PhotoIf you haven’t tried beet noodles or purple asparagus, you just might in 2017. Whole Foods is predicting that purple foods will be among 2017's biggest food trends. After examining consumer behavior, experts found that consumers may be gravitating toward some unexpected foods and products in the coming year.

Eco-conscious attitudes may drive many consumers to seek out products made from byproducts, such as leftover whey from strained Greek yogurt. Whole Foods also thinks we’ll be seeing some new takes on pasta in 2017. The retailer predicts that pasta made from alternative grains -- such as quinoa, lentils, and chickpeas -- will be popular in 2017.
 

Coconut-based products may also have a big year. Whole Foods says “Coconut everything” will be a trend in 2017 as consumers move beyond coconut oil and water to products like coconut flour tortillas. Other trends on its forecast include creative condiments, Japanese food beyond sushi, and oven-ready meal kits.

Eight unusual trends

Here are the top trends identified in Whole Foods' forecast:
  • Wellness tonics. Fresh-pressed juices won’t be the only healthy beverage in consumers’ hands. Whole Foods says tonics and wellness drinks with botanicals that have roots in alternative medicine will be popular in 2017.
  • Coconut everything. Coconut oil was just the jumping off point on the coconut craze. Products such as coconut flour tortillas, coconut sugar aminos, coconut chips, and other unusual foods made from coconut will see a rise in popularity.
  • Byproducts. Food producers will find creative ways to breathe new life into byproducts. Consumers might find products made from spent grains from beer or vegan mayonnaise made from leftover liquid from cooking chickpeas.
  • Purple foods. Many health experts recommend “eating your colors," and consumers will be doing just that in 2017. Purple cauliflower, sweet potatoes, corn, asparagus, and other purple foods will become more mainstream in the coming year.
  • Creative condiments. Interesting condiments will see a rise in popularity. Black sesame tahini, habanero jam, ghee, and pomegranate molasses are among the unique condiments that will find a place on consumers’ plates.
  • Alternative pasta. Look for pastas made from plant-based products, such as spiralized veggies and kelp. Pasta made from alternative grains such as quinoa, lentils, and chickpeas will also be popular.
  • Japanese food beyond sushi. Ponzu, miso, mirin, sesame oil, seaweed, Japanese-style pickles, and plum vinegar are a few of the ingredients in Japanese food that are growing in popularity.
  • Oven-ready meal kits. As consumers continue to look for quick ways to get a home-cooked meal on the table, oven-ready meal kits and vegetable medleys are expected to be popular in 2017.

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