Lakewood, CO—Natural Grocers has revealed its sixth annual Top 10 Nutrition Trends predictions, according to a press release, compiled by Natural Grocers’ Nutrition Education team, consisting of health and wellness experts ranging from Registered Dietitians to Certified Natural Foods Chefs, in collaboration with Natural Grocers’ purchasing and analytics teams. By analyzing consumer-shopping preferences, the latest research, and the impact of COVID-19 on communities, the teams were able to make their 2022 predictions.
“As we look back at another year in which our communities have felt the obvious and hidden effects of a global pandemic, there is no denying that people are changing how they approach their health,” remarked Shelby Miller, MS, Natural Grocers’ Manager of Scientific Affairs and Nutrition Education. “People are considering how their everyday choices affect their long-term health, and our trends for the coming year reflect how those decisions are intricately tied together to shape our wellbeing and our ability to thrive and flourish.”
The top 10 trends:
- Healthspan. We’re shifting focus from years of life to years of health, boosting long-term health through diet, lifestyle, and supplements aimed at supporting anti-inflammation, healthy blood sugar balance, immune resilience, and liver health. As such, Natural Grocers foresees an increased demand for foundational supplements like multivitamins, single vitamins, lecithin, milk thistle, and lutein
- Daily Immune Support. This is the second year in a row this trend is on Natural Grocers’ list—the retailer feels that people are more and more coming to understand that keeping the immune system nourished on a regular basis helps it be ready when illness happens, hopefully lessening symptom severity and shortening the duration of the illness. Daily care will include getting sufficient amounts of nutrients like vitamins C & D and quercetin, but also reducing sugar, increasing exercise, and improving holistic health.
- Pet Health. Pet ownership has skyrocketed during the pandemic, and pet owners are applying the same standards to their pet health as they do to their own health—so there will be a continued increase in demand for allergen-free, organic pet food and treats, and for supplements that support anxiety, digestion, and joint health.
- Minority-Led Businesses. Women and Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) will continue to shine in this space, bringing their expertise, creativity, and knowledge to the mix, in every sector from supplements to body care to natural foods. Listing off a few, Natural Grocers points to Miyoko’s Creamery, Siete, Pop & Bottle, The Honey Pot, A Dozen Cousins, Biena, Me & the Bees Lemonade, Naturade, Nubian Heritage, and Pipcorn.
- Pollution Nutrition. Pollution is estimated to lead to at least 7 million deaths worldwide every year, and exposure is associated with illnesses ranging from asthma to neurological damage and cancer. In 2022, Natural Grocers predicts that people will make it a priority to make food choices that minimize air pollution from agricultural sources like CAFOs and conventionally farmed crops, choosing instead to purchase regenerative and USDA Organic products. People will also look for supplements like omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, antioxidant vitamins C & E, and nutrients like sulfurophane, all of which the press release notes have been shown to protect against the negative health effects of air pollution.
- Healthy Snacking. The COVID-19 pandemic not only had people turning to snacks for comfort, but piqued interest in finding snacks that feel indulgent while being healthy. In 2022, Natural Grocers predicts the continued rise of “sensible indulgences,” like jerky, popcorn, nuts, and dried fruit—or, the company recommends, a bowl of fruit topped with coconut milk.
- Picking Up After Burnout. Chronic stressors take a toll, but in 2022 Natural Grocers is predicting increased demand for adaptogens and other nutrients that help the body resist and bounce back from stress while boosting motivation, decreasing fatigue, and supporting energy, to help people feel calmer and less pressured.
- Metabolic Paradigm Shift. While previous wisdom said that metabolism declines after our 20s, new research published in Science shows that that’s not quite true—rather, it plateaus from our 20s to our 50s, and doesn’t start declining until well into our 60s and 70s. This gives individuals more control—and more responsibility. Natural Grocers is predicting that as this becomes widely known, shoppers will respond by looking for products like BCAAs, acetyl-L-carnitine, CoQ10, and alpha lipoic acid, all products that can support metabolism, while increasing exercise and general physical activity.
- Virtual Wellness (Continuing). Virtual wellness will not go away with the pandemic. Virtual therapy, meetings, school, and health nutrition counseling will all stick around, enabling people to maintain their lives and health from the comfort of home.
- Functional Flavor. The herbs and spices that make food taste good are also making it healthier, according to Natural Grocers, and as such, demand will increase for ingredients like cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, basil, thyme, sage, and rosemary—flavors with function.
- BONUS TREND: Brick-and-Mortar Shopping. Americans want “authenticity” in their shopping experience, Natural Grocers says—including access to knowledgeable staff, trustworthy products, and ethical business. Shoppers are looking for quality supplements from manufacturers and retailers they trust.