Slideshow: Whole Foods Predicts 2022 Trends

Julie Gallagher | 18 Oct 2021

Whole Foods Market released its Top 10 Trends for 2020, Monday, and announced the availability of a Trends Discovery Box, featuring 10 items that tie into the trends, for $30.

A Trends Council of more than 50 Whole Foods team members, including local foragers, regional and global buyers, and culinary experts compile their trend predictions based on their expertise in product sourcing and studying consumer preferences, as well as 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. 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,” said Sonya Gafsi Oblisk, chief marketing officer at Whole Foods Market, in a statement. “We look forward to watching these trends take form in grocery aisles and on our plates in 2022.”

The trends are:

  • Ultra-urban Farming

    Innovation in indoor farming has ballooned from hydroponics and aquaponics to mushrooms grown above Whole Foods grocery aisles, and even produce grown by robots, says the retailer.

    “Producers are finding new, boundary-pushing ways to grow hyper-local crops and maximize efficiency,” according to Whole Foods.

    One Blue Spice Basil, for instance, is grown in Whole Foods’ Manhattan West store and used on its Prepared Foods pizzas.

  • You Du Yuzu

    Yuzu — a lesser-known citrus mainly cultivated in Japan, Korea, and China — is gaining popularity, according to the retailer.

    “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 flavor to accent their soups, veggies, noodles and fish. Get ready to see this fruit shine in 2022 — both on and off the grocery aisles,” said Whole Foods.

    Tying into the trend is Whole Foods Market Mango Yuzu Seasonal Cake, which will be introduced in 2022.

  • Reducetarianism

    Reducetarianism is the reduction of meat, dairy, and egg consumption without cutting them out completely.

    “When animal products are on the menu, reducetarians make them count, opting for premium, grass-fed meat and pasture-raised eggs,” said Whole Foods.

  • Hibiscus is Happening

    “Hibiscus has a long and delicious history in the world of teas, and customers have traditionally 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,” said Whole Foods, which will release a private label Organic Orange Hibiscus Italian Soda next year.

  • Buzz-Less Spirits

    Whole Foods reported that its “dialed-down spirits” have achieved record growth this year, as millenials and Gen-Zers dabbled in “drysolation” during the pandemic. Among the mocktails tying into the trend are Greenbar Distillery Bitters & Soda Non-Alcoholic Cocktail: Lavendar, Orange, and Earl Grey; Ritual Zero Proof: Whiskey, Gin, Tequila Alternatives; and John Ross Virgin Distilled Botanicals.

  • Grains That Give Back

    Grains grown via agricultural practices that address soil health will be hot in 2022, said the retailer. Take for instance Kernza, a perennial grain developed by The Land Institute with a sweet, nutty flavor and long roots. It helps with nutrient cycling and overall soil ecology, and can be found in cereals and beer.

  • Seize the Sunflower Seed

    Sunflower seeds are making their way into crackers, ice cream, and even cream cheeses. “Delivering protein and unsaturated fats, these mighty little seeds are transforming the 21st century snack game,” said the retailer who is planning on introducing a Whole Foods Market Sunbutter and Jelly Sandwich, next year.

  • Moringa's Moment

    Used as an herbal remedy in India, moringa has traditionally been called the “miracle tree.”

    “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,” said Whole Foods. “It’s also showing up in unexpected products like frozen desserts, protein bars and packaged grain blends.”

  • Functional Fizz

    Bubbly beverages with a pop of functionality are on the rise, as consumers look for sparkling drinks that taste great and are great for you. Think soda with probiotics and fizzy tonics with added prebiotics and botanicals, said Whole Foods.

  • Turmeric Takes Off

    Turmeric, also known as the “golden spice” is finding its way into packaged foods like cereals, sauerkrauts, and plant-based ice cream sandwiches. It will be an ingredient in the soon-to-be released Whole Foods Market Golden Holiday Bread, coming later this year.