Here Are the 10 Biggest Food Trends of 2022, According to Whole Foods

The new year is all about mocktails and grains that give back. Prepare your shopping lists accordingly!

With the start of a new year right around the corner, the folks at Whole Foods Market are looking ahead to the foods, drinks, and snacks consumers won't be able to get enough of in 2022. The retailer recently shared its seventh-annual trends predictions, and it looks like next year will be packed with buzzy new (ish), flavors, up-and-coming ingredients, and tried-and-true standbys reinventing themselves in new and exciting ways.

Whole Foods Market food trends 2022
Whole Foods Market

The report, which was released on October 18, was compiled by a Trends Council that consists of more than 50 Whole Foods Market team members. This includes local foragers, regional and global buyers, and culinary experts, who forecast trend predictions based on decades of experience and expertise in product sourcing. These pros also study consumer preferences, and conduct in-depth workshops with both emerging and existing brands, so they really get a comprehensive feel for what items are piquing shoppers' interest.

"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," Sonya Gafsi Oblisk, the Chief Marketing Officer at Whole Foods Market, said in a statement. "We look forward to watching these trends take form in grocery aisles and on our plates in 2022."

And lest you doubt the Whole Foods Powers That Be, we feel compelled to remind you that last year's trends report was surprisingly accurate, even as the COVID-19 pandemic continued. While there's virtually no way Whole Foods could have predicted a TikTok-powered obsession with salmon bowls or the public's increased interest in grilling giant sunflowers, the chain did correctly assess shoppers' interest in things like elevated breakfasts that don't include granola bars or smoothies, and upcycled foods that promote sustainability.

In fact, Whole Foods also accurately predicted a rise in chickpea-based, well, everything, and kombucha cocktails, so we'd say their track record is pretty darn good. Keep reading for a heads up regarding some of the must-have food items for 2022.

01 of 10

All about urban farming

Who says you need acres and acres of land in order to have a successful farm? These days it's all about urban farming, and there are plenty of new and existing products to reflect that, such as urban-grown Gotham Greens: Butterhead Lettuce and AeroFarms Micro Broccoli.

Whole Foods has actually been a pioneer in the urban farming space since 2013, when the grocery chain opened a Whole Foods Market store in Brooklyn with a Gotham Greens greenhouse on top. Said greenhouse provides fresh and sustainably grown herbs and salad greens using sunlight and 100 percent renewable electricity.

In the years since, innovation in indoor farming has ballooned, from hydroponics and aquaponics to mushrooms grown above Whole Foods' grocery aisles. And since urban farming exists in areas with larger populations, it tends to be more sustainable and eco-conscious than more traditional farming methods because it often reduces transportation costs as well as corresponding fossil fuel consumption.

02 of 10

You do yuzu

You're most definitely very familiar with popular citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, and lemons, but it looks like 2022 might just be yuzu's time to shine. The fragrant fruit, which is often found in soaps and skincare products, is typically grown in Japan, Korea, and China.

From a culinary perspective, it's known for its tart taste and powerful aroma. Yuzu is also incredibly versatile in the kitchen, which makes it a vibrant star of everything from cocktails and salad dressings to tarts and soups. Expect to see more of this tangerine-sized fruit on restaurant menus and grocery store aisles in the future.

RELATED: The Major Mistake You're Making With Citrus Fruits—Plus How to Buy and Store Them

03 of 10

Meat gets a makeover

If you're thinking about cutting back on your consumption of meat and animal products, you're not alone. Reducetarianism—the practice of reducing consumption of meat, dairy and eggs without cutting them out completely—is becoming more popular than ever. And when reducitarians do choose to eat food from animals, they look for premium products such as grass-fed meat and pasture-raised eggs.

For some reducitarian-approved meals, try these vegan soup recipes.

04 of 10

Hi there, hibiscus

If 2021 was reserved for chickpeas, then 2022 is all about hibiscus. The popular plant has already made its way into seltzers (shout out to La Croix's tasty Hi-Biscus! variety) and teas, and now it's bound for even more foods such as fruit spreads and yogurts.

Thanks to its high vitamin C content, this edible flower with an unmistakable hot pink hue definitely deserves a spot on your grocery list. Need some inspiration? Try it in a cocktail or a cake.

05 of 10

It's mocktail hour somewhere

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic it seemed like just about every hour was cocktail hour and social media was littered with photos of "quarantinis," but now, nearly two years in, the quest for a buzz is fading. Instead, millennial and Gen Z consumers are drawn toward "drysolation," which is why the dialed-down spirits category has seen record growth in recent months that's likely to continue well into 2022. And don't worry, these alcohol-free drinks still provide the taste and sophistication of cocktails, just without the buzz.

RELATED: Curious About the Alcohol-Free Cocktail Movement? Here's What You Should Know

06 of 10

Grains that give the environment a break

Grains such as corn can deplete soil if they're not maintained properly, but a new crop of these mealtime staples are focused on helping the earth, not damaging it. These environmentally friendly grains are grown via agriculture practices and farming processes that help address soil health. For example, Kernza—a perennial grain developed by The Land Institute that boasts a sweet, nutty flavor and long roots—helps with nutrient cycling and overall soil ecology. You can find it in cereals and (if you're not sipping on one of those aforementioned mocktails) beer.

07 of 10

Sunflower seeds steal the spotlight

These salty little seeds aren't just for trail mix and granola anymore. In fact, sunflower seeds can now be found in crackers, ice creams, dips, and more. The savory morsels deliver plenty of protein and unsaturated fats, making them a healthy and hearty snack. What's more? Parents will be pleased to know that many sunflower seed–based products are made without nuts, which makes them a nutritious and worry-free addition to school lunches.

08 of 10

Move over, matcha

Moringa is having a moment. Not familiar with this drought-resistant tree? Chances are you will be by the end of 2022. Moringa, which yields leaves that are packed with nutrients, is often referred to as the "miracle tree" and is traditionally used as an herbal remedy in India, Africa, and beyond. Moringa trees have also been used to fight malnutrition, and they're finally getting their due in the states. In fact, Whole Foods (and other wise minds) have predicted that moringa is poised to become the next matcha because it can be sold in powder form and added to smoothies, sauces, and baked goods.

RELATED: Every Delicious, Nutritious Reason to Start Sipping Matcha Tea Today

09 of 10

Bubbly beverages with a purpose

It's (nearly) 2022, and if cauliflower can be transformed into rice that actually tastes good, then it's about time fizzy drinks upped their game. Aside from adding a little sparkle to your throat, these bubbly beverages are now pulling double duty—think soda with probiotics and fizzy tonics packed with prebiotics, botanicals, and more. Sign us up!

10 of 10

It's turmeric time

Turmeric has been a buzzworthy spice for years (raise your hand if you recall the turmeric-fueled golden latte craze?), but 2022 might just be peak turmeric time. That's because the spice that's great in soups, smoothies, and more has officially made the leap to packaged foods. Get ready for turmeric cereals, sauerkrauts, and yes, even ice cream.

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