Austin, TX — Whole Foods Market is predicting buzz-less spirits, yuzu, Reducetarianism and functional beverages made with prebiotics and botanicals will be among the food influences expected to rise in popularity in the next year.
Each year the retailer’s Trends Council of more than 50 Whole Foods Market team members, including local foragers, regional and global buyers, and culinary experts compile trend predictions based on decades of experience and expertise in product sourcing and studying consumer preferences, as well as in-depth workshopping with emerging and existing brands.
To help consumers familiarize themselves with the trends, Whole Foods is offering the Trends Discovery Box, a curated assortment of 10 products to represent the 10trends in the forecast. The boxes, available for $30 (valued at more than $50) are offered on the retailer’s website — wfmtrythetrends.com.
“Last year, we saw tremendous pandemic-related shifts in grocery buying habits as the world adjusted to spending more time at home. 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,” says Sonya Gafsi Oblisk, CMO at Whole Foods. “We look forward to watching these trends take form in grocery aisles and on our plates in 2022.”
Whole Foods’ Top 10 Food Trend Predictions for 2022:
ULTRAURBAN FARMING In 2013, Whole Foods opened a location in Brooklyn with a Gotham Greens greenhouse on top, providing fresh and sustainably grown herbs and salad greens in greenhouse systems using sunlight and 100 percent renewable electricity. 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 maximize efficiency.
Try the Trend: Gotham Greens: Butterhead Lettuce, Vegan Goddess Dressing & Dip; AeroFarms Micro Broccoli; Bowery Farming Green Sorrel; Plenty Indoor Vertical Farming: Mizuna Mix, Baby Arugula, Baby Kale, Crispy Lettuce; Smallhold Organic Mushrooms: Fancy Mushroom Pack, Lions Mane, Royal Trumpet; Upward Farms Organic Microgreen Mixes; Iron Ox Basil; Farm. One Blue Spice Basil grown in the retailer’s Manhattan West store and used on its Prepared Foods pizzas
YOU DO YUZU Yuzu — a lesser-known citrus mainly cultivated in Japan, Korea and China — is taking the culinary world by storm. Tart and sour, this tangerine-sized fruit is popping up in vinaigrettes, hard seltzers, mayos and more. In the restaurant scene, chefs are using its lime-lemon-grapefruit flavor to accent their soups, veggies, noodles and fish. Get ready to see this fruit shine in 2022 — both on and off the grocery aisles.
Try the Trend: Acid League: Pink Peppercorn Honey Yuzu Vinaigrette, Maker’s Mayo, made with yuzu (coming 2022); Rowdy Mermaid Adaptonic Matcha Yuzu Sparkling Immunity Tonic; Whole Foods Market Mango Yuzu Seasonal Cake (coming spring 2022); Kimino Sparkling Yuzu Juice; Boulevard Brewing Quirk Spiked & Sparkling Pear Yuzu (available in the Splash of Citrus Variety 12-Pack); Yuzu Togarashi Marinade found in Whole Foods’ Seafood department (coming 2022)
REDUCETARIANISM For plant-curious eaters who aren’t ready to give up meat entirely, try reducetarianism — reducing consumption of meat, dairy and eggs without cutting them out completely. When animal products are on the menu, reducetarians make them count, opting for premium grass-fed meat and pasture-raised eggs.
Try the Trend: EPIC Provisions 100% Grass-Fed Bars like Bison, Uncured Bacon and Cranberry Bar; Alexandre Family Farm 100% Grass Fed A2/A2 Yogurt (coming 2022); 365 by Whole Foods Market Pasture-Raised Large Brown Grade A Eggs; Applegate Well Carved Organic Meat & Veggie Burgers; Neutral Organic Milk: Whole, 2%
HIBISCUS IS HAPPENING Hibiscus has a long and delicious history in the world of teas, and customers have historically kept it in their rotations for its vitamin C content. Now, producers are harnessing its sweet, tart flavor in the form of fruit spreads, yogurts and beyond. Of course, beverage makers are keeping up, leaning on hibiscus to craft drinks that adopt its signature hot-pink hue.
Try the Trend: Whole Foods Market Organic Orange Hibiscus Italian Soda (coming 2022); Ruby Hibiscus Unsweetened Water; Vital Proteins Tropical Hibiscus Beauty Collagen; Kassumay Fruit Spread Hibiscus Sabdariffa; YoBucha Strawberry Hibiscus Kombucha Yogurt; Golden State Cider Jamaica made with tropical hibiscus flowers
BUZZ-LESS SPIRITS The dialed-down spirits category experienced record growth in Whole Foods stores this year. With millennials and Gen Z-ers dabbling in “drysolation” during the pandemic, the sober-curious mindset isn’t going away anytime soon. Enter a new lineup of drinks that provide the taste and sophistication of cocktails without the buzz.
Try the Trend: Greenbar Distillery Bitters & Soda Non-Alcoholic Cocktail: Lavender, Orange and Earl Grey; Ritual Zero Proof: Whiskey, Gin, Tequila Alternatives, Rum Alternative (coming 2022); John Ross Virgin Distilled Botanicals
GRAINS THAT GIVE BACK Grocery grains are refocusing on the environment in 2022 — 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.
Try the Trend: Cascadian Farm Kernza Flakes with Honey Oat Clusters Cereal; Annie’s Organic: Macaroni & Classic Cheddar, Shells & White Cheddar with Whole Grains; Patagonia Provisions Long Root Pale Ale made with Kernza perennial grain; Zack’s Mighty Tortilla Chips made with whole corn kernels grown with farming practices that support soil health
SEIZE THE SUNFLOWER SEED After fueling grand slams and double plays for years, sunflower seeds are branching out of the ballpark and sliding into crackers, ice creams and creamy cheeses. Delivering protein and unsaturated fats, these little seeds are transforming the 21st century snack game. Parents, take note — many sunflower seed–based products are made without nuts, which means they make allergy-friendly school snacks.
Try the Trend: Fix & Fogg Nut Butters made with sunflower seeds; Ben & Jerry’s Non-Dairy Frozen Desserts made with sunflower butter; 365 by Whole Foods Market Gluten Free Almond & Sunflower Seed Flour Crackers; Three Trees Organic Oat & Seed Oatmilk; Spero Sunflower Cream Cheeses; Whole Foods Market Sunbutter + Jelly Sandwich (coming 2022)
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 U.S. 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.
Try the Trend: Kuli Kuli: Daily Green Boost with Moringa & Supergreens, Get Well Soon with Moringa & Camu Camu, Pure Moringa Vegetable Powder; Wella Organics Cashew, Matcha & Moringa Bar; Yolélé Fonio Pilaf, Greens! made with moringa and spinach; Sunscoop Mmmint Chip! Dairy Free Dessert with moringa; Elements Truffle Maple Toffee with Moringa Artisanal Chocolate
FUNCTIONAL FIZZ Today, bubbly beverages are doing double duty. Consumers 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 flavors. Unconventional ingredients.
Try the Trend: Poppi Prebiotic Sodas; REBBL Sparkling Prebiotic Tonics; Health Ade Pop Prebiotic Sodas; Ardor Organic Sparkling Water + Focus and Energy; Sound Grapefruit Sparkling Water with Tea & Botanicals
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 U.S. 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. People want to have their turmeric and eat it too.
Try The Trend: 365 by Whole Foods Market Golden Chai Granola; Green Girl Bakeshop Golden Mylk Plant-Based Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich; Nature’s Path Organic Golden Turmeric Cereal & Oatmeal Cup; Local Culture Turmeric Ginger Jalapeno Handmade Sauerkraut; Whole Foods Market Salad Bar items including Turmeric Sweet Potato Kale Salad and Curry Tofu Salad (coming 2022); Whole Foods Market Golden Holiday Bread (coming late 2021)