Interest in mushrooms — both psychedelic and functional — hit all-time highs in 2022.
People really wanted to do shrooms this year — or were at least curious about them.
Interest in psychedelic therapy and psychedelic microdosing reached all-time highs in 2022, both in the US and worldwide, per Google. Psilocybin mushroom reached an all-time high in 2022 in the US, and searches for “shroom moms” spiked 3,200% this year.
Though many clinical trials into psychedelics’ effect on mental health disorders are in early stages, the results are poised to shape the future of the $100 billion magic mushroom and MDMA industry, Insider previously reported.
Along with magic mushrooms, “functional” mushrooms, or fungi used in alternative medical systems that are rumored to improve focus and reduce inflammation, also had all-time high interest in 2022. Though the wellness industry routinely sells food and drinks infused with “adaptogens” and “nootropics,” derivatives of functional mushrooms, only a handful of small studies have been done on these components.
More people looked for natural alternatives for haircare as new studies exposed potentially hazardous chemicals in cosmetics.
Google searches reflected the food-for-your-hair trend: interest in using grapeseed oil, sesame oil, and pumpkin seed oil for hair became breakout searches in the US in 2022.
The increase in interest for natural haircare alternatives came after several studies shed light on potentially dangerous chemicals in hair products. The National Institutes of Health identified a potential link between chemicals in hair straighteners and uterine cancer, but some of the country’s leading gynecologists said they need more data before declaring these products risk factors for the disease.
Top haircare sellers like Dove and TRESemmé recalled dry shampoo after identifying trace amounts of benzene, a carcinogen found in gasoline and cigarette smoke. Yale scientists working in independent lab Valisure also identified high levels of benzene in dry shampoos sold by 11 brands, including Sun Bum and Batiste.
Though high exposure to benzene can cause leukemia in people who work closely with the chemical, research has not found a link between benzene in cosmetics and cancer.
The sober curious movement continued to pick up steam, as interest in booze-free drink alternatives peaked this year.
Over the last few years, young people have led the “sober curious” movement, which encourages people to drink less and be more mindful when they choose to imbibe.
Interest in the movement continued in 2022, as Google searches for “low-alcohol beer” and “non-alcoholic beer” reached all-time highs in both the US and around the world. Search interest in sobriety doubled in the US at the same time.
A host of companies offering low- and no-alcohol alternative drinks have responded to the country’s move away from alcohol. Shops and bars began offering more non-alcoholic drinks options this year; major companies like Whole Foods and Heineken are investing in booze-free alternatives, Insider previously reported.
“I think this trend has staying power because we’ve seen both demand from the consumer and desire from brands to meet that demand by providing new, interesting buzz-less formats,” Mary Guiver, Whole Foods’ global senior category merchant for beer and spirits, told me late last year.
The dietary supplement market continues to expand post-pandemic — even as federal regulation lags behind.
Insider has reported on the dietary supplement market’s steady rise in the wake of the pandemic, and the trend continued this year. Search interest for dietary supplements — both in the US and worldwide — hit an all-time high, according to Google.
Dietitians generally discourage healthy people — and people without diagnosed nutrient deficiencies — from taking supplements, as fruits and vegetables are cheaper, provide fiber and other biochemicals difficult to replicate in a pill, and have more clinical evidence supporting their effect on health than dietary supplements.
Plus, the government takes a more laissez-faire approach to regulating supplements compared to prescription drugs. Drugmakers must prove their product works and identify side effects before they can enter the market. Supplement makers can’t say their products treat diseases, but they don’t need to show the Food and Drug Administration how their pills work in trials before putting selling them, Insider previously reported.
More parents are interested in giving their kids dietary supplements.
A 2022 poll by the University of Michigan found half of a nationally representative sample of 1,251 parents said they give their kids supplements like fish oil and probiotics, and parents told Insider they’ve increasingly turned to these pills to ensure their picky eaters get enough nutrients.
Google search results also indicated more parents sought out supplements to help their kids in 2022, as interest in “ADHD supplements for kids” doubled this year.
Doctors and dietitians told Insider that parents should exercise caution before giving their kids supplements given the lack of clinical data on how these pills impact a young person’s health in the long term.