The global health crisis continues to influence consumer interest and demand for health-conscious products and services ranging from mushroom coffee and functional beverages to increased accessibility to mental health help and cleaner indoor air. Here are some of the top wellness and nutritional supplement industry trends to look out for in 2022.
2022 health trends
Outlined below are some of the current trends you can expect to see more of in the healthcare sector this year.
1. Spotlight on mental health
It should come as no surprise that the last two years have presented some unique challenges, unfortunately taking a toll on many individuals’ mental health and cognitive health. Psychologists and other medical professionals offering mental health services are in high demand as our culture recognizes the importance of prioritizing mental health and more people seek help for common issues such as stress, burnout, and depression. Still, mental health services are inaccessible to many people who may need help. Mental health projects and emerging technologies intended to reduce health disparities by bringing these services to the masses and making them available to underserved communities are now receiving unprecedented amounts in investments from private equity firms. (1)(9)
Nutritional psychiatry, which involves the use of dietary modification and/or nutrient-based supplementation for the prevention or management of psychiatric disorders is another emerging concept in the healthcare industry. (13)
Did you know? Risky health behaviors, such as opioid and alcohol abuse, are still on the rise. (14)
Medicinal mushrooms, such as reishi, chaga, cordyceps, and lion’s mane, began gaining traction as popular functional foods and supplement ingredients in the last several years. Mushroom beverages, which are marketed as health-promoting, caffeine-free alternatives to traditional coffees and teas, are more favored than ever. Some experts predict that we’ll see more mushroom powders on the market in 2022, as well as a push to incorporate mushroom powders in foods such as smoothies, soups, and sauces. (5)
Did you know? Many mushrooms are a source of β-glucan, a polysaccharide studied for its immune-stimulating and prebiotic properties. (7)
3. Plant-based products
Year over year, plant-based foods continue to rise in popularity, leading brands to develop more high-quality, plant-based products to satisfy consumer tastes. In fact, there has been a 59% increase in new plant-based products over the past year. (6) The saturated market for plant-based foods has driven innovation, resulting in improved tastes and textures of many available products. Whether you’re interested in plant-based products for global sustainability, your physical health, or taste preferences, there’s a multitude of options available in grocery stores and restaurants.
Did you know? Although plant-based meats can be tasty alternatives to their meat counterparts, these foods tend to be highly processed and may be missing essential nutrients found in animal protein, such as vitamin B12, iron, and zinc. (3)
While plant-based, non-dairy beverages are nothing new, data suggests that the oat milk market is positioned to surpass $6 billion by 2027. Oats are a sustainable, allergy-friendly, and versatile alternative to dairy and other popular non-dairy products made from almond or soy. Be on the lookout for other plant-based dairy analogs on grocery store shelves, including oat yogurt, butter, ice cream, and more. (15)
4. Fermented foods
Fermented foods and beverages are popular due to their enhanced shelf-life, unique flavors, and nutritional properties. (12) According to the tenth annual What’s Trending in Nutrition survey conducted by Pollock Communications and Today’s Dietitian, fermented foods are once again regarded as one of the top health-promoting foods. (2) Fermented foods, such as kimchi, kombucha, miso, tempeh, yogurt, and kefir, boast a myriad of benefits. (12) For example, research demonstrates that fermented foods promote a healthy microbiome by restoring the balance of healthy bacteria in the gut. (12)
Did you know? Fermented foods aren’t the only gut health-promoting products gaining popularity. Synbiotics, foods and supplements that combine probiotics and prebiotics, and supplemental postbiotics, bioactive compounds produced in the gut when probiotics digest and break down prebiotics, are also popular for promoting a healthy gut microbiome. (8)
5. Beauty from within
Not only are consumers interested in the enormous personal care and beauty market, but they’re also showing interest in products that may enhance beauty from the inside out. According to data published by the New Hope Network 2022 Natural Products Industry Trends Forecast, products containing supplement ingredients that may enhance the appearance of hair, skin, and nails, are projected to grow nearly 10% this year. Some of the top dietary supplements included in this expanding category include collagen, carotenoids, and astaxanthin. (15) If you’re a patient, speak to your integrative healthcare provider before taking new supplements.
6. Functional beverages
The Hartman Group’s Functional Food & Beverage and Supplements report summarizes that consumers are looking for beverages that provide more than hydration but also provide energy, immune support, and general health-promoting benefits. (16) Beverages containing antioxidants (e.g., vitamin C and E), green tea, electrolytes, antioxidant-rich fruits (e.g., black currant, acai), fiber, prebiotics, probiotics, digestive enzymes, and nutrient-dense greens are among the most popular nutrients and functional foods added to beverages. The report also concluded that consumers are interested in purchasing beverages they currently consume, such as tea, juice, smoothies, or bottled water, that contain added functional ingredients. (16)
7. Online supplements
As the global health crisis continues and the demand for safe, convenient retail options increases, online shopping remains the preferred choice for many consumers. E-commerce is expected to rise through 2022, and the Nutrition Business Journal forecasts online sales to increase from $5 billion in 2019 to over $10 billion in 2022. (11) Online supplement sales are also expected to capture 19.6% of all supplement sales by 2023. (11)
Telehealth usage has continued to expand over the past couple of years as patients seek more accessible options for receiving routine and preventive care. Although virtual care does pose some challenges and can’t provide all of the same services as in-person care, it has been shown to improve access to medical care during the global public health crisis and has allowed healthcare providers to expand their services to more individuals to help improve patient outcomes and well-being. (4)
9. Indoor air quality
The global health crisis coupled with rising pollution levels in urban areas has influenced some consumers to invest in air purifiers, devices used to reduce airborne contaminants and improve indoor air quality, for their homes. In fact, the global air purifier market size, valued at $9.24 billion in 2021, is projected to increase to $22.84 billion by 2030. (10)
Indoor air purifiers can be financially infeasible for many families. Thankfully, there are other strategies you can use to improve the air quality of your home. Visit the Fullscript blog to learn more about enhancing indoor air quality.
Did you know? Clinical trials demonstrate that using indoor air purifiers may improve allergy, asthma, and cardiovascular health outcomes. (17)
The bottom line
Experts and analysts in the health and wellness space predict that we’ll continue to see a demand for wellness products, such as supplements that may promote healthy skin, hair, and nails, indoor air purifiers, and functional and fermented foods, as well as expanded access to mental health services and virtual healthcare.
What health and wellness trends would you like to see in the near future? Leave us your thoughts and predictions in the comments below.
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- American Psychological Foundation. (2022). 14 emerging trends. https://www.apa.org/monitor/2022/01/special-emerging-trends
- Cision. (2022, January 4). A decade of dietitian insights forecasts a future of food innovations. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/a-decade-of-dietitian-insights-forecasts-a-future-of-food-innovations-301453086.html
- Curtain, F., & Grafenauer, S. (2019). Plant-Based meat substitutes in the flexitarian age: An audit of products on supermarket shelves. Nutrients, 11(11), 2603.
- Garfan, S., Alamoodi, A., Zaidan, B., Al-Zobbi, M., Hamid, R. A., Alwan, J. K., Ahmaro, I. Y., Khalid, E. T., Jumaah, F., Albahri, O., Zaidan, A., Albahri, A., Al-qaysi, Z., Ahmed, M., Shuwandy, M. L., Salih, M. M., Zughoul, O., Mohammed, K., & Momani, F. (2021). Telehealth utilization during the Covid-19 pandemic: A systematic review. Computers in Biology and Medicine, 138, 104878.
- Helm, J. (2021). Top food trends for 2022. U.S. News & World Report. https://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/slideshows/top-food-trends-for-2022?slide=8
- Innova Market Insights. (2021). “Shared planet” leads Innova market insights’ top ten trends for 2022. https://www.innovamarketinsights.com/press-release/shared-planet-leads-innova-market-insights-top-ten-trends-for-2022/
- Jayachandran, M., Xiao, J., & Xu, B. (2017). A critical review on health promoting benefits of edible mushrooms through gut microbiota. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 18(9), 1934.
- Kazemi, A., Soltani, S., Nasri, F., Clark, C. C. T., & Kolahdouz-Mohammadi, R. (2020). The effect of probiotics, parabiotics, synbiotics, fermented foods and other microbial forms on immunoglobulin production: A systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, 72(5), 632–649.
- National Research Corporation. (2022, January 19). NRC health annual consumer trends report shows declining care deferment, rising mental health challenges and gaps in telehealth. https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2022/01/19/2369502/16058/en/NRC-Health-Annual-Consumer-Trends-Report-Shows-Declining-Care-Deferment-Rising-Mental-Health-Challenges-and-Gaps-in-Telehealth.html
- Precedence Research. (2022, January 11). Air purifier market size to hit USD 22.84 billion by 2030. https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2022/01/11/2364444/0/en/Air-Purifier-Market-Size-to-Hit-USD-22-84-Billion-by-2030.html
- Reynolds, C. M. (2020, July 7). The analyst’s take: Online supplement sales projected to double between 2019 and 2022. New Hope Network. https://www.newhope.com/market-data-and-analysis/analysts-take-online-supplement-sales-projected-double-between-2019-and
- Rezac, S., Kok, C. R., Heermann, M., & Hutkins, R. (2018). Fermented foods as a dietary source of live organisms. Frontiers in Microbiology, 9, 1785.
- Sarris, J. (2019). Nutritional psychiatry: From concept to the clinic. Drugs, 79(9), 929–934.
- Schmidt, R. A., Genois, R., Jin, J., Vigo, D., Rehm, J., & Rush, B. (2021). The early impact of COVID-19 on the incidence, prevalence, and severity of alcohol use and other drugs: A systematic review. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 228, 109065.
- Supermarket News. (2022, January 27). The top natural products industry trends and 2022 predictions. https://www.supermarketnews.com/organic-natural/top-natural-products-industry-trends-and-2022-predictions
- The Hartman Group. (2020). Functional food & beverage and supplements 2020. https://www.hartman-group.com/reports/1876069745/functional-food-beverage-and-supplements-2020
- U.S. EPA. (2018). Residential air cleaners: A technical summary. https://www.epa.gov/sites/default/files/2018-07/documents/residential_air_cleaners_-_a_technical_summary_3rd_edition.pdf