From "ultraurban" farming to ingredients like yuzu citrus and hibiscus, Whole Foods Market this week made its predictions for hot new food and beverage trends that will light up the aisles in 2022.
Whole Foods Market's annual predictions can be reliable indicators for what will be trending in the restaurant, grocery and convenience channels, including vending, market markets and office coffee service.
So what's Whole Foods Market think? The food retailer consulted with its Trends Council, which came up with the following top-10 list of trends that will "win hearts, minds and menus in 2022."
1. Ultraurban farming
Since Whole Foods Market opened a store in Brooklyn in 2013 with a Gotham Greens greenhouse on top, innovation in indoor farming has ballooned, from hydroponics and aquaponics to mushrooms grown above our grocery aisles – and even fresh produce grown by robots. Whole Foods Market said producers are finding new ways to grow hyper-local crops and maximize efficiency.
2. You do yuzu
A lesser-known citrus mainly cultivated in Japan, Korea and China, yuzu is taking the culinary world by storm. The tangerine-sized tart and sour, this fruit is popping up in vinaigrettes, hard seltzers, mayos and more, said the Trends Council. In the restaurants, chefs are using its lime-lemon-grapefruit flavor to accent soups, veggies, noodles and fish.
Reducing consumption of meat, dairy and eggs without cutting them out completely will continue to gain traction, according to Whole Foods. When animal products are on the menu, "reducetarians" make them count, opting for premium grass-fed meat. Whole Foods Market's own meat department doesn’t allow antibiotics and pasture-raised eggs.
4. Hibiscus is happening
Hibiscus has a long history in the world of teas and customers keep 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, according to the Trends Council.
5. Buzz-less spirits
Whole Foods Market calls it the "dialed-down spirits category." The category experienced record growth at its stores this year. With millennials and Gen Z-ers dabbling in “drysolation” during the pandemic, the company doesn't see the sober-curious mindset going away anytime soon. Drinks that provide the taste and sophistication of cocktails without the buzz will be on the rise.
6. Grains that give back
Grocery grains are refocusing on the environment in 2022. These grains grown via agriculture practices and farming processes that help address soil health. Whole Foods Market cited Kernza – a perennial grain developed by the Land Institute with a sweet, nutty flavor and long roots – that helps with nutrient cycling and overall soil ecology. It will be used more in cereals and even beers.
7. 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, according to the WFM Trends Council. Sunflower seeds deliver protein and unsaturated fats and are transforming the 21st century snack game.
8. 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. The are now gaining steam in the U.S. as matcha’s latest alternative. Moringa can be found in powder form and added to make magic in smoothies, sauces and baked goods. The Trends Council said moringa is starting to show up in frozen desserts, protein bars and packaged grain blends.
9. Functional pizz
People are looking for sparkling drinks that not only taste great but also offer ingredients that balance out the sweetness. The Trends Council predicts a rise in soda with probiotics and fizzy tonics with added prebiotics, botanicals and more.
10. Turmeric takes off
Also know as “the golden spice,” turmeric has been used for centuries in Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine, and is now 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.
Click here to find more insights from Whole Foods Market's Trend Council.
Founded in 1980 in Austin, TX, Whole Foods Market Inc. is a multinational supermarket chain known for its organic selections. It was acquired by Amazon in 2017 and operates some 500 stores in the North America and about seven in the UK.