My Top Five Trends Forecast for 2022
It is that time of year again when trend predictions are everywhere. For over a decade, my business has been identifying and sharing health, nutrition, food, and agriculture trends. In 2022, we continue to navigate a global pandemic which is shaping many aspects of our lives including how we eat, work, and reside. As we begin year three of the pandemic, let’s explore my top five trends forecast for 2022.
1) Authentic & Transparent
Sustainability awareness has accelerated during the global pandemic. Supply chains were suddenly thrust into the limelight with consumers paying more attention to how their favourite products were sourced. Consequently, traceability and transparency get a boost with those supply chain disruptions and consumers’ expectations of wanting to understand their foods’ gate to plate journey and footprint now and in the future.
Consumers, especially Gen Zs and younger Millennials, want their food and beverage purchases to reflect their self interests, lifestyle, and values. As a result, companies need to create authentic connections and communications with their consumers as we move forward in 2022.
Online purchases have increased across all industries since March 2020. Shoppers who were not buying their groceries online prior to the pandemic lockdown quickly became familiar with the process. There are numerous factors why more people are shopping online including convenience, technical improvements to many online shopping platforms and less interaction and contact during a time of pandemic restrictions.
Forbes.com writer Joan Verdon, comments in her article Global ecommerce sales to hit 42 trillion as online surge continues (based on an Adobe Report), “Surveys of consumers in the United Kingdom, Japan and the United States showed online shopping is becoming the preferred method of grocery shopping for a growing number of consumers. Over half of the consumers in all three countries said they believe they are saving money by shopping for groceries online.”
Research suggests consumers across all ages will continue to take advantage of the e-commerce option for food purchases into 2022 and beyond. Similarly, keep an eye out for new tech delivery options such as drone delivery and campus/hotel robots.
3) Experience & Celebrate
As we move into year three of dealing with a global pandemic, people are craving fun experiences and the opportunity to celebrate. Eating occasions continue to be a source of entertainment with people spending so much time at home due to travel restrictions and lockdown guidelines.
Data indicates consumers want travel-like eating experiences including global flavours similar to hibiscus, lychee, gochujang, pimento seeds and wasabi. The opportunity to celebrate is another trend I see for 2022. Consumers want to celebrate in safe way on a smaller scale due to the continued health crisis. Backing up this point, the chocolate industry is reporting demand for more confetti, sparkles, seasonal flavours, plus new formats for celebratory sharing in 2022.
4) Good for Me, Good for the Planet
It is apparent today’s consumer is not only concerned about their physical and mental health, but also the planet’s health. Addressing planetary health are must-haves for many food ingredients across all sectors. From food origin and transparency to customer experience and demands, consumers are interested in real-life shared planet examples. They want to understand how circular economies are already impacting the food system, the climate, biodiversity, animal & human health, energy & water use, and land use.
The food waste reduction discussion is part of the good for the planet theme. As a result, it continues to drive revised practices across the entire food value chain. The global health crisis has emphasized consumer behaviour of pursuing functional, wholesome ingredients that signal a health halo, not only for humans, but for the entire planet. Consequently, this trend will thrive into 2022.
5) Proactive Health & Wellness
Proactive health and wellness are top of mind for many consumers since March 2020. Consumers continue to seek out foods and supplements to support their immune health and gut health with the ongoing Covid-19 health crisis. Flavours that support the proactive health and wellness trend like citrus for immune and tangy, sour for gut will continue to rise in 2022.
A spotlight has been shone on our mind-body since the pandemic. Uncertainty, restrictions, and changes in habits have all lead to people feeling the stress impact on their everyday lives. More than ever, consumers are looking for natural ways to manage stress and anxiety. Nutrient dense foods are vital in maintaining and thriving mentally. And more specifically, certain nutrients play critical roles in supporting our cognitive and mental state. This trend will continue to gain momentum in 2022.
There is an accelerated demand for new plant-based formats, plant proteins and more sophisticated alternatives. This is due to the numerous failed attempts of poor tasting and undesirable textured ultra-processed plant-based offerings in the past. Consequently, consumers are powering up on nutritious plant options directly from the source. I predict seeds, pulses, nuts, and other plants will continue to make their way onto the centre of consumers’ plates in 2022.
Final Thoughts – My Top Five Trends Forecast for 2022
Although none of us have a crystal ball, as an industry thought leader and health professional for over two decades, I am convinced my top five trends forecasted for 2022 will thrive.
Contact Jane and her team to assist you on your 2022 projects and speak at your upcoming events including podcasts & webinars!