The big trend predictions for 2022 are starting to come out, and first on the calendar is the Whole Foods Annual Trends report where they predict what flavours, practices, and ingredients will be all over our shelves during the next year, and there is certainly an emphasis on functional foods.
Here’s a quick overview:
1. Ultraurban Farming
Continuous farming innovations mean more ways to grow in difficult areas, and brands are starting to jump on that new technology to get things growing in the most unexpected places.
The first of the flavour predictions, this citrus fruit is mainly cultivated in Japan, Korea, and China and has started popping up in more Western markets in the form of “vinaigrettes, hard seltzers, and mayos”
This one goes out to those who are “plant-curious” but not fully committed to plant-based. “When animal products are on the menu, reducetarians make them count, opting for premium grass-fed meat and pasture-raised eggs.”
The second flavour on this year’s list, hibiscus gives food a bright colour and bright flavour. Though it’s been a common fixture in teas, it’s appearing in jams, yogurt, and even collagen powders.
5. Buzz-Less Spirits
This one is pretty self-explanatory—more and more brands are emerging with alcohol-free versions of favorite tipples, making mocktails the next beverage to get the ‘craft’ treatment.
6. Grains That Give Back
Slightly less self-explanatory, this trend touches on the way grain-based foods are becoming more available “via agriculture practices and farming processes that help address soil health”
7. Sunflower Seeds
Nut butter and seeds are here to stay with some popping up in crackers, ice cream bases, and even malt-milks.
Though it’s been used in traditional medicine and Ayurvedic healing for thousands of years, this superfood is a key ingredient trend to look out for in 2022—beyond just supplements, so in fruit bars and snacks for example.
9. Functional Fizz
It’s more than just kombucha. Fizzy drinks with benefits are hitting shelves in droves.
Another ingredient that’s been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic healing and traditional cooking, turmericis predicted to boom even more on the food scene—specifically in “packaged foods like cereals, sauerkrauts, and even plant-based ice cream.”
Many of these predicted trends link to functional food and functional nutrition. From the vitamin C in hibiscus to superfoods like moringa and turmeric, this year’s list is a bona fide rundown of foods that aren’t just tasty—but also have a range of benefits.
Another major better-for-everyone trend on the list is reducetarianism. While grass-fed meats and sustainable fish can have a role in a healthy diet, other healthy eating patterns include the ever-popular Mediterranean diet with a focus on vege, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
Also don’t forget about growing herbs in your apartment kitchen, which is another move toward sustainable and local produce for city dwellers.
The bottom line? 2022 is going to be a year of bright flavours and brighter health potential, with functional foods and beverages going even more mainstream and taking our supermarkets by storm.