out with its annual list of food trend predictions, based on insights and analyses from its internal trends council. According to the group of more than 50 culinary experts, foragers and buyers, consumers will be balancing taste, responsibility and an ongoing craving for satisfying new experiences as the calendar ticks over from 2023 to 2024.
“Our annual food trends predictions list is a way for us to pull back the curtain for customers and share insight into what our buyers and culinary experts are keeping on their radar for the upcoming year,” remarked Cathy Strange, ambassador of food culture for Whole Foods Market and member of the trends council. "From specific product ingredients and flavor trends, to growing movements in the food industry, we can't wait to see these trends gain momentum in the year ahead."
Top 10 Food Trend Predictions for 2024
1. Put the “Plant” Back in “Plant-Based”
It’s not quite a throwback, but Whole Foods expects a resurgence of basic plant-based cuisine like veggie burgers and simple-ingredient plant-based milks. Also on the horizon: emerging protein-forward products with mushrooms, walnuts, tempeh and legumes in place of complex meat alternatives.
2. Use the Whole Cacao
More brands are utilizing by-products like cacao pulp in products like jellies and jams. The emergence of cacao fruit powders this year also presents an opportunity for brands seeking a new sugar alternative without compromising on sweet, ambrosial flavor.
3. Buckle Up for Buckwheat
Gaining popularity as a cover crop to support soil health, buckwheat also has potential in the food and beverage aisle as a gluten-free superfood seed with protein, carbs and fiber. Whole Foods anticipates that more brands will embrace buckwheat in offerings from plant-based milk alternatives to crackers and granola.