Nutrition for Healing Initiative 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 for sparkling drinks that taste great and offer alternative ingredients to sugar, such 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 which 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 jack fruit, 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 into their meal.

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.

TREND 1: Self-Care

People will make conscious choices to direct their own self-care to support their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health, and there will be greater emphasis on natural solutions versus conventional medicine. Gut health, immunity and prevention will take a front-row seat. Self-care studies historically focused on those with an illness or chronic disease; we will start to see more research on self-care as a means of prevention.

TREND 2: Personal Nutrition

Nutrition will become increasingly targeted, enabling individuals to eat according to their specific body type and needs versus following one-size-fits-all diets. Topics ranging from nutrition advice, products and services to customized vitamins and supplements will be addressed.

TREND 3: Holistic Diets

Diets that advocate a holistic approach to eating and promote eating for holistic health, especially those that recommend increased fresh vegetable consumption and a decrease in farmed protein, will gain followers. The Pegan Diet (Mark Hyman) is an example of a hybrid solution that combines the best of two different approaches—paleo and vegan.

TREND 4: Cooking at Home

The pandemic got more people in the kitchen cooking meals and eating with family. As people noticed the benefits of eating home-cooked food, including quality time spent together, businesses will cater to this market and make things easier with apps, blogs and better equipment.

TREND 5: Food for Mood

Food has a direct impact on mood, and it can supply natural antidotes for mental health challenges, such as anxiety, depression and stress. Omega-3 fatty acids, dark chocolate, fermented foods, bananas and berries are known mood-enhancers, and we’ll see a rise in psilocybin mushrooms, marijuana, herbs and more as people look to empower themselves naturally. 

TREND 6: Organically Grown/Raised Food

There’s increasing awareness and concern over commercial agricultural trends and processed foods that impact illness, disease and food intolerances. People who want cleaner food will grow their own food, create new farm trends, and develop new pathways for obtaining organic food.

TREND 7: Nutritious Drink Treats

There is a rise in better–tasting health foods and safer, cleaner alternatives to certain “vices.” Nutritious options offer the flavor of favorite “cheat day” splurges without the guilt.  Mocktails, also known as virgin drinks, are alcohol-free drinks that blend delicious and healthy ingredients without the booze. Kombucha is a fermented tea that offers a wide variety of benefits. These are attracting the health-conscious crowd as a growing number of people are tuning in to their physical and mental health and cutting back on calories and potential headaches the following day.