2022 Grocery Trends: from HFSS to CBD - Grocery Gazette

HFSS, VG, GF, CBD… the list of buzzwords and acronyms that line retailer shelves goes on – but which ones will stick?

Grocery Gazette takes a closer look at how sustainability, legislation and trend movements have impacted the way brands package, style and produce their products.

After attending the Food and Drink Expo 2022 in Birmingham, here are the top FMCG trends to keep an eye on.

Refillable Products

At a time when plastics are piling up and post-lockdown lifestyles are happening, sustainability and convenience have driven innovation in retail.

One of the most popular features has been refillable products from pulse dispensers to shampoo bottles. Both retailers and brands have embraced this initiative, with Asda opening four refill stores last year and Tesco partnering with pre-fill company Loop.

Businesses specializing in assembling dry materials dispensers have grown with the family-run Zero Waste Refill Hub, which has partnered with independent retailers like Co-op and Budgens.

At the same time, eco-conscious brands have taken it upon themselves to integrate refillable ranges along their supply chains to maximize efficiencies for both retailers and customers.

Earlier this month, Faith in Nature launched a 2.5 liter refill bottle after customers explained the inconvenience of the 5 liter bottle but wanted to continue supporting its eco-friendly project.

Smaller companies like Fillrefill.co, AlterNative and Miniml have also adopted the refill model to attract environmentally conscious consumers.



Fillrefill.co has even simplified the process for customers by providing a list of stockists closest to them and also offering factory direct refills when there is no stockist nearby.

It’s clear that the refillable movement has moved from retail stores to brands looking to clean up their own supply chains and offer fast, eco-friendly and easy solutions to consumers.

READ MORE: Refill, reuse, recycle: How many grocers have set up refillable bays?

Vegan Snacks

Eco-friendly packaging goes hand in hand with eco-friendly diets – plant-based snacks for consumers on the go are at the forefront.

Veganism has quickly shifted from its wholesome, leafy personality and has seen several FMCG brands move into chocolate and indulgence territory.

Snack brands like Flower & White have recently launched a vegan range of their meringue bars in chocolate-covered strawberry and double milk chocolate, as veganism is “on the rise” in the UK.

Flower & White

Flower & White

Last year, Vegan Food and Living reported that online searches for vegan chocolate recipes increased by 31% and major confectionery brands released an increasing amount of vegan confectionery.

Meanwhile, other FMCG brands have taken this opportunity to focus solely on plant-based products, such as chocolate companies Nomo and LoveRaw.

Both chocolate brands only sell vegan products, with Nomo focusing on bars and multi-share packs, while LoveRaw specializes in its cream cone-style chocolate bars.

With a third of Brits interested in trying veganism, there’s no doubt that plant-based chocolate brands are luring potential customers with their cruelty-free and eco-friendly alternatives.

HFSS compliance

The reformulation has been a hot topic as brands scramble to meet upcoming restrictions on high-fat salt and sugar in October.

Earlier this month, the government released HFSS clarifications, showing the policy is moving forward at full speed despite concerns about easing the cost of living crisis through volume price promotions.

While retailers have slowly tried new store layouts or looked for loopholes to continue encouraging impulse buying, FMCG brands have taken it upon themselves to adapt recipes to overcome HFSS obstacles.

KP Snacks and Weetabix have already launched new HFSS claim products ahead of the switch, while snack bar companies like Tribe have developed new products altogether for a May release.

Since nuts are higher in fat, reformulation of snack bars has resulted in the ingredient being swapped out for “healthier” options like oat-based flapjacks.

A book

A book



Other companies have only released HFSS compliant bars, such as: B. Boka, who pride themselves on containing only 1% fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt in their granola bar range.

As snack brands change their recipes, smaller HFSS-compliant businesses are expected to line up at checkouts and aisles in October.

READ MORE: HFSS: Which FMCG brands are reformulating the bestsellers ahead of the October law change

canned drinks

In terms of recipes, canned drinks have taken creative turns with more offbeat flavors, alcoholic variants, and CBD-infused drinks hitting the market.

As cans become more portable, convenient and easy to recycle, more and more companies have adopted the format to offer elegant and unique beverages.

Funkin Nitro Cocktail, which has been around for a few years and has expanded into the Big 4 grocers, continues to grow with new flavors launched just last week.

The popularity of cans can also be seen at Trip, the multi-channel CBD company with a foot in CBD oils, lifestyle apparel, and also canned beverages.

candy jar

candy jar

side trip

side trip

Founded in 2019, the husband and wife-owned company got its start from using CBD to help co-founder Dan walk down the aisle on his wedding day after knee surgery. Originally a CBD oil brand, Trip expanded into canned beverage grounds after its initial success.

Another canned drink with an unusual twist was Candy Can, which offers unique flavors without the sugar. The range includes Bubblegum, Marshmallow, Cotton Candy, Birthday Cake, Sour Apple and Rocket Ice Lolly.

What’s certain about canned beverages is the versatility and creativity that the can holds for brands to explore and expand – with companies like Funkin Cocktails and Trip just coming to the market a few years ago.

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