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The Food Trends To Watch Out For In 2022, According To Whole Foods Market

Eliza Sullivan
Food Writer By Eliza Sullivan
Food Writer
Eliza Sullivan is a food writer and SEO editor at mindbodygreen. She writes about food, recipes, and nutrition—among other things. She studied journalism at Boston University.
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It's that time of year! The big trend predictions for next year—which is somehow 2022 already—are starting to come out. First on the calendar: Whole Foods Annual Trends report, where they predict what flavors, practices, and ingredients will be all over our shelves during the next year. Here at mbg, we were so excited to see some of our favorite things make the list—because there is certainly an emphasis on the "functional" in functional foods.

Whole Foods Market's predictions for 2022.

Before we dive into the trends we're particularly jazzed about, here's a quick overview of the list in full:

  1. Ultraurban Farming: Continuous farming innovations mean more ways to grow in difficult areas, and brands are starting to jump on that new technology to get things growing in the most unexpected places.
  2. Yuzu: The first of the flavor predictions, this citrus fruit is mainly cultivated in Japan, Korea, and China and has started popping up in more Western markets in the form of "vinaigrettes, hard seltzers, and mayos" according to Whole Foods Market.
  3. Reducetarianism: This one goes out to those who are "plant-curious" but not fully committed to plant-based. According to Whole Foods Market: "When animal products are on the menu, reducetarians make them count, opting for premium grass-fed meat and pasture-raised eggs."
  4. Hibiscus: The second flavor on this year's list, hibiscus gives food a bright color and bright flavor. Though it's been a common fixture in teas, it's appearing in fruit spreads, yogurts, and even collagen powders.
  5. Buzz-Less Spirits: This one is pretty self-explanatory—more and more brands are emerging with alcohol-free versions of favorite tipples, making mocktails the next beverage to get the "craft" treatment.
  6. Grains That Give Back: Slightly less self-explanatory, this trend touches on the way grain-based foods are cluing into their role in the ecosystem and growing more "via agriculture practices and farming processes that help address soil health," explains Whole Foods Market.
  7. Sunflower Seeds: Step aside, nut butter; seeds are here to stay. According to Whole Foods Market, these particular seeds are popping up beyond just seed butters now, in crackers, ice cream bases, and even alt-milks.
  8. Moringa: Though it's been used in traditional medicine and Ayurvedic healing for thousands of years, Whole Foods Market is naming this superfood a key ingredient trend to look out for in 2022—beyond just supplements, particularly (like in bars and snacks).
  9. Functional Fizz: It's more than just kombucha; fizzy drinks with benefits are hitting shelves in droves, and Whole Foods Market predicts 2022 will be the year people really start to reach for more functional beverages. (Check out our favorite healthy drinks here.)
  10. Turmeric: Another ingredient that's been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic healing and traditional cooking, turmeric is predicted to boom even more on the food scene after a handful of years sweeping the wellness scene—specifically in "packaged foods like cereals, sauerkrauts, and even plant-based ice cream."

The trends we've been loving for years.

While all of these are interesting perspectives on the future of food, this year seems to particularly feature a few of our favorites that we've been writing about for years, which are also a big part of our food POV.

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That's probably because many of the trends they're predicting hinge on some link to functional food and functional nutrition. From the vitamin C in hibiscus to superfoods like moringa and turmeric, this year's list is a bona fide rundown of foods that aren't just tasty—but have a range of benefits to go with their flavor punch.

Another major better-for-everyone trend on the list is reducetarianism. While we believe grass-fed meats and sustainable fish can have a role in a healthy diet, there's no doubt that here at mbg we're on board with the "mostly plants" dietary style. In fact, many of the healthy eating patterns we talk about regularly—like the ever-popular Mediterranean diet—focus on veggies, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.

We also love that urban farming made the list (beyond just growing herbs in your apartment kitchen), which is another move toward sustainable and local produce for city dwellers—and we're excited to see it taking hold in grocers, not just the local farmers markets.


The bottom line.

If Whole Foods Market's predictions come true, 2022 is going to be a year of bright flavors and brighter health potential, with functional foods and beverages going even more mainstream and taking our supermarkets by storm.

Want to know more about how functional nutrition can help optimize your health? Here are the basic four starter steps for better health that come from a functional nutrition perspective.


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