Last year, Whole Foods Market announced their prediction for the top 10 food trends to expect this year in 2022*. Here were the top ten beverages, foods, and lifestyles predicted to start filling grocery store shelves this year:
- Buzz-Less Spirits
- Functional Fizz
- Grains That Give Back
- Hibiscus is Happening
- Moringa’s Moment
- Seize the Sunflower Seeds
- Turmeric Takes Off
- Ultraurban Farming
- You Do Yuzu
We are super excited to see all of these trends hit grocery store shelves this year and beyond, but we are even more thrilled about one trend in particular - hibiscus.
Hibiscus is Happening
Although hibiscus is trending, we have been crafting deliciously handcrafted drinks using hibiscus before it was ever cool. Yeah, it is pretty safe to say we are a team of trailblazers and trendsetters.
Origins of Hibiscus
Hibiscus is a class of numerous species of herbs, shrubs, and trees that are all native to tropical regions and warmer temperatures. Think of locations like Northeastern India, Southeast Asia, East Africa, and West Africa.
Many people think the hibiscus we use in the culinary world is straight from the flower, but it is actually a collection of sepals known as calyx, which is the part of the flowering plant that protects the flower bud and supports the petal once it is in full bloom. Crazy, right?
What does Hibiscus taste like?
Hibiscus ranges in colors including beige, pink, red, red-orange, rose, yellow, and white yet the deep red variety is the most common and most recognizable. You may expect the different colors to produce different flavor profiles, but that is not the case. The flavor of hibiscus is incredibly similar despite the varying colors and shades.
The light-colored varieties of hibiscus are slightly sour and tend to be tarter, while the darker varieties of hibiscus are fuller in flavor and more robust with a deeper depth on the palette. Yet, all varieties of hibiscus contain an essence of floral essence and notes of forest fruits. Delish!
Benefits of Hibiscus
Hibiscus is most commonly associated with cardiovascular health, but it also provides antioxidant power.
Hibiscus tea, in particular, offers antiviral and cardiovascular benefits. Some studies have even shown that hibiscus tea may help lower blood pressure and help decrease LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels.
How to use Hibiscus
Although hibiscus is most commonly used in tea, you can also enjoy it dried, just like dried fruit. or mashed into homemade jams and jellies. Hibiscus also plays nice with other flavors like cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, rhubarb, and star anise, but just like ashwagandha, we prefer to enjoy our hibiscus on the rowdy side.
Get Rowdy with Hibiscus
Fun fact: Mother Nature has rhythm and so do we. Our harmonious Hibiscus Pulse features the subtly sweet yet tart stylings of the hibiscus flower that is paired with a dose of low-key cassia and chipotle to get your heart pumping all while supporting healthy circulation. Can you hear that? Oh yeah, it is the beat that is about to drop on this delicious drink.
If you want to try a hint of hibiscus instead of making it the main event, hydrate with our caffeine-free Watermelon Bloom, which is full of flavor yet functional. You can also refresh with a can of our Strawberry Tonic. Bright hibiscus and sweet strawberry merge with the detoxifying power of Dandelion Root and prebiotic Raw Chicory to create a tempting tonic that tempers. (Try saying that five times fast).
Hibiscus may be a trend to look out for this year, but due to its bold and bright pink hue along with its deliciously addictive flavor, we think it is pretty safe to say hibiscus is here to stay.
*This year’s predictions appeared in Whole Foods Market’s annual trends report and were compiled by Whole Foods Market’s Trends Council, a team of culinary experts and industry leaders who source items and spot trends across Whole Foods Markets nationwide.