MCLEAN, Va. — Snack maker Kind, manufacturer of Kind snack bars, has released its fourth-annual forecast of top trends it predicts across food, nutrition, wellness and corporate social responsibility for the upcoming year. The 2022 Live Kind Trend Report is a compilation of expectations from Kind's experts, as well as external practitioners, organizations and registered dietitians.
Here are Kind's top 10 trends for the new year ...
Under the Sea
When it comes to eating foods bursting with nutrients, most people are neglecting sea vegetables, the company said, until now. The sea is rich with a wide variety of vegetables--from popular kelp and wakame to lesser-known dulse and kombu. Sea vegetables will be popping up in dishes from kelp burgers to seaweed chips, with more expected to hit shelves and restaurants soon.
As consumers begin to return to their busy lifestyles, prepare to see brands introducing bite-sized or mini-snack items to help folks eat on-the-go in a portion-controlled format, Kind said. Products such as savory egg and sweet cookie bites, energy balls and other smaller serving sizes will become even more popular next year, it said.
Latin American Flavors Go Mainstream
Kind said it expects to see a rise in food products using Latin American flavors, ingredients and traditions to bring new life to mainstream favorites. This includes ingredients and spices such as casava, plantains (pictured), pimento seeds and aji peppers in food products and on menus next year.
Celebrity Food Mashups
The snack company said celebrities will increasingly partner with food brands to create limited-edition items. “We’re already seeing out-of-the-box partnerships to create innovative products that deliver on taste and entertainment,” the report said, “and we’ll continue to experience a rise in these collaborations.”
Forget about finding delicious, easy and creative recipes from traditional sources such as magazines, TV or grandma. Folks will be flocking to TikTok for recipe inspiration. Kind said. “TikTokers have made dishes like baked feta pasta, ramen lasagna and ice-cream bread household names,” the report said, “and we’re already drooling for next year’s viral recipes.”
Kind anticipates the recent functional nutrition, that is, eating foods rich with vitamins and minerals, to expand to foods that may also improve moods. “We’ll start to see products made with ingredients like lavender, Ashwagandha, dark chocolate, rhodiola and oats,” the report stated.
Eating Whole Foods
Kind predicts consumers will shift from cherry picking just one positive ingredient in meals to considering the overall nutrients in food, with an emphasis on eating whole foods whenever possible. That could mean swapping packaged snacks for whole nuts, fruits, vegetables or legumes, it said. “We’re going to go way back to basics and prioritize eating nutrient-dense whole foods that don’t require labels next year,” the report stated.
As people continue to prioritize the planet, Kind predicts the food industry will see a shift in the sustainability conversation from individual activism to collective activism. “In the past, there’s been a great emphasis on how individuals can be more sustainable in their daily lives,” it said, “but to make a greater impact, collective activism will unite large groups of people to demand big changes from organizations and entire countries.” Examples of this movement include employees sending open letters or going on strike to demand corporate changes, citywide protests and lobbying politicians with like-minded people, the report said.
Rise and Rest
After hitting at-home workouts hard during the past two years, the next big movement moment will focus on maximizing recovery days to soothe sore muscles, and boost circulation and relaxation, according to the report. This will mean more interest in items such as sleeping mats, sauna blankets and theraguns.
Ways of Working
As many companies prepare to head back to the office in 2022, they will do so with key learnings gained from remote working. “We’ve learned that team members need more time to do what they love in order to alleviate rising levels of burnout,” the report said. Kind predicts more companies will experiment with a four-day workweek.
At Kind, for example, “we grant team members five extra days off to refocus from day-to-day business to live our mission of being kinder to our bodies and communities,” the company said. “We’ll continue to see companies granting team members the extra time to increase productivity, happiness and overall wellbeing.”
Kind Bar is owned by Mars Inc., McLean, Va.