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Ingredients such as moringa, turmeric, and yuzu are expected to be big in the food industry next year, according to buyers at Whole Foods.

Over the past year, upcycled foods, boozy kombucha, and up-levelled pantry staples have risen in popularity. Now, buyers at Whole Foods Market have released their annual product forecast, which points to a variety of health foods, grains, botanicals, and tonics that are about to take off, and notes that movements such as ultra-urban farming and reducetarianism are expected to gain popularity.

“Last year, we saw tremendous pandemic-related shifts in grocery buying habits as the world adjusted to spending more time at home,” said Sonya Gafsi Oblisk, chief marketing officer at Whole Foods Market. “As the food industry slowly adjusts to a new normal, we expect to see consumers prioritize food and drink products that deliver additional benefits—like functional sodas and tonics—and products that support their sense of wellbeing, like urban garden greens and products grown with farming processes that help address soil health.”

Yuzu

A type of citrus mainly cultivated in Japan, Korea, and China, yuzu is taking the culinary world by storm. Consumers will notice this fruit crop up in vinaigrettes, hard seltzers, and mayos, while chefs are embracing the unique lime-lemon-grapefruit flavour to accent soups, veggies, noodles, and fish dishes.

Hibiscus

Herbal tea drinkers will be familiar with the pretty colour of a cup of hibiscus brew. Now, producers are harnessing its sweet, tart flavour in fruit spreads, yogurts, and new types of beverages.

Sunflower seeds

While sunflower seeds have long been a pantry staple, they are now being incorporated into new snacks, such as crackers, ice creams, and creamy cheeses.

Turmeric

Though turmeric has been used in Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, the golden spice has had an increase in popularity in recent years due to turmeric lattes and supplements. Now, shoppers can expect to see the spice included in the form of savoury pastes and sauces.

Moringa

Moringa has traditionally been used as a herbal remedy in India, Africa, and beyond. The product is now gaining steam around the world, often as an alternative to matcha, with the powder used in smoothies, sauces, baked goods, frozen desserts, protein bars, and packaged grain blends.

—Reuters

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