Whole Foods Lists 2022 Food Trends

Oct. 20, 2021
Whole Foods Market has issued its annual list of 10 food trends for the coming year.

Whole Foods Market has issued its annual list of 10 food trends for the coming year, with an emphasis on functionality and contribution to 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 prioritize 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.”

The trends for 2022 are:

“ULTRAURBAN” 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.

YOU DO YUZU. Yuzu, a tart-citrusy fruit grown mostly in Asia, is being used as flavorings for products like vinaigrette dressing, mayonnaise and hard seltzer.

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. This flowering plant has been used for a long time to flavor tea. Now Whole Foods sees it expanding to other drinks like cider and carbonated soda, as well as fruit spreads, yogurts and other products.

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.

GRAINS THAT GIVE BACK. This denotes grains that are more sustainable than usual, in terms of maintaining the health of the soil they’re grown in. One of these is Kernza, a perennial grain developed by The Land Institute.

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.

MORINGA’S MOMENT. Often called the “miracle tree,” moringa is traditionally used as an herbal remedy in India, Africa and beyond. With its nutrients, it’s being positioned as a rival to matcha for use in foods like smoothies, sauces and baked goods.

FUNCTIONAL FIZZ. “Balancing out” the sweetness of fizzy drinks with fruity or unconventional flavorings will yield new, appealing combinations. Often these may be functional ingredients like pre- and probiotics, botanicals and more.

TURMERIC TAKES OFF. Long lauded for its health benefits, turmeric is moving from supplement to ingredient. It will appear in packaged foods like cereals, sauerkraut and even plant-based ice cream sandwiches.

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