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Amazon-owned grocer Whole Foods Market, which operates hundreds of stores in the US and seven in the UK, has unveiled what it expects to be the top 10 food trends for 2022. These include ingredients such as moringa, turmeric and yuzu gaining in popularity whilst movements such as ultraurban farming and reducetarianism are expected to take off in the next year.

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 their experience in product sourcing and studying consumer preferences, as well as in-depth workshopping with emerging and existing brands.

“Last year, we saw tremendous pandemic-related shifts in grocery buying habits as the world adjusted to spending more time at home,” said Sonya Gafsi Oblisk, Chief Marketing Officer at Whole Foods Market.

“As the food industry slowly adjusts to a new normal, we expect to see consumers prioritise 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. We look forward to watching these trends take form in grocery aisles and on our plates in 2022.”

Jade Hoai, Director of Purchasing and Operations in the UK, added: “At Whole Foods Market, we pride ourselves in leading the way with the latest food and drink trends. Our customers rely on us to offer the absolute best quality alternative products that are unique to our stores, from reducetarianism to functional fizz, there’s a trend for everyone, and you’ll find the very best of them here at Whole Foods Market.”

Whole Foods Market’s top 10 food trend predictions for 2022:
ULTRAURBAN FARMING

In 2020, we welcomed Infarm, the world’s fastest growing urban farming network, in installing two of its vertical farming units allowing shoppers to buy fresh produce grown directly in store. 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 maximise efficiency. Try the trend: Infarm, Red Veined Sorrel

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 flavour 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: The Wasabi Company, Mustard Yuzu

REDUCETARIANISM

Are you a plant-curious eater who isn’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 (plus, our Meat department doesn’t allow antibiotics) and pasture-raised eggs. Try the trend: Osius Bone Broth, Organic Bone Broth with Turmeric

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 flavour in the form of fruit spreads, yogurts and beyond. Of course, beverage makers are keeping up, leaning on hibiscus to craft delicious drinks that adopt its signature hot-pink hue. Try the trend: Something and Nothing, Hibiscus and Rose Seltzer

BUZZ-LESS SPIRITS

The dialed-down spirits category record growth in our stores this year. With millennials and Gen Z-ers dabbling in “drysolation” during the pandemic, we don’t see the sober-curious mindset going away anytime soon. Enter a new lineup of drinks that provide the taste and sophistication of cocktails without the buzz. If you want to shake things up, there are elegant mocktail options to explore. Try the trend: Gimber, Peruvian Ginger Concentrate

GRAINS THAT GIVE BACK

Grocery grains are refocusing on the environment in 2022. We’re talking grains grown via agriculture practices and farming processes that help address soil health. Teff, known a tiny grass seed with a mild nutty flavour is known for its efficiency – as the grain is highly adaptable and can survive extreme weather conditions. Add it to your porridge, pancakes or pie.  Try the trend: Lovegrass Teff Waffle and Pancake Mix

SEIZE THE SUNFLOWER SEED

Sunflower seeds are now sliding into crackers, ice creams and creamy cheeses.  Delivering protein and unsaturated fats, these mighty little seeds are transforming the 21st century snack game. Parents, take note — many sunflower seed–based products are made without nuts, which means allergy-friendly school snacks (just make sure to always check the label). Try the trend: Indie Bay Snacks, Sunflower Pretzel Bites Superseeds

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: Aduna, Cleanse Tea Moringa Mint and Nettle

FUNCTIONAL FIZZ

Today, bubbly beverages are doing double duty. That’s right, people are looking for sparkling drinks that not only taste great but also offer ingredients that balance out the sweetness. We’re talking soft drinks with probiotics and fizzy tonics with added prebiotics, botanicals and more. Fruity flavours. Unconventional ingredients. Get more from your bubbly drinks. Try the trend: Humble Warrior, Mango Turmeric Sparkling Drink

TURMERIC TAKES OFF

Turmeric, aka “the golden spice,” has been used for centuries in Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine, and has become popular as a dietary supplement. While golden milk lattes and turmeric supplements are nothing new, the spice is becoming more accessible taking root in the form of savoury paste and sauces. People want to have their turmeric and eat it too. Try the trend: Turmeric Merchant, Turmeric Paste

NAM Implications:
  • With the market now beginning to ‘settle down’ to a post Lockdown ‘norm’…
  • It must be worthwhile conducting team ‘what if ‘sessions.
  • i.e. why not assess how these trends affect your business?

Source: Whole Foods Market Predicts Food Trends For 2022 – KamCity

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