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 experience and expertise in product sourcing and studying consumer preferences, as well as in-depth workshopping with emerging and existing brands.
Whole Foods Market recently unveiled their top 10 anticipated food trends for 2022 in the retailer’s seventh-annual Trends predictions. Buzz-less spirits, yuzu, Reducetarianism, and functional beverages made with prebiotics and botanicals are among the food influences expected to rise in popularity in the next year. Read on to see the food trends of 2022!
ULTRA URBAN FARMING
In 2013, we opened a pioneering Whole Foods Market store in Brooklyn with a Gotham Greens greenhouse on top, providing fresh and sustainably grown herbs and salad greens in greenhouse systems using sunlight and 100% renewable electricity. 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 maximize efficiency.
YOU DO YUZU
Yuzu — 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. Chefs use its lime-lemon-grapefruit flavor to accent their soups, veggies, noodles, and fish in the restaurant scene. So get ready to see this fruit shine in 2022 — both on and off the grocery aisles.
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.
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. Of course, beverage makers are keeping up, leaning on hibiscus to craft delicious drinks that adopt its signature hot-pink hue.
The dialed-down spirits category experienced 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.
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. Kernza® – a perennial grain developed by The Land Institute with a sweet, nutty flavor and long roots – helps with nutrient cycling and overall soil ecology.
SEIZE THE SUNFLOWER SEED
After fueling grand slams and double plays for years, sunflower seeds branch out of the ballpark and slide into crackers, ice creams, and creamy cheeses. Suppling protein and unsaturated fats, these mighty tiny seeds are transforming the 21st-century snack game. Parents note that many sunflower seed-based products are made without nuts, which means allergy-friendly school snacks (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 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.
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 soda with probiotics and fizzy tonics with added prebiotics, botanicals, and more. Fruity flavors. Unconventional ingredients. Get more from your bubbly drinks.
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. People want to have their turmeric and eat it too.