Dec 1, 2022
From foraging and the power of the sun; to being forever young, our 2023 trends predict a year that focuses on the benefits of Mother Earth, going easy on ourselves and having swicy reconnections.
These trend predictions were determined by the Community Natural Foods category management team, who have early access to upcoming product launches, nutritional science research and trending raw materials.
A poem was circulating on social media this fall. It read “instead of finishing the year strong, why don’t’ we finish the year soft? Why don’t we finish the year restful and grateful or making it through yet another crazy cycle on earth?” (the daily rest). It’s a trend we see rolling into 2023. The wellness industry has done a dis-service in constantly suggesting we do more to look after ourselves. In 2023, we minimize. Take a walk instead of a Crossfit Class; nap instead of yoga; instead of taking on more daily rituals and routines, remove some. We’re also looking for wellness products that multi-task for us. Think protein powder with adaptogens, for example. In a nutshell, minimalist wellness encourages us to move our bodies in a way that works for us; to eat real, minimally processed foods, with a focus on fruits and vegetables; supplement where necessary but make it tasty; and strive to make these few things an enjoyable part of daily life.
Health Meets Indulgence
Vitamins, minerals, mushrooms and adaptogens are popping everywhere, including in our ice cream, our coffee, and our baked goods. These fortified foods are tasty and tend to contain less sugar and salt, and are higher in fiber, using nutrient-dense ingredients such as nuts, seeds and coconut. These food-based supplements, mostly wrapped in chocolate, are formulated to satisfy daily vitamin and mineral needs, without asking consumers to swallow pills or massive amounts of produce. Move over gummies, chocolates are taking over.
Wild For Foraged
What’s more hyper local than food found in the wild spaces around your home? Introducing foraged foods like wild leeks, unique mushrooms, dandelions, and spruce tips. Partly due to the increased time in nature many people experienced during covid, foraging for your food has become a serious pastime. It is said that foraging fulfills a spiritual piece for many. According to Julie Walker from Full Circle Adventures, foraging is about the “spiritual engagement with our food, with our landscape and with Mother Earth.” There’s also the environmental argument for foraging, as ingredients gathered in the wild don’t need to be transported far. And there’s the story telling piece. How cool to get to cook a meal with something you plucked out of the woods close to your home that tastes really good.
A mash up of sweet and spicy elements in a single entrée, dessert, or side. Swicy food will be seen in a variety of Korean, Japanese and Indian curries. Think hot honey, chili dark chocolate candy bars, spiced jams, and toppings for fried chicken.
Regenerative Agriculture Starts with Organic
These days, many health food store brands are leaning into regenerative agricultural practices to support healthier soil, animal welfare and biodiversity. Regenerative is a philosophy of mindful attention aimed at invigorating or reinvigorating ecosystems. It has become the poster child for actions that will help mitigate climate change. The challenge is that without clear definition, the term is at risk of greenwashing or being another ill-defined “natural.” That’s why we’ll see a rise in companies that are taking steps to get Organic Regenerative Certified, investing in third-party validation of their efforts, or seed-to-shelf traceability with complete transparency of what’s really being done at the farm level. At Community Natural Foods, we support organic and organic regenerative agriculture certification but believe that no matter what standards of measure for regenerative emerges, regenerative agriculture has to start with organic practices. Regenerative farming with pesticides is highly suspect.
We are being challenged to rethink what aging means. Imagine if your age, disease state and the gradual decline of aging could be reversed through a series of longevity strategies like intermittent fasting, cold exposure, exercising with the right intensity, eating less meat, mitochondrial support and studying the dietary and lifestyle attributes of those living in the Blue Zones, areas of the world where people live the longest lives, consistently reaching age 100.
It's not particularly new or novel to suggest that people feel disconnected today more than ever. However, now we're starting to see something being done to help ease it: Community-based well-being spaces are emerging to meet growing demand for connection. Think self-care social clubs that offer thermal spas, infrared saunas, how-to events and hands-on learning. These spaces help fill our desire for offline connection. Social isolation has dramatic effects on our health. A huge meta-review that analyzed 148 studies (covering more than 300,000 participants across all ages over a 100-year time frame) found that having a strong social network boosts survival by 50%. It affects your immune system and brain health, too. The takeaway is that one of the keys to well-being is simple: It's found in one another. Community Natural Foods has always been a place for people on a wellness journey to find belonging and we’ve recently re-introduced in person learning, free sample programs and always offer shopping tours and engagement in our aisles.
Focus For Women
Thousands more women are being assessed for ADHD than ever before. That is in addition to the thousands that are self-diagnosing: videos with the hashtag #ADHD on TikTok have 2.4 billion views and more young people are visiting doctors to report they have ADHD based on a TikTok videos. But could this also be a result of increased screen time due to covid, the additional pressures put on moms to home school and work full time, etc. Regardless, women are looking for ways to silence the internal chatter, focus, and get things done. Supplements and functional beverages with ingredients like l-theanine, lions mane, rhodiola and b vitamins enhance concentration and energy while inducing a sense of calm.
Circadian Rhythm therapy or Sunlight therapy is beneficial for sleep, energy, and can even help with weight loss. You may already be participating in some form of this therapy – reducing screen time at night, installing black out drapes. The goal is to regulate your daily rhythm around the sun as optimally as possible. This means getting up and getting outside at sunrise for at least 5 minutes with skin and eyes exposed. It also means exposing yourself to sunset light. Supplements like ashwagandha, 5-htp and chamomile can all help re-balance your circadian rhythm as can sunrise alarms, light and sound therapies.
Transparency Around Sustainability
As brands find reliable measurement tools to help them account for and reduce or mitigate their carbon footprints, they are also discovering better and more efficient ways to bring consumers along on their sustainability journeys. Our favourite brands are leading the trend towards full transparency about their carbon footprints by incorporating it into their brand identity and in some cases putting their sustainability efforts directly on their packaging. At Community Natural Foods we are in the process of re-certifying as a B Corporation and are committed to full transparency around our sustainability efforts.