Since its launch in 2004, KIND has been on a mission to create a kinder and healthier world – one snack and one act at a time. Its iconic snack bars sparked the growth of an entirely new healthy snacking category, made with a nutrient-dense first ingredient, and not a genetically engineered ingredient in sight, let alone sugar alcohols or artificial sweeteners.
It also prides itself on its unique approach to social responsibility and annually, compiles a trend report in collaboration with a variety of experts within the wellness, flavour and ingredient spaces as well as community advocacy, sustainability and kindness, to help ensure that it maintains its mission.
So, counting down:
Under the sea
Sea vegetables are set to really make their mark. The sea is rich with a wide variety of nutrient-rich options, from the popular kelp and wakame to the lesser-known dulse and kombu. KIND believes sea vegetables will be popping up, with items like kelp burgers and seaweed chips hitting shelves and restaurants soon.
Hopefully, next year will see consumers slowly returning to their busy lifestyles – and with that, so will snacks. Prepare to see brands introducing bite-sized or mini snack items to help folks again meet their on-the-go demands, but maintaining their diets with portion-controlled formats. Products like savoury egg and sweet cookie bites, energy balls and KIND Minis will become even more popular next year.
Latin American goes mainstream
KIND anticipates Latin American flavours, ingredients and traditions to bring new life to old favourites, so expect to see more of items like casava, plantains, pimento seeds and aji peppers.
Big names will increasingly pair up with food brands to release limited edition items.
“We’re already seeing out-of-the-box partnerships to create innovative products that deliver on taste and entertainment, and we’ll continue to experience a rise in these collaborations,” said KIND.
TikTok is taking over from traditional sources like magazines or TV as the top avenue for recipe inspiration, and TikTokkers are firing up the burners to create crave-worthy moments with dishes like baked feta pasta, ramen lasagna and ice cream bread. KIND is not missing out on the viral trend, and has its own TikTok following.
“As we prepare to experience continued unknowns next year, we anticipate a spotlight on new foods like Ashwagandha, dark chocolate, rhodiola and oats that can help us feel good,” said KIND.
The brand anticipates a shift from cherry picking just one positive ingredient in our meal to considering the whole picture, with an emphasis on eating whole foods whenever possible. Think swapping the packaged snack for a whole nut, fruit, vegetable or legume.
“We’re going to go way back to basics and prioritize eating nutrient-dense whole foods that don’t require labels next year.”
As people continue to prioritise the planet, KIND predicts a shift in the sustainability conversation from individual activism to collective activism.
In the past, there’s been a greater emphasis on how individuals can be more sustainable in their daily lives, but to make a greater impact, collective activism will unite large groups of people to demand big changes from organisations and entire countries. Examples of this movement include employees sending open letters or going on strike to demand corporate changes, city-wide protests and lobbying politicians with like-minded people.
Rise and rest
After hitting the at-home workout circuits hard for over two years, the next big movement moment will focus on maximising recovery days to soothe sore muscles, and boost circulation and relaxation, with items like sleeping mats, sauna blankets and theraguns.
New ways of working
New year, new ways of working. As many companies prepare to head back to the office in 2022, they will do so with key learnings gained from remote working.
“We’ve learned that team members need more time to do what they love in order to alleviate rising levels of burnout and predict to see more companies experimenting with a four-day workweek,” said KIND.
In fact, the US snack producer has granted an additional five days off for its staff to refocus from their day-to-day business to follow its mission of being kinder to our bodies and communities.
“We’ll continue to see companies granting team members the extra time to increase productivity, happiness and overall wellbeing.”