Sea moss, oyster mushrooms and more trends to watch in 2022

Food data firm Tastewise has shared its list of food trends to watch in 2022, giving private brands an idea of what to expect.
Zachary Russell
Associate Editor
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Sea moss
Sea moss

With 2022 around the corner, retailers and their own brands may be looking for a leg-up on what foods and flavors may trend going forward. Tastewise, the AI-powered food intelligence company, has released its top nine food trends for the coming year. The company recently shared data on the plant-based food market, one of the rising categories during the pandemic.

“A third more of today’s consumers treat food as functional medicine in just the past year alone,” Alon Chen, founder and CEO of Tastewise, told Store Brands. “As access to information on food and beverage nutritional and planetary impact becomes more widespread, consumers are becoming more sophisticated in their demands from what is on their plate. As a result, we are seeing the rise of a new type of consumer: one who has multiple, shifting, and context-specific requirements from taste, nutrition, sustainability, and more. Terms like 'healthy' and 'sustainable' no longer cut it - consumers want to understand the impact of a product on gut health or its relationship to the carbon footprint.” 

Chen added that the changing trends are a clue for how brands, including private label brands, can adapt and succeed going forward into the next year.

“Brands that are able to meet these consumers' needs with specificity and transparency - whether on the packaging or in their marketing campaigns - will win more shelf space and consumer loyalty in 2022."

Tastewise defines a trend as a category, item or flavor that has experienced positive, consistent growth over the last two years, with growth supported by multiple data sources. The top 9 food trends in the US for the coming year, according to Tastewise, are the following.

  1. Sea moss will bring in 2022’s baby boom: Ingredients for functional health are here to stay as 33% more consumers turn to food & beverage to meet their health needs than in 2020.
  2. Consumers have zero tolerance for fake (sustainability) news: Brands must pay closer attention to sustainability — and prove it.  
  3. Micro-nutrients pack a macro punch: Adaptogens, zinc, and electrolytes are most beloved for micronutrient content; baked goods emerge as a new category opportunity. 
  4. Beverages will boost bellies and brains: Nootropics and postbiotics for specific mind and body benefits will win among broader audiences.
  5. Chutney, chamoy, and chicory - the new American staples: As food tourism becomes much more specific, kitchen travel will continue to open the globe in 2022.
  6. Edible flowers spur viral food trends, particularly in gourmet settings: Floral and zesty flavor profiles will dominate, particularly in gourmet settings.
  7. Oyster mushrooms are the new scallops: The healthy, tasty mushroom will surf the alt seafood wave to new popularity.
  8. Swicy, swalty: sweet fusion flavor profiles are on the rise: From spicy honeys to unexpected ice cream flavors, consumers and brands will get even more adventurous with their sweet tooth. 
  9. Mochi is makin’ moves: Increased interest in mochi offers a functional health opportunity for baked goods. 

The full report from Tastewise can be found here