Relaxation and sleep supplements, “mushroom everything,” and carbonated soda for gut health among 2022’s biggest trends, predicts U.S. food broker Presence

In its first annual report on food, beverage, and health and wellness trends, U.S. food broker Presence highlights relaxation, mushroom, and digestive health demands, and more.

“Conscious consumers” shopping for food, beverage, and health and wellness products in 2022 will be on the hunt for some key product trends, predicts U.S. food broker Presence (South Barrington, IL). The brokerage and service provider has released what it says is its first annual report on global trends in the food, beverage, and health and wellness sector, with research conducted by SPINS (Chicago).

Relaxation supplements to promote stress relief and sleep will be a high priority for consumers in 2022, the report notes. These consumers are seeking innovative delivery formats and combinations of high-profile ingredients like magnesium, medium-chain triglycerides, and ashwagandha. In a press release, the company notes: “Although there are many drivers of growth for vitamins and supplements, there was a significant increase in stress and sleep support. In a year-over-year growth report, results show a 30% growth for stress-relief and sleep-support products.”

Digestive health is also high on their list, with more consumers seeking ingredients like probiotics in food and drinks. Could carbonated drinks be the next wave of innovation in probiotic products? “Today, one of [the] leading contributors to the growing probiotics trend are functional carbonated beverages. Amongst the most popular probiotic drinks are shelf-stable functional carbonated beverages in the energy and performance categories,” the press release states. In general, demand is growing for prebiotic, probiotic, and postbiotic ingredients in beverage products, the firm states, nothing that shelf-stable energy drinks and functional beverages containing probiotics have been a top sales driver, while sales of prebiotic beverages, including shelf-stable soda and carbonated beverages, are also on the rise.

Mushrooms will continue growing in popularity in 2022, the report says, noting that “Consumers are showing a new level of interest in engagement in all things mushroom.” Mushroom-containing products now span seasoning blends, ready-to-drink beverages, snacks, and coffee, as well as supplements and teas. These include species like chaga, cordyceps, reishi, lion’s mane, and turkey tail, touted for immune system, blood pressure, antioxidant, and overall wellness benefits, as well as possibly for promoting brain, heart, and skin support. “The surge in demand for functional mushrooms and supplements will continue to grow as consumers look for food and beverage innovations that promote benefits beyond basic nutrition,” the press release states.

Consumers also prize sustainability, influencing how food, drink, and wellness companies source their ingredients. For instance, the report notes, regenerative agriculture practices that preserve and improve soil health are taking the industry by storm. These practices will make their way into product marketing. “Don’t be surprised if you see labels touting the benefits of food products sourced from farms that utilize this method of farming,” the report states.

Consumer demands are also driving an increase in sustainable packaging, the report says, with “Manufacturers, retailers, and other brands…rethinking how to provide even more sustainable material when packaging products.” Already, the report says, “we’ve seen a 23% increase in recyclable pod/cup systems, 9% increase in aseptic cartons, and 2% increase in using glass.” Moving forward, the company expects to see more innovation in zero-waste packaging.

In recent years, health-conscious consumers have increasingly prioritized better-for-you products, and embraced eco-conscious practices. “The new generation of consumers is becoming more educated, more adventurous, and more open to trying different products and services,” said Tracy Miedema, vice president of business development, Presence, in a press release. “We’re seeing consumers proactively seek food and beverage brands that promote health and mental wellness, choosing natural products and supplements for holistic nutrition, and are looking to make a positive impact on their communities and the environment.”

Presence is an independent natural foods broker with more than 30 years of experience helping brands expand their market share in the natural and conventional CPG markets. The company also offers retail, wholesale, and other manufacturer services.