If 2020 brought us sourdough bread, mini-pancake cereal, and hot chocolate bombs, and, let’s be honest, 2021 was a bit of a blur, then what’s on the menu for 2022?
For the past 7 years, Whole Foods’ Trends Council (which includes local foragers, regional and global buyers, and culinary experts) publishes a list of food and beverage trends for the coming year. Last year, epic breakfasts, superfoods, and amped-up condiments made the list – predictions which were pretty spot-on. Here’s what you can expect to see on grocery store shelves in 2022.
- Produce from Ultra-Urban Farming
You can probably imagine where most of your fruits and vegetables come from: massive farms in the Midwest and West Coast, warm-climate countries, or perhaps a local plot if you picked up your tomatoes at the farmers’ market. But in the last few years, urban farming has gotten a boost from technology, paving the way for the availability of hyper-local produce grown more sustainably. Your lettuce might start coming from rooftops in Brooklyn or hydroponic greenhouses in Atlanta.
- “Reducetarian” Foods
Just like 2021’s “mocktail” trend encouraged people to opt for the non-alcoholic versions of their favorite drinks, “reducetarian” foods are meant for people who want to reduce their intake of meat and other animal products without going full vegan. Think plant-based milks, Beyond meat, and vegan egg replacements. But when they do want to eat meat, reducetarians make sure it’s top-quality, like grass-fed beef and organic bison jerky.
High in vitamin C, the colorful shrub that’s often found in teas has been beloved around the world for centuries. According to the trend squad, though, you’ll be able to find it in lots of other foods and drinks next year, including hibiscus-infused waters and fruit spreads.
- Mocktails are Still Going Strong
According to IWSR Drinks Market Analysis, the total non-alcoholic spirits market has grown by 35% in 2021, and Whole Foods has seen record growth in this department. Buzz-less booze will remain popular in 2022, with even more mocktails and non-alcoholic liquors becoming available.
- Grains That Give Back
A growing list of companies that produce grains for pasta, cereals, and beer are zeroed in on farming practices that optimize for soil health. So go ahead and pour yourself another bowl of Honey O’s, because they’re probably ethically made.
- Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seed-based products like peanut butter-alternative SunButter have been popular in elementary school cafeterias for the last decade or so, thanks to an increased awareness of allergies to peanuts and other nuts. But these tiny seeds are graduating to the larger food market, making their way into crackers, ice cream, cheese, and more.
- Functional Fizz
Finally, a medium between sugary sodas and bland seltzer water. Whole Foods is calling it “functional fizz” and it includes drinks that have all the fizz and flavor of a soda, but are infused with vitamins and prebiotics to benefit gut health, heart health, and immunity.
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