Health, convenience, and immunity will be the biggest drivers of food trends moving forward, said dieticians surveyed in the 10th annual “What’s Trending in Nutrition” survey. This survey is conducted each year by health and wellness public relations firm Pollock Communications and the publication Today’s Dietitian. This year, the survey included 1,117 registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs).
Immunity, Emotional Wellbeing Drive Ingredient Preferences
In 2022, consumers will seek foods that support their immune health, that promote feelings of comfort and emotional wellbeing, and that are affordable and a good value. More consumers will seek out health-promoting, functional ingredients such as cannabidiol (CBD), collagen, and hemp, the respondents predicted.
Superfoods are also on the rise, including fermented foods with immune- and gut-supporting benefits, plus seeds, nuts, avocados, and ancient grains. The top-10 hottest superfoods in 2022, said respondents, are: fermented foods like yogurt and kimchi, blueberries, seeds like chia and hemp, exotic fruits like acai and golden berries, avocados, green tea, nuts, ancient grains, leafy greens like spinach, and kale.
Usage, Shopping Behaviors
The move to online food shopping, spurred by the pandemic, will continue, said the majority of respondents. In terms of eating occasions, more consumers are now snacking throughout the day as they work from home, as well as seeking more comfort foods.
When it comes to label and product attributes, consumers are looking for convenience, health, and taste, in that order, they said.
Diets and Routines
The most popular diets in 2022 will be intermittent fasting, ketogenic, and clean eating, said respondents. Consumers will also continue seeking out plant-based foods. But respondents also warned about the nutrition misinformation proliferating social media channels like TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram.
“With the focus on health and immunity in the next decade, and the increased popularity of plant-based eating, nutrient-dense options will be an important part of consumer diets, as they embrace food as medicine to help prevent disease,” said Louise Pollock, president of Pollock Communications, in a press release. “In addition, there will likely be an increased interest in functional foods containing ingredients that provide health benefits beyond their nutrient profile.”
“The predictions of RDNs, the frontline experts in food and nutrition, are always reliable to help food and beverage manufacturers and marketers meet the demands of consumers. Our survey has accurately tracked health and wellness trends for a decade,” added Mara Honicker, publisher of Today’s Dietitian. “We are pleased to have been able to share these insights for the past ten years and especially during this chaotic time in our lives, when food is playing such a major role in providing health, wellness, and emotional support.”