Whole Foods Market’s Top 10 Food Trends for 2022

Buzz-less spirits, yuzu, Reducetarianism and functional beverages made with prebiotics and botanicals are just a few of the food influences that may rise in popularity in the year ahead.

Whole Foods Market revealed its top 10 food trends for 2022. Image courtesy of Whole Foods Market.

Austin, TX—The Whole Foods Market Trends Council has revealed its predictions for 2022’s top 10 food trends. What does the council, which is made up of more than 50 Whole Foods Market team members, including local foragers, regional and global buyers, and culinary experts, see on the horizon? Buzz-less spirits, yuzu, Reducetarianism and functional beverages made with prebiotics and botanicals are just a few of the food influences that may rise in popularity in the year ahead.

“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, in a press release. “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. We look forward to watching these trends take form in grocery aisles and on our plates in 2022.”

Here’s the top 10 list highlighting we can look forward to, as outlined in the release:

ULTRAURBAN FARMING: Innovation in indoor farming, from hydroponics and aquaponics to mushrooms grown above our grocery aisles and even fresh produce grown by robots, is taking off. Whole Foods reports that producers are pushing the boundaries and finding ways to grow hyper-local crops and maximize efficiency.

Related: The Trials of 2020…and How Regen Ag Can Save Us

YUZU: This tart-sour citrus, mainly cultivated in Japan, Korea and China, is a new darling in the culinary world, making its way into vinaigrettes, hard seltzers, mayos, and more, the Whole Foods team shared.

Related: Flavors & Colors Trend Report

REDUCETARIANISM: More people are reducing consumption of meat, dairy and eggs without cutting them out completely. And as the Trend Council pointed out, when animal products are on the menu, reducetarians make them count, opting for premium grass-fed meat and pasture-raised eggs.

Related: Maximizing Plant-Based Sales

HIBISCUS: Producers are harnessing the sweet-tart flavor in beverages, fruit spreads, yogurts, and more.

BUZZ-LESS SPIRITS: “With millennials and Gen Z-ers dabbling in ‘drysolation’ during the pandemic, we don’t see the sober-curious mindset going away anytime soon,” the experts at Whole Foods shared.

Related: Cheers to Healthier Sips!

GRAINS THAT GIVE BACK: Grains grown via agriculture practices and farming processes that help address soil health are in demand. One in particular that was flagged by Whole Foods: Kernza, a perennial grain developed by The Land Institute with a sweet, nutty flavor and long roots that helps with nutrient cycling and soil ecology.

Related: Spoonshot Predicts 7 Trends for 2022

SUNFLOWER SEED: The tiny treasures, rich in protein and unsaturated fats, are showing up in crackers, ice creams and creamy cheeses.

MORINGA: Traditionally used as an herbal remedy in India, Africa and beyond, nutrient-dense moringa leaves come from fast-growing, drought-resistant trees and have been used as a source of food to fight malnutrition. Now the powder form is a hit in smoothies, sauces, and baked goods, and it’s also being used in frozen desserts, protein bars, and packaged grain blends.

Related: Herb of the Month: Moringa

FUNCTIONAL FIZZ: Soda with probiotics and fizzy tonics with added prebiotics, botanicals and more are a hit.

TURMERIC: Used for centuries in Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine, consumers  in the U.S. are now more tuned into this spice, which being used in packaged foods like cereals, sauerkrauts, and innovative offerings like plant-based ice cream sandwiches.

Related: Turmeric Case Study Proposes Testing Strategy

Interested in trying the trends…or looking for brands to stock? The team at Whole Foods Market also shared product picks for all 10 trends. Another plus: Whole Foods Market is offering the Trends Discovery Box with a curated assortment of 10 products to represent each of the 10 trends so consumers can taste all the trends at once. The boxes, available for $30 (valued at over $50), are available for a limited time at wfmtrythetrends.com.