Whole Foods lists its 2022 foodbev trends

Whole Foods Market – the premium US food retailer – has issued its annual list of 10 food trends for the coming year, with an emphasis on functionality, sustainability and abetting general well-being.

“Last year, we saw tremendous pandemic-related shifts in grocery buying habits as the world adjusted to spending more time at home,” says Sonya Gafsi Oblisk, Whole Foods’ chief marketing officer.

“As the food industry slowly adjusts to a new normal, we expect to see consumers prioritise food and drink products that deliver additional benefits — like functional sodas and tonics — and products that support their sense of well-being, like urban garden greens and products grown with farming processes that help address soil health.”

While Whole Foods Market’s predictions for 2021 — including upcycled foods, boozy kombucha and the up-scaled pantry staples — continue to evolve, the 2022 Trends represent the future of food and beverages.

The Whole Foods’ trends for 2022 are:

“ULTRA-URBAN” FARMING: Vertical farms, rooftop farms and greenhouses will be an increasing source of fresh produce. Whole Foods helped establish the trend in 2013 with a store in Brooklyn with a greenhouse on top, selling produce under the brand name Gotham Greens.

Since then, innovation in indoor farming has ballooned, from hydroponics and aquaponics to mushrooms grown above our grocery aisles — and even fresh produce grown by robots. Producers are finding new, boundary-pushing ways to grow hyper-local crops and maximise efficiency.

YOU DO YUZU: Yuzu, a tart-citrusy fruit grown mostly in Asia, is being used as flavourings for products like vinaigrette dressing, mayonnaise and hard seltzer. In the restaurant scene, chefs are using its lime-lemon-grapefruit flavour to accent their soups, veggies, noodles and fish.

Get ready to see this fruit shine in 2022 — both on and off the grocery aisles.

REDUCETARIANISM: Sometimes called “flexitarianism,” this is the approach of the “plant-curious” consumer who wants to reduce but not end meat consumption. In this trend, Whole Foods is including premium animal proteins like grass-fed meat and pasture-raised eggs, on the theory that when reducetarians eat such products, they want to make it count.

HIBISCUS IS HAPPENING: Hibiscus has a long and delicious history in the world of teas, and for its vitamin C content. Now, producers are harnessing its sweet, tart flavour in the form of fruit spreads, yoghurts and beyond.

Of course, beverage makers are keeping up, leaning on hibiscus to craft delicious drinks that adopt its signature hot-pink hue.

BUZZ-LESS SPIRITS: This is a continuation of an ongoing trend toward alcohol-free cocktails. The “sober-curious” will be able to choose from an expanding array of premixed “mocktails,” as well as mixing their own with alcohol-free versions of rum, tequila and other liquors. The dialed-down spirits category experienced record growth in Whole Foods stores this year.

SEIZE THE SUNFLOWER SEED: With their protein and unsaturated fats, sunflower seeds are transitioning from snack to ingredient in foods like crackers, ice cream and creamy cheeses.

GRAINS THAT GIVE BACK: Grocery grains are refocusing on the environment in 2022. We’re talking grains grown via agriculture practices and farming processes that help address soil health. Kernza – a perennial grain developed by The Land Institute with a sweet, nutty flavor and long roots – helps with nutrient cycling and overall soil ecology. Find it in cereals and even beer.

MORINGA’S MOMENT: Often called the “miracle tree”, moringa is traditionally used as an herbal remedy in India, Africa and beyond. Moringa leaves have plenty of nutrients, and these fast-growing, drought-resistant trees have been used as a source of food to fight malnutrition in certain parts of the world.

Gaining steam in the US as matcha’s latest alternative, it can be found in powder form and added to make magic in smoothies, sauces and baked goods. It’s also showing up in unexpected products like frozen desserts, protein bars and packaged grain blends.

FUNCTIONAL FIZZ: Today, bubbly beverages are doing double duty. That’s right, people are looking for sparkling drinks that not only taste great but also offer ingredients that balance out the sweetness. We’re talking soda with probiotics and fizzy tonics with added prebiotics, botanicals and more. Fruity flavours. Unconventional ingredients. Get more from your bubbly drinks.

TURMERIC TAKES OFF: Turmeric, aka “the golden spice”, has been used for centuries in Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine, and has become popular in the US as a dietary supplement.

While golden milk lattes and turmeric supplements are nothing new, the spice is taking root as an ingredient in packaged foods like cereals, sauerkrauts and even plant-based ice cream sandwiches.

Source: Whole Foods

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