2022 means the start of a new decade. It also means another year of change in the food and health space. What will drive consumers in the coming year? What new and noteworthy methods or ingredients will set the internet ablaze?
Well, we think we have a pretty good idea! Below are what we believe will be the 10 biggest food and health trends in 2022. Look for our proceeding articles in January and February wherein we’ll deep dive into these trends and go more in-depth about why they’re a big deal, and why they should matter to you.
1. Plant-Based Products Grow Even Bigger
Plant-based foods were big in 2019, but 2020 is predicted to be even bigger in terms of products available and sales. In fact, Real Simple Food Editor Jenna Helwig shared that after 2020, “I don’t think we’ll even be able to classify this as a trend anymore; it will be the new normal.” Brierley Horton, MS, RD, agrees. “I think plant-based, especially plant-based protein, is poised to really shine in 2020. It’s a growing trend to eat less meat—for the environment, for your health, and even sometimes for affordability.” She also adds that this doesn’t mean adopting a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. Instead, this trend is about adjusting proportions of food (plant to animal) as people realize the environmental and health impacts that small changes can have.
2. Brain Food
We know that what we eat impacts our physical health, but the idea that food can affect mental health as well is relatively new (and still a little unbelievable to some). However, as research reveals more about gut health, it’s clear that there is a definite connection between the gut and the brain, particularly when it comes to mood, memory, anxiety, depression, attention, and degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. This type of data is hard to measure, so some will still be skeptical. But expect to hear a lot more this year about how what you are (or aren’t) eating might be a driving force behind some key issues: mental health, concentration, and memory. If you haven’t heard about key nutrients that influence neurotransmitter production and utilization like omega-3 fatty acids and certain B vitamins, you will in 2020.
3. Natural Remedies Over Prescription
“People want to find ways to help themselves without a Rx,” according to Horton, and that trend is picking up lots of steam. Twenty years ago, we followed doctor’s orders and took medication prescribed without question. What would raise eyebrows back then was if someone didn’t take those medicines in favor of a supplement, probiotic, or other natural health solution.