Nutrition for Healthspan Initiative

2022 Trends

TREND 1: Buzz-less Spirits for Mindful Drinking

Imagine a new line-up of drinks that provide the taste and sophistication of cocktails without the hangover. Mocktails are one of the newest dialed-down spirits without the buzz. Drinkers are opting to cut down on the alcohol by volume (ABV) they consume by purchasing non-alcoholic or low-alcoholic drinks free of sugars, sweeteners, additives, and allergens, and they are drinking less. Consumers have become conscious of how buzz-fueled drinks affect their overall health, mind, body, and mental health. They’re concerned with the negative impact of drinking such as insomnia, depression, and anxiety which increased during COVID-19. According to the IWSR Drinks Market Analysis, the category is expected to expand 35% by 2023.

Consumers are also keen on sparkling drinks that taste great and offer alternative ingredients to sugar, such as probiotics, prebiotics, botanicals, and more.

TREND 2: Self-grown Food Systems

While there is an ongoing trend for sustainable, natural, and plant-based food, the interest in self-grown produce is thriving as much as experimenting with growing a variety of herbs, fruits, and vegetables on one’s own. Making things like bread, pasta, or pickles in jars are other ways consumers are getting natural nutrients from whole food all year round. Urban gardening is one system that uses available space, whether a large- or small-scale yard, balcony, or rooftop, to cultivate soil-based produce. The movement drives the need for communities of similar values to share or barter the crops. Additional incentives here are reducing waste and waste-free cooking which both support a sustainable, eco-friendly lifestyle and redefine the meaning of comfort food.

TREND 3: Food for Immunity Post-COVID-19

Immunity-boosting foods seized the headlines over the past two years for all the right reasons, and this trend is expected to grow over the next five years and easily surpass $17 billion by 2025, according to market researcher ReportLinker. Global consumers strongly desire foods that support their immune health. The overall role of and interest in the microbiome has accelerated, which aligns with nutrition + immunity = balanced health approach. The number one immunity-boosting whole food go-to is still berries. Their antioxidant and nutritional benefits make them a solid immunity-boosting “superfood.”  Think blueberries, cranberries, and acai berries, to name a few.

Nutrients such as zinc, selenium, iron, vitamin C, vitamin D, various polysaccharides, and peptides have been identified as critical for the regeneration of functional human immune system performance. Foods for immunity include Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, apricot kernel, tuna, oysters, salmon, tofu, shrimp, fermented foods (tempeh, sauerkraut, kombucha, kimchi), herbs rich in adaptogens (i.e., ginseng, ashwagandha), mushrooms (cordyceps, reishi, shiitake), and of course, dark chocolate and coffee.

TREND 4: Mock Meat – Plant-based Meat Alternatives

Plant-based meats have come a long way in the last few years, and they are not just for the vegan crowd. With the trend of plant-based diets, as well as concern over the impact of the industrial meat complex on global warming, more people are looking for delicious, sustainable, meat-flavored options, and companies are delivering. From products such as Beyond Burger to mock tuna and marinated jackfruit, one can find an array of options that taste the same or better than their meat-based counterparts. It is important to recognize that although these products are plant-based, many are also highly processed. Consumers will want to read the ingredients before adding any of these products to their meals.

TREND 5: Superfood Lattes

After two years of battling through the COVID-19 pandemic, balancing our immunity has become a primary focus of consumers. Whole and natural superfoods are the ideal solution due to their nutrient density, polyphenol, and anti-inflammatory properties. Superfood lattes—which are milk or alternative milk-based drinks boosted with ingredients such as matcha, turmeric, mushrooms, medium chain triglyceride (MCT) oil, beets, spirulina, and coffee—are trending upward in 2022. More of today’s consumers are treating food as functional medicine which is driving interest and adoption of superfood lattes.