Food trends to expect in 2022 and why they need to be on your shelves

Dec 14, 2021

If you’ve lost track of what’s happening in the world of natural and organic food, here are the trends and products you can expect to see gain traction over the next 12 months.

Even though we’ve all been a little preoccupied lately, don’t be fooled – food trends are not only emerging and evolving as per usual, in some cases they’re being directly influenced by what the world has experienced in the last two years.

From user sentiment to specific ingredients and foods you can expect to see soar, here’s what to look out for in 2022 to keep up with your consumers:

Immunity is here to stay.

It’s been a big driver throughout 2020 and 2021, and it’s not going anywhere in 2022. In its latest The Future of Nutrition, Health and Wellness report, global market research giant Mintel says consumers will continue to look for ways to support their immune systems. And increasingly, they’ll gravitate to a holistic approach, choosing functional foods that provide immunity-boosting ingredients alongside complementary health benefits.

Yuzu will become mainstream.

The tart and sour citrus fruit that’s slowly been making its presence felt on Australian restaurant and cocktail menus of late is destined for bigger things. That’s according to the annual trends prediction list for 2022 from world-leading natural and organic food supermarket chain, Whole Foods Market. Expect to see it pop up in products like dressings, spreads and pastes.

yuzu fruit

And so will moringa.

It’s not brand new, but not only is its global market size forecast to grow by $4.72 billion in the five years leading up to 2024, it’s another ‘food’ that made Whole Foods Market’s 2022 trends prediction list. Available as a powder that can be added to shakes, smoothies and sauces, the plant can also be made into an oil for cooking.

Reducetarians will add to their numbers.

That’s another Whole Foods Market prediction. Different to flexitarians, who primarily eat plants with the occasional inclusion of non-plant-based foods, reducetarians are those who actively and consciously reduce their consumption of meat, eggs and dairy to varying degrees and for various reasons. And here’s a tip: when they do eat those products, they go all out and make it count, choosing things like grass-fed meat and pasture-raised eggs over lesser-quality options.

Potato milk is gearing up to make a splash.

Move over oats and almonds – the potato is set to be the next big thing in plant milk. With at least one brand already stocked on shelves in some parts of the world, not only are potatoes an efficient crop to grow, the milk it’s turned into has a lower carbon footprint than the majority of plant-based options. And with plant-based milk sales up by around eight per cent from 2020 to 2021, and with 40 per cent of Australian households regularly purchasing a plant-based alternative, there’s more than enough room for a new variety.

potato milk

Demand for transparency in food products has shifted.

Consumers’ recent experience has accelerated their desire to know as much as possible about a product’s origins. Three in five global consumers now say they’re interested in learning more about where their food comes from and how it’s made. As a result, global boutique market research agency Kadence International says customers want to see a product’s sustainability and humane credentials, as well as information on whether it’s organic or additive-free. The agency’s Food & Beverage Trends to Watch in 2022 and Beyond report predicts this as one of four major trends for 2022.

Food will play a bigger role in mental health.

At least as far as consumers are concerned. The Mintel report not only showed that now more than ever, people understand that ‘health’ incorporates physical as well as mental and social wellbeing, but that most people also appreciate the link between healthy eating habits and improved mental health. In 2022 and beyond, there’s an opportunity for brands to not only provide healthier options but create mood-food formulations and develop and integrate packaging that supports mindful eating.

These trends and more are ones to keep an eye on in 2022. Browse the Naturally Good Product Directory to keep up to date with emerging products and source new natural and organic suppliers. Fill your shelves with the products consumers are searching for and see business success in the new year.

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