Experts From KeHE Distributors Release List of Macro Trends to Watch in 2022

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Fri. December 3rd, 2021 - by Peggy Packer

NAPERVILLE, IL - Look into the future and you shall see where the retail opportunities lie. While most of us do not have a crystal ball or a time machine handy, KeHE Distributors is making it easy to look ahead to the consumer demands of 2022, as it recently released its list of Macro Trends to Watch, gathered by KeHE experts.

Food adventuring is first up on the extensive list of trends. Though many shoppers find comfort in familiar flavors, consumers are also searching for unique twists in taste, experimenting with trending flavors such as yuzu, hibiscus, ube, and tzatziki as cuisine exploration remains on the rise. KeHE experts also noted that while Mexican, Italian, and Chinese cuisines dominate as the most-reached international cuisine types, younger generations are driving consumption of African and Mediterranean cuisines and making them more mainstream, according to the release.

In the next year, KeHE experts also predict the continued rise of plant-based varieties like ready-to-eat meals and alternatives, and anticipates an increase in demand for sugar replacements and new categories utilizing food technology.

KeHe Distributors recently released its list of Macro Trends to Watch in 2022, which covers upcoming trends buyers should keep an eye out for

Also on the list of this year’s predictions is dual purpose offerings, as consumers have become more concerned about how their food purchases impact the environment, as well as farming practices and regenerative agriculture. Because of this, KeHE predicts that shoppers will continue to look for products that are upcycled, zero waste, and have a reduced carbon footprint.

Another trend that seems to continue gaining momentum is the demand for convenience, which was dramatically impacted by pandemic restrictions. Anticipating these at-home food habits to continue, KeHE expects shoppers to keep gravitating toward time-saving products and grab-and-go snacks. In addition, chef-inspired prepared meals, home delivery meals, and refrigerated entrees and appetizers are also expected to see growth.

Next on the company’s extensive list of trends is blurring diet lines, as KeHE expects consumers to be more proactive with their health while remaining flexible in their diets, leading to the trend of picking and choosing from diet fads and customizing them to meet consumers’ personal needs.

The Macro Trends to Watch in 2022 include categories such as trending flavors, plant-based varieties, environment-friendly food, grab-and-go snacks, and local products

Also continuing its rise in popularity is the demand for local products. The trend toward shopping locally does not seem to be slowing down, and buyers can optimize signage, shelf tags, and other merchandising tools to draw attention to locally sourced offerings.

Next up on the list: grains! Over the last several years, there has been a growth in the popularity of oat milk, which has sparked interest in other categories as an alternative ingredient. KeHE experts anticipate a rise of barley, hemp, pistachio, and buckwheat as future grain alternatives as well.

KeHE experts also predict a continuation of the steady demand for naturally beneficial or immunity-boosting offerings, providing opportunities for fresh produce to branch into other lucrative categories

Last but not least, KeHE has also pointed out a change in consumer behavior sparked by macroeconomic issues, such as inflation and supply chain shortages. As consumers look to get the most out of every food or beverage, ingredients that are naturally beneficial or immunity-boosting are capturing more attention and dollars. For example, mushrooms have made their entrance into the beverage, coffee, creamer, and snacking categories.

For more information on each of the predicted trends, click here.

So, now that you’ve taken a glance into the demands of the new year, are you ready to turn trends into transactions? Keep reading ANUK to find out how these consumer behaviors will continue to drive retail dollars.

KeHE Distributors