What does the future of food and beverage taste like? Don’t think too hard — we already did that for you. We consulted our expert Trends Council, picking their brains for predictions on the cutting-edge flavors, products and ingredients that will win hearts, minds and menus in 2022.
1. Ultraurban Farming
In 2013, we opened a pioneering Whole Foods Market store in Brooklyn with a Gotham Greens greenhouse on top, providing fresh and sustainably grown herbs and salad greens in greenhouse systems using sunlight and 100% renewable electricity. Since then, innovation in indoor farming has ballooned, from hydroponics and aquaponics to mushrooms grown above our grocery aisles — and even fresh produce grown by robots. Producers are finding new, boundary-pushing ways to grow hyper-local crops and maximize efficiency.
Try the trend: Gotham Greens: Butterhead Lettuce, Vegan Goddess Dressing & Dip; AeroFarms: Micro Broccoli; Bowery Farming Green Sorrel; Plenty Indoor Vertical Farming: Mizuna Mix, Baby Arugula, Baby Kale, Crispy Lettuce; Smallhold Organic Mushrooms: Fancy Mushroom Pack, Lions Mane, Royal Trumpet; Upward Farms Organic Microgreen Mixes; Iron Ox Basil; Farm.One Blue Spice Basil grown in our Manhattan West store and used on our Prepared Foods pizzas
2. You Do Yuzu
Yuzu — a lesser-known citrus mainly cultivated in Japan, Korea and China — is taking the culinary world by storm. 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.
Try the trend: Acid League: Pink Peppercorn Honey Yuzu Vinaigrette, Maker's Mayo, made with yuzu (coming 2022); Rowdy Mermaid ADAPTONIC Matcha Yuzu Sparkling Immunity Tonic; Whole Foods Market Mango Yuzu Seasonal Cake (coming spring 2022); Kimino Sparkling Yuzu Juice; Boulevard Brewing Quirk Spiked & Sparkling Pear Yuzu (available in the Splash of Citrus Variety 12-Pack); Yuzu Togarashi Marinade found in Whole Foods Market’s Seafood department (coming 2022)
Are you a plant-curious eater who isn’t ready to give up meat entirely? Try reducetarianism — reducing consumption of meat, dairy and eggs without cutting them out completely. When animal products are on the menu, reducetarians make them count, opting for premium grass-fed meat (plus, our Meat department doesn’t allow antibiotics) and pasture-raised eggs.
Try the trend: EPIC Provisions 100% Grass-Fed Bars like Bison, Uncured Bacon and Cranberry Bar; Alexandre Family Farm 100% Grass Fed A2/A2 Yogurt (coming 2022); 365 by Whole Foods Market Pasture-Raised Large Brown Grade A Eggs; Applegate Well Carved Organic Meat & Veggie Burgers; Neutral Organic Milk: Whole, 2%
4. Hibiscus Is Happening
Hibiscus has a long and delicious history in the world of teas, and customers have historically 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.
Try the trend: Whole Foods Market Organic Orange Hibiscus Italian Soda (coming 2022); Ruby Hibiscus Unsweetened Water; Vital Proteins Tropical Hibiscus Beauty Collagen; Kassumay Fruit Spread Hibiscus Sabdariffa; YoBucha Strawberry Hibiscus Kombucha Yogurt; Golden State Cider Jamaica made with tropical hibiscus flowers
5. Buzz-Less Spirits
The dialed-down spirits category experienced record growth in our stores this year. With millennials and Gen Z-ers dabbling in “drysolation” during the pandemic, we don’t see the sober-curious mindset going away anytime soon. Enter a new lineup of drinks that provide the taste and sophistication of cocktails without the buzz. If you want to shake things up, there are elegant mocktail options to explore.
Try the trend: Greenbar Distillery Bitters & Soda Non-Alcoholic Cocktail: Lavender, Orange and Earl Grey; Ritual Zero Proof: Whiskey, Gin, Tequila Alternatives, Rum Alternative (coming 2022); John Ross Virgin Distilled Botanicals
6. Grains That Give Back
Grocery grains are refocusing on the environment in 2022. We’re talking grains grown via agriculture practices and farming processes that help address soil health. Kernza® — a perennial grain developed by The Land Institute with a sweet, nutty flavor and long roots — helps with nutrient cycling and overall soil ecology. Find it in cereals and even beer.
Try the trend: Cascadian Farm Kernza Flakes with Honey Oat Clusters Cereal, Annie's Organic: Macaroni & Classic Cheddar, Shells & White Cheddar with Whole Grains; Patagonia Provisions Long Root Pale Ale made with Kernza perennial grain; Zack's Mighty Tortilla Chips made with whole corn kernels grown with farming practices that support soil health
7. Seize the Sunflower Seed
After fueling grand slams and double plays for years, sunflower seeds are branching out of the ballpark and sliding into crackers, ice creams and creamy cheeses. Delivering protein and unsaturated fats, these mighty little seeds are transforming the 21st century snack game. Parents, take note — many sunflower seed–based products are made without nuts, which means allergy-friendly school snacks (just make sure to always check the label).
Try the trend: Fix & Fogg Nut Butters made with sunflower seeds; Ben & Jerry’s Non-Dairy Frozen Desserts made with sunflower butter; 365 by Whole Foods Market Gluten Free Almond & Sunflower Seed Flour Crackers; Three Trees Organic Oat & Seed Oatmilk; Spero Sunflower Cream Cheeses; Whole Foods Market Sunbutter + Jelly Sandwich (coming 2022)
8. Moringa’s* Moment
Often called the “miracle tree,” moringa is traditionally used as an herbal remedy in India, Africa and beyond. Moringa leaves have plenty of nutrients, and these fast-growing, drought-resistant trees have been used as a source of food to fight malnutrition in certain parts of the world. 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. It’s also showing up in unexpected products like frozen desserts, protein bars and packaged grain blends.
Try the trend: Kuli Kuli: Daily Green Boost with Moringa & Supergreens, Get Well Soon with Moringa & Camu Camu, Pure Moringa Vegetable Powder; Wella Organics Cashew, Matcha & Moringa Bar; Yolélé Fonio Pilaf, Greens! made with moringa and spinach; Sunscoop Mmmint Chip! Dairy Free Dessert with moringa; Elements Truffle Maple Toffee with Moringa Artisanal Chocolate
9. Functional Fizz
Today, bubbly beverages are doing double duty. That’s right, people are looking for sparkling drinks that not only taste great but also offer ingredients that balance out the sweetness. We’re talking soda with probiotics and fizzy tonics with added prebiotics, botanicals and more. Fruity flavors. Unconventional ingredients. Get more from your bubbly drinks.
Try the trend: Poppi Prebiotic Sodas; REBBL Sparkling Prebiotic Tonics; Health Ade Pop Prebiotic Sodas; Ardor Organic Sparkling Water + Focus and Energy; Sound Grapefruit Sparkling Water with Tea & Botanicals
10. Turmeric Takes Off
Turmeric, aka “the golden spice,” has been used for centuries in Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine, and has become popular in the U.S. as a dietary supplement. While golden milk lattes and turmeric supplements are nothing new, the spice is taking root as an ingredient in packaged foods like cereals, sauerkrauts and even plant-based ice cream sandwiches. People want to have their turmeric and eat it too.
Try The trend: 365 by Whole Foods Market Golden Chai Granola; Green Girl Bakeshop Golden Mylk Plant-Based Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich; Nature's Path Organic Golden Turmeric Cereal & Oatmeal Cup; Local Culture Turmeric Ginger Jalapeno Handmade Sauerkraut; Whole Foods Market Salad Bar items including Turmeric Sweet Potato Kale Salad and Curry Tofu Salad (coming 2022)
*Dietary supplement. Warning: Please consult your healthcare provider before use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.