From sea moss to edible flowers, Tastewise spotlights eight food trends for 2022

“Ten years ago, affordability and taste were the sole top motivators behind America’s food and beverage choices: if it was tasty and good for the wallet, it was on the plate. Health – while always a consideration for some – has become a much more mainstream consideration in the interim, joining other demands like convenience, authenticity, and sustainability on the table,”​ said Tastewise CEO Alon Chen in the report​. 

To determine its trends for the year ahead, Tastewise used two-year, year-over-year data (2YoY), comparing 2021 to pre-pandemic 2019.

“Trends that not only weathered the initial storm of disruption caused by the public health crisis, but evolved to meet changing consumer needs, are worth watching,”​ the report read. 

Tastewise added that its trends go beyond the “usual suspects”​ of high level, macro-trends (e.g. plant-based, functional food as concept) that most in the industry are already aware of, and spotlights eight more under-the-radar and “off-the-beaten-path”​ trend moments. 

1. Rise of sea moss

With more than one-third (33%) of consumers turning to food and beverage to meet their individual health needs, sea moss — which contains high levels of zinc and folate — will reach peak popularity in 2022 and onwards, according to Tastewise. 

The company observed that mentions and social conversations around sea moss were up +384% in 2021 compared to 2019, primarily because of the sea vegetable’s purported health associations as a fertility booster for women. 

Other trending functional ingredients in the report included passionflower (for sleep improvement), rhodiola (for gut health), and starfruit (for energy).