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ADM Identifies 2022 Global Consumer Trends and Shares How They’ll Come to Life Next Year

Innovation

2021 has been a year of changes, challenges and new life norms, all of which have ignited broad consumer interest in health and wellbeing that’s driving incredible product innovation across business sectors. As a global leader in human and animal nutrition, ADM stays on top of emerging and evolving consumer trends to power product development and inspire new solutions in partnership with some of the world’s most well-known brands. Our extensive team of experts has once again identified the key annual consumer trends fueling global growth, naming Microbiome as the Root of Wellness, Plant-based Lifestyles, Nourishment for the Whole Self, Humanization of Pets, and Precise and Responsible Animal Feeding as some of the standout trends of 2022. Here are just a few ways they will come to life for consumers in the year ahead. 

We’ll See an Array of Products with Postbiotic Power

The microbiome comprises trillions of tiny microbes the body needs to function and up to 1,000 of these bacterial species are living inside the gut. Microbiome health is increasingly being linked to immune function, metabolic health and even mood, and consumers have taken note. Data from ADM’s proprietary consumer insights platform, Outside VoiceSM, indicates that 58% of global consumers are aware of the potential benefits bacteria in the digestive system can have on their overall health. Not surprisingly, many are moving from defense to offense and actively seeking out foods and beverages that fortify gut health.

And while prebiotics and probiotics have been popular for their microbiome benefits for some years, the advent of postbiotics, which aren’t “live” and can be treated with heat, are changing the game. Their stability gives them an edge, enabling them to be used in a wide array of food and beverage applications and making it possible for brands to go beyond yogurt and pickles to formulate new and exciting postbiotic solutions for health-conscious consumers. In 2022, postbiotics will show up in a plethora of convenient formats — perfect timing, as interest in these inanimate microorganisms is booming. They have become the fastest growing area in Google searches related to gut health, with a nearly 1,300% increase in the last two years.[1]

Far-out Meat Alternatives and Unexpected Protein Sources Will Skyrocket

Consumers aren’t just focusing on their own health — they’re paying more attention to the health of the planet as well, and plant-based lifestyles are trending as result. Consumers are interested in plant-based foods that support flexible, healthier and more environmentally friendly lifestyles, and they’re also becoming more amenable to the growing number of unconventional options like protein made from air or fungi. Sixty-nine percent of respondents to a recent Eat Just survey of 2,522 U.S. consumers said they would consider trading out conventional meat for cultured meat.[2]

General interest in meat alternatives is soaring, and food and beverage brands are answering the call with a wide array of plant-based formulations that deliver on taste and texture without sacrificing nutrition. A new International Food Information Council (IFIC) Consumption Trends survey found that 65% of Americans reported eating “products that attempt to mimic the flavor and texture of animal protein but are made with only plant products” in the past year — with 20% consuming them at least weekly and another 22% consuming them daily.[3] These numbers will only get higher as alternative proteins are predicted to account for 11% of the total protein market by 2035.[4] In 2022, consumers can expect to see a growing range of foods made using unique and unexpected protein sources, from pea and soy to revolutionary fermented and cell-based options. 

Customized Nutrition Products Will Be the Status Quo

The pandemic triggered consumer desire for products that support mental and physical wellbeing, and interest in holistic nourishment has skyrocketed. There is broad interest in nutrient-rich snacks, foods and beverages that target specific needs. For example, ADM’s Outside Voice found that 37% of global consumers expect the snacks they eat to improve their mental well-being. To meet demand, brands in every sector are finding new ways to deliver wholesome, customizable products, and the personalized nutrition marketplace is exploding — it’s expected to grow at more than 16% over the next five years and exceed $16 billion by 2026.[5] 

2022 will bring a plethora of products that cater to niche goals and concerns, from vitamins based on genomes to meal plans matched to macro and micronutrient requirements. Food and beverage brands will also be introducing groundbreaking new products with on-trend functional ingredients like botanicals, probiotics and prebiotics, and more. 

Food for Fur Friends Will Become More Premium and Personalized

The pandemic has brought people closer to their pets than ever before, heightening consumers’ existing propensity for humanizing their animal family members. This has upped the ante on pet food, with more and more owners looking for products that offer top-of-the-line ingredients and targeted health benefits. There’s been a 41% increase in “all natural” pet foods launched globally,[6] and ADM Outside Voice found that 30% of global pet owners spent a significant amount of time researching the best pet food options in the last year. 

In 2022, pet owners will be able to choose from a wealth of customizable options. Human-grade food with science-backed functional ingredients will allow them to tailor their pet’s diet to address explicit mental and physical needs, from anxiety and cognitive function to joint health and digestion issues. 

Thoughtfully Produced Meat and Dairy Will Be Everywhere

Consumers’ growing preoccupation with health and wellness also extends to the planet’s animal inhabitants, which has led to the emergence of precise and responsible animal feeding. More and more people want to know they’re consuming products from animals that have been raised humanely and without the use of antibiotics that can potentially pose risks to humans when consumed. This has prompted a growing number of producers to evolve their methods and more explicitly communicate changes to consumers. 

In addition, awareness of the connection between methane pollution from cattle and global warming has risen sharply in recent years, inciting demand for methane-reduction solutions. This has resulted in new innovations in feed that can reduce amount of methane emitted by cattle, and this space will likely grow exponentially going forward. In 2022 and beyond, both human and animal food products will reflect consumers’ growing concerns about environmental impact. 

Holistic, Personalized Health and Wellness Takes Center Stage

Consumers were showing deep interest in the health and wellbeing of people, animals and the planet prior to the pandemic, and the events of the last two years have only intensified their focus. As we head into the new year, consumers’ ever-growing desire for wholesome foods and products will come to life through a robust array of niche offerings that can be tailored to personal needs and goals.

[1] https://www.nutraingredients.com/Article/2021/08/02/Postbiotics-see-1-300-increase-in-Google-searches#

[2] https://news.crunchbase.com/ne...

[3] https://apnews.com/press-relea...

[4] https://www.prnewswire.com/new...

[5] https://www.prnewswire.com/new...

[6] https://store.mintel.com/repor...

2022 Food and Wellness Trends

ADM helps the world’s top food, beverage, and health & wellness brands stay ahead of the ever-evolving consumer environment. Introducing its list of global food and wellness trends to watch in 2022.

2022 Food and Wellness Trends