The natural products industry 2022 predictions

The famous Grateful Dead lyrics from the song Truckin’, “ Lately, it occurs to me what a long, strange trip it’s been” have never rang truer then when thinking back on the journey that was 2021. Yet despite its many challenges and more than a few setbacks, fresh perspectives and new natural products industry trends that are transforming the overall CPG industry for the better also emerged.

It has been a time reflect and redirect how we do business and connect with people, while creating solutions for not only consumers but for the planet as well. These shifts in behavior and direction are inspiring a new approach to innovation that is much more about long term solutions leading to a brighter future, rather than just surviving the chaos of today

Embracing Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion for ALL

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Photo Credit: 2019 Natural Products Expo Pitch Slam Winners

With an increasingly diverse population and widespread consumer awakening around long-held racial inequities in nearly all sectors of American business and society, the natural products industry is expanding both its makeup and who it serves to be more inclusive. Diverse entrepreneurs have had some of the year’s most exciting brand and product launches, which has prompted investors and retailers to support them.

Journey to ‘Net Carbon’

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Photo Credit: Horizon Organic

With the continued rise of climate change and temperature fluctuation issues affecting the environment, there has been an influx of companies joining the movement to address climate change through business practices. Now, they are sharing this with consumers through climate smart messaging. For years, brands have debated whether to use their platforms to advocate for change. In 2021 the natural products industry doubled down on it, leading to significant climate progress that punctuated a year of social and environmental brand activism.

Food is the New Tech

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Photo Credit: Perfect Day/Instagram

There is a pivotal moment in the food industry where its various initiatives-plant-based, organic, regenerative, sustainable meat production, food technology, and so much more can either become increasingly interconnected or increasingly disparate. Defining a path for food technology is particularly challenging, since industry advancements have rapidly outpaced federal regulations. When the responsible food industry continues to face this challenge, it will attempt to provide clarity around terms such as synthetic biology.

365 days of Immune Support

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Photo Credit: Sambucol/Instagram

The prolonged pandemic has led many consumers to consider the need for a more comprehensive approach to maintaining health and the increased awareness of the importance of immune system health, and signs indicate this interest is here to stay. In 2020 sales of cold, flu and immunity supplements reached $5 billion for the first time; with growth soaring more than 50%. Cold & flu supplements have traditionally been popular during the winter months, but they have now evolved into a year-round pursuit, with consumers viewing immune supplements as equivalent to the new multivitamin.

Mushrooms hit the mainstream

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Photo Credit: Gaia Herbs/Instagram

Mushrooms are having a moment. And the market goes far beyond the portobellos, shiitakes and button mushrooms you find in the produce section. In 2020, functional mushroom supplements grew an astonishing 60.2%, growing the market from $57 million to $91 million in sales. The explosive growth on the category was largely driven by the numerous benefits this nutrient-dense food provides. Among the many benefits sited that mushrooms offer, among some of the most important are supporting immune health, and they are also high in fiber, bursting with vitamins and minerals and by some miracle still low-calorie. As research continues to prove the many benefits of certain mushrooms and increased interested has helped with adoption and success in the mainstream market.

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