2022’s Definition of Healthy Foods

By Heather Mayer

Styling and Photography by Laurie Mosco

Getting healthy in the New Year healthy used to mean “diet time.” But “healthy” has a whole new definition in 2022.  Along with it, what’s considered a healthy food.  Consumers are taking a holistic approach, eyeing foods that help reduce the risk for chronic illness, reduce stress and achieve better sleep and mental health, as well as offer functional nutrients (Convenience Store News).  Don’t worry — you don’t have to clear out your better-for-you section and start fresh. Simply highlight these key health trends, to keep your sales nice and healthy.

Keto is Killin’ It

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According to Convenience Store News, keto is one of the fastest growing terms, its appearance growing 63% on menus over this past year. Similar to Atkins, the Keto lifestyle focuses on high fat and low carbs, so call outs about the amount of sugar or carbs included in products add to the appeal. 

Keto is a 24/7 plan, so consumers are looking for Keto products to follow them throughout the day. They’ll love to rise and shine to crispy, crunchy granola with a Keto slant from Kiss My Keto.  Whether it’s Coconut Almond & Pecan Granola, or classic Strawberry & Vanilla Granola, customers will feel good that both are made with Non-GMO ingredients and offer only 1g of sugar per serving.  For those looking to Keto up their sit-down breakfast or brunch, Birch Benders Keto Pancake & Waffle Mix serves up the classic fluffy breakfast staple they love, with 5g net carbs and 9g protein per serving.

When it comes to lunch or dinner, customers want want something they can make in an instant, making quick cooking Miracle Noodle Keto Teriyaki Meal a real Keto meal MVP.  The star of the dish – Shirataki noodles – a plant-based and fiber-rich noodle with less carbs than rice noodles. Combine with a sweet and savory low carb Teriyaki sauce, and and you have a flavorful meal great on its own or with their choice of protein.

Don’t forget snack time!  Consumers might be trying to reduce their sugar intake, but they still want snack time to be fun and full of the classic flavors they love.  Chocolate Chip and Butter Cookies from Kiss My Keto, offer that just-from-grandma’s-oven flavor and crispy texture at less than 1g of sugar per serving. If savory is what they’re seeking, then Parm Crisps snack mix is just the thing.  Parm Crisps Original Snack Mix‘s blend of thin, crunchy parmesan cheese crisps, almonds, cashews, and pistachios, or if they’re feeling spicy, the added zest of Ranch , offer fun textures, and powerful protein with only 21g net carbs.  

Go with your Gut – Offer Functional Ingredients

probiotic snacks, pickled vegetables, Lola Bars, Pickled beets, Pickled Eggplant, Pickerfresh, Tillen Farms, Tillen Farms Pickled Dilly Beans,

More emphasis is being placed on gut health, building immunity, and reducing inflammation than ever before (Convenience Store News).  Functional foods identified as critical to achieving these goals – probiotics and pickled items (Convenience Store News).

While they want function don’t skip on flavor. That’s why we like LOLA Snacks Probiotic Bars for Grab & Go. Plant-based, gluten free, probiotic-packed, and full of indulgent flavors like Blueberry Almond and Dark Chocolate Almond, their gut reaction will be yum!

This year we’re redefining health, so let’s open customers’ eyes to a new definition of “pickle” with a variety of pickled vegetables. Things heat up when they they experience the bold Mediterranean flavors found in Pickerfresh Fire roasted Eggplant with Red Pepper.  They’ll also be “pickled” pink to see pickled veggie alternatives like Pickerfresh Pickled Beets and Tillen Farms Crispy Dilly Beans pickled green beans. Remember ingredients matter, so the more simple and clean ingredients a product offers, the better.

Spice with Purpose

turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, Kettle & Fire bone broth, Vermont Village Vinegar shots, Tazo Tea, Primal Kitchen dressing, Madhava honey with lemon and ginger,

Spices have long been a way for consumers to change up their food routine, but now they’re being seen for their health benefits too (New Hope).   Spices that are red hot at the moment – turmeric, cinnamon, and ginger. Beverages are a great way to bring these flavorful benefits without adding a significant amount of calories, which will resonate with health conscious customers. 

Bone broth is emerging as a filling snack for those keeping Keto. So, broth with functional spices like Kettle & Fire Turmeric Ginger Chicken Bone Broth, or Kettle & Fire Lemongrass Ginger Beef Bone Broth will stir the pot in a good way.  Tea is already viewed as beneficial to a heathy lifestyle, but adding in trending spices like Tazo Tea Sweet Cinnamon Spice Tea with just a dash of Madhava Organic Lemon Ginger Honey makes it extra wholesome. Even as consumers look to reduce stress, there are going to be times where they’re extra busy and need a beneficial boost while on the go.  That’s were Vermont Village Turmeric and Honey Vinegar Shot becomes beneficial for your impulse section.

With all this talk of healthy living and healthy foods, you know that salad is going to pop up on the menu.  Make it flavorful with functional spices like turmeric found in Primal Kitchen Lemon Turmeric Vinaigrette & Marinade made with avocado oil.

Little Plant-based Indulgences

little indulgences, plant-based snacks, plant based gummies, oat milk chocolate, plant based crackers, Katjes gummies, Crunchsters, Mustache Munchies, Endangered Species chocolate

Unlike past diet trends, 2022’s definition of healthy leaves room for “sensible indulgences” – a little indulgence that won’t ruin a healthy lifestyle (New Hope). The popularity of plant-based isn’t going away anytime soon either (Convenience Store News), so offer them plant-based versions of the indulgent snacks they love. 

Gummies are always a favorite, so include Katjes plant-based Sour and Rainbow gummies, free from animal gelatin, palm tree oil, and high fructose corn syrup. Plant-based milks are a big part of the plant-based movement, so dark chocolate made with oat milk and indulgent add-ins like Coconut & Almonds, Mixed Berries, or Sea Salt from Endangered Species is the little indulgence they can feel good about.

Appeal to their salty and crunchy side with plant-based “cheese crackers” from Mustache Munchies.  A blend of kale, garbanzo beans, and chia makes a seriously crunchy cracker. Sprinkle with  garlic and nutritional yeast for the creamy cheese flavor found in their Cheddarish Crackers , or onion, rosemary, garlic and mustard for “Parmesan” Rosemary and they’re extra “grate.” If potato chips are their thing, they’ll make a quick friend-chip with Crunchsters.  Crispy sprouted Mung beans in classic chip flavors like Sea Salt, BBQ, and Beyond Bacon satisfies their cravings for plant-based indulgence.   

Looking to give your selection a little healthy update? Find all the latest health trends

“This article and its contents is intended for marketing purposes only and not intended to imply and advice in regards to Medical Treatments, Healthy Alternatives or Any Condition Whatsoever. Any change to diet should be reviewed with a licensed medical professional.”

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