Each year, more than 50 shoppers and culinary experts from around the world who sit on the Whole Foods Trend Council come up with their most anticipated food trends for the coming year. Last year’s trend predictions included things like vacuum-packed egg bites, boozy kombucha, and a slew of new chickpea snacks (which were pretty much spot on, based on what we’ve seen this year).
“Last year, we saw huge pandemic-related shifts in food buying habits as the world adjusted to spending more time at home. As the food industry slowly adapts to the new normal, we expect consumers to prioritize food and beverage products that provide additional benefits – such as functional soft drinks and tonics – and products that contribute to their sense of well-being, such as vegetables from urban gardens and produce grown with agricultural processes that contribute to soil health,” says Sonya Gafsi Oblisk, chief marketing officer, Whole Foods Market. “We’re looking forward to seeing these trends take shape in grocery aisles and on our plates in 2022.”
8 Biggest Food Trends of 2022, According to Whole Foods
From hydroponics to aquaponics to urban greenhouses (fun fact: Whole Foods Market’s Brooklyn store has a Gotham Greens greenhouse on the rooftop), innovation in urban and indoor farming has come a long way. Whole Foods predicts that these ultra-urban farms will continue to push the envelope in 2022, growing hyper-local crops and maximizing efficiency even further. Want a taste of this trend? Try vegetables, herbs, and dressings from brands like Gotham Greens, AeroFarms, Bowery Farming, Plenty Indoor Vertical Farming, Smallholder Organic Mushrooms, and others.
Yuzu is a tangerine-sized tart citrus fruit grown primarily in parts of Asia. Whole Foods believes this fruit will take hold in U.S. grocery stores and restaurants by 2022. Want to try the trend? Drizzle your salad with Acid League’s yuzu honey vinaigrette or try Boulevard Brewing Quirk Pear Yuzu Spiked Sparkling Water. In keeping with its trend predictions, Whole Foods will also debut a seasonal mango yuzu cake and a yuzu togarashi marinade in its seafood section next year.
Reduccetarianism is for people who are not ready to go full vegetarian or vegan but want to reduce their consumption of meat, dairy, and eggs to help the planet (or even their health). Many reducetarians also prioritize eating grass-fed meat and pasture-raised eggs when opting for animal products. Want to try this trend? Try Epic Provisions 100% Grass-Fed Bars or make a scramble with Pasture Raised Large Brown Grade A eggs from Whole Foods.
You may have already tried vitamin C-rich hibiscus tea, but now people in the culinary world are getting creative by using the sweet and tangy taste of hibiscus (and its beautiful deep pink hue) in fruit spreads, yogurts, drinks, and more. Try Ruby Hibiscus sugar-free water, Vital Proteins Hibiscus Beauty collagen, YoBucha Strawberry Hibiscus Kombucha yogurt or get your hands on the new Organic Orange Hibiscus Italian soft drink coming next year.
Whole Foods said in a press release, “The low-proof alcoholic beverage category experienced record growth in our stores this year. With millennials and Generation Z dabbling in ‘desolation’ during the pandemic, we don’t see the sober-curious mindset going away anytime soon. Enter a new line of drinks that provide the taste and sophistication of cocktails without the buzz.” Savor Greenbar Distillery’s alcohol-free cocktail Bitters & Soda: Lavender, Orange, and Earl Grey or swap the tequila in your next margarita for Ritual Zero Proof alcohol-free tequila.
Grains That Give Back
Whole Foods predicts that grains grown using agricultural practices and farming processes that help address soil health will be a big focus in the coming year. The press release says, “Kernza-a perennial grain developed by The Land Institute with a sweet, nutty flavor and long roots-helps nutrient cycling and overall soil ecology.” Try it in Cascadian Farm’s Kernza flakes with honey oat cereal or Patagonia Provisions’ long-root pale ale brewed with the Kernza perennial grain, or opt for organic whole grains with Annie’s Organic: Macaroni & Classic Cheddar, Shells & White Cheddar with Whole Grains and Zack’s Mighty Tortilla Chips.
This is not the old baseball game snack. These seeds are coming off the baseball diamond and can now be found in ice cream, cheeses, and other products. Try Fix & Fogg nut butter made with sunflower seeds, Ben & Jerry’s non-dairy frozen desserts made with sunflower butter, or Spero sunflower cream cheeses. Next year, Whole Foods Market will also launch a sunflower butter and jam sandwich.
“Often called the ‘miracle tree,’ moringa is traditionally used as an herbal remedy in India, Africa, and beyond. Moringa leaves are packed with nutrients, and these fast-growing, drought-resistant trees have been used as a food source to combat malnutrition in certain parts of the world,” Whole Foods said in its press release. “It can be found in powdered form and added to make magic in smoothies, sauces, and baked goods.” Put a scoop of Kuli Kuli: Daily Green Boost with Moringa & Supergreens in your morning smoothie or opt for a scoop of Sunscoop’s Mint Chip! Sunscoop’s Dairy-Free Dessert with Moringa.
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