Naperville -November 30, 2021 — KeHE®, the largest distributor of natural & organic, specialty, and fresh products in North America, has identified its macro trends in the food and beverage industry to inform retailers’ product selections for 2022. Trend experts from KeHE identified 10 predicted trends in the new 2022 Macro Trend Guide through their expertise in observing consumer shopping behaviors, analyzing consumer data, and foraging for emerging products.

“As we move into 2022, natural & organic, specialty, and fresh products will continue to outpace conventional products in growth rates—and we see no end in sight,” said Brandon Barnholt, President and Chief Executive Officer at KeHE Distributors. “We are all adapting to the market we are confronted with right now. The ‘next normal’ presents the industry and—consumers—with unique challenges as well as some new innovative options to explore in the food and beverage market space.”

Here is a quick look at the 10 key food and beverage market macro trends KeHE experts are predicting for 2022:

  1. Cuisine Exploration: Consumers are looking to travel the world through their tastebuds, with newer flavors like yuzu and ube. Younger generations, such as Gen Z, are driving consumption of African and Mediterranean cuisine.
  2. Food Tech Boom: KeHE experts predict the continued rise of plant-based varieties such as ready-to-eat meats, sugar replacements and new categories utilizing food technology.
  3. Sober-Curious Drinkers: Coined by KeHE, consumers have become “sober-curious” and “mindful drinkers,” looking for alcohol-free options.
  4. Dual Purpose Brands: Shoppers will look for brands that implement upcycling, water reduction, and reduction of their carbon footprint.
  5. Convenience Continues: The pandemic has led consumers to favor convenience foods including grab and go snacks, chef-inspired frozen meals and refrigerated appetizers.
  6. Flexitarian Diets: Consumers no longer follow strict diets but like to pick and choose what suits them.  For example, choosing to be more flexible with what they consume such as less meat and more plants rather than a fully dedicated vegan or vegetarian diet.  
  7. Permissible Indulgence:  Sixty-nine percent of consumers say they want the best of both worlds, balancing snacks that have taste but are also a healthier alternative.
  8. Shopping Local:  Supply chain issues have made shopping locally a necessity and shoppers want to also feel more connected to their communities.
  9. Getting Grain-ular: While oats are all the rage, KeHE experts predict the rise of grains including pistachio, hemp, barley, and seed alternatives.
  10. Functionality Collab: As inflation increases food prices, consumers are looking to get the most out of their food, such as mushrooms which are entering the coffee and snack categories.  

For more information about the latest food and beverage market trends and KeHE Distributors, visit

About KeHE

KeHE Distributors®, LLC (KeHE) is the largest, pure-play distributor of natural & organic, specialty, and fresh products to more than 30,000 natural food stores, chain and independent grocery stores, e-commerce retailers, and other specialty products retailers throughout North America. With over 5,500 employee-owners, KeHE, a Certified B Corporation, drives its mission of serving to make lives better and bringing the next level of goodness, crazy GOOD™, throughout all aspects of its operation. For more about KeHE, visit or check out our social media channels: LinkedInInstagramFacebook,& Twitter.