Whole Foods Market Reveals Top 10 Food Trends for 2022; Sonya Gafsi Oblisk Explains
AUSTIN, TX - Keeping up in the produce industry is all about staying on your toes and adapting to evolving consumer demands. Part of this includes anticipating shoppers’ interests before they even know they’re there, and Whole Foods Market proved its keen fortune-telling skills with last year’s consumer trend predictions. Dare to find out what the retailer foresaw this time around? Read on to discover the company’s forecast for 2022.
“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,” said Sonya Gafsi Oblisk, Chief Marketing Officer. “We look forward to watching these trends take form in grocery aisles and on our plates in 2022.”
Each year, a 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 expertise in product sourcing and studying consumer preferences, as well as in-depth workshopping with emerging and existing brands.
Tapping into the demand these trends will create, Whole Foods Market is offering the Trends Discovery Box for the first time ever. The Trends Discovery Box is a curated assortment of 10 products to represent each of the trends highlighted in the forecast. The boxes (valued at over $50) are currently available for a limited time and grant consumers the chance to explore all the trends at once.
Whole Foods Market’s top 10 food trend predictions for 2022 are as follows:
Suppliers are finding new, boundary-pushing ways to grow hyper-local crops and maximize efficiency, and fresh and sustainably grown herbs and salad greens produced in greenhouse systems using sunlight and 100 percent renewable electricity are on this year’s trends list.
YOU DO YUZU
Yuzu—a citrus fruit mainly cultivated in Japan, Korea, and China—is taking the culinary world by storm. The tart and sour, tangerine-sized fruit is popping up in items such as vinaigrettes, hard seltzers, mayos, and more.
Reducetarianism means 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.
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. Beverage makers are also leaning on hibiscus to craft delicious drinks that adopt its signature hot-pink hue.
With millennials and Gen Z-ers dabbling in “drysolation” during the pandemic, a new lineup of drinks that provide the taste and sophistication of cocktails without the buzz will be collecting shopper dollars soon enough.
GRAINS THAT GIVE BACK
Grains are refocusing on the environment in 2022. Specifically, grains grown via agriculture practices and farming processes that help address soil health are of interest.
SEIZE THE SUNFLOWER SEED
Sunflower seeds are branching out of the ballpark and sliding into crackers, ice creams, and creamy cheeses. Delivering protein and unsaturated fats, these seeds are transforming the 21st-century snack game. Many sunflower seed-based products are made without nuts, which means allergy-friendly school snacks (just make sure to always check the label).
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 smoothies, sauces, and baked goods. It’s also showing up in unexpected products like frozen desserts, protein bars, and packaged grain blends.
Today, bubbly beverages are doing double duty—people 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.
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.
Check out the trends list for more info as well as products to keep an eye out for.
AndNowUKnow will observe how these trends drive retail sales, so stay tuned.