January 3, 2022

Potential Food Trends to Look Out For in 2022

What food trends should we look out for in the new year? What food-related topics are relevant in 2022 and are likely to shape the food and agriculture industry? Sustainability, environmental protection, food fusion, experimental cuisine - there are plenty of interesting food trends to take a closer look at. Keep reading to find out more about some potential food trends in 2022.

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Eating with a Clear Conscious

It’s not particularly surprising, but for the coming year, sustainability and environmental protection will play a significant role in the food industry, as they do in almost every other industry. The upcoming food trends in 2022 are likely to revolve around eating with a clear conscious – choosing to eat foods that don’t negatively impact the environment. 

Expanding the Plant-Based Potential

It’s not particularly surprising, but for the coming year, sustainability and environmental protection will play a significant role in the food industry, as they do in almost every other industry. The upcoming food trends in 2022 are likely to revolve around eating with a clear conscious – choosing to eat foods that don’t negatively impact the environment. 

New Opportunities Driven by Real Omnivores

A plant-based diet is not the only approach to conscious eating. The so-called Real Omnivore stands for a balanced, sustainable diet, whose guiding principle is not restriction. Real Omnivores pay close attention to their diet, ensuring the foods they eat have been produced sustainably as well as choosing meat or fish that come from good farming conditions. Open-minded to all foods and driven by curiosity, Real Omnivores are intrigued by food tech innovations or unusual ingredients or foods – such as offal, insects and even foods made of jellyfish. Their unique approach to food will impact the future in gastronomy, agriculture, and the food industry. 

Meeting the demand for high-quality, sustainable seafood and meat begins at the source. Conscious consumers are likely to seek transparency and trust from the fisheries and farmers their food comes from. 

Good examples of environmentally conscious fisheries can already be found in the United States. In Alaska, seafood is responsibly managed utilizing a world-leading science-based approach to help fish stocks, communities, and entire ecosystems thrive for generations to come. In the Northeastern corner of the United States, fisheries are sustainably managed and incorporate transparency and traceability. This ensures a safe, consistent and future supply of products including lobster, crab, and scallops. American beef cattle ranchers have also proven themselves as global leaders in sustainability. According to the U.S. Sustainability Alliance, the U.S. beef production system has the lowest contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions relative to its contribution to global beef production (BCI, 2020). In the upcoming year, we can assume that more and more consumers will want to ensure the fish and meat they eat is sustainably sourced in such a way. 

Food Fusions and Experimental Cuisine

The lockdowns of the pandemic are known to have affected consumers in more than one way – including their food cravings. The long time spent at home and unable to travel freely has awakened a new yearning for culinary discoveries and exotic delights. Through flavors and food, people are able to explore the world from within their own four walls. The mixing of different culinary traditions, cooking techniques, flavors, and ingredients from around the globe quickly followed, creating unique and innovative recipes that are known as food fusions. Need an example? The playful fusion of Mexican and Japanese cuisine can result in a delicious Mexican Sushi roll referred to as ‘Mushi’. 

The time spent at home clearly has allowed for some culinary experimentation. The same creativity can be seen within the food industry. Both new and old businesses are bringing products to the market that use unique ingredients, combine flavors in new ways, or are made using unusual techniques. 

Fizzy and Fermented Drinks

Sparkling beverages are one of those trends to keep an eye on in 2022. We aren’t talking about your traditional soda, but rather a range of healthy fizzy drinks. Kombucha, the fermented, fizzy tea that took the U.S. by storm, is starting to appear in Europe more and more often and is likely just the beginning. Other probiotic sodas, prebiotic tonic waters, and uniquely flavored fizzy drinks are likely to appear throughout 2022. The great thing is, these fun beverages can also be created and experimented with at home! Zingy and refreshing, the Ginger Prune Kombucha Mule Mocktail is one of those boosting beverages that embraces the fizzy craze. 

Cottage Foods

With all the time spent at home during the pandemic, it is no surprise that businesses blossomed from within the home. The term “cottage foods” refers to the homemade foods (such as pickled products, granola, jams, etc.) that can be registered with the government and are approved for public sale. In 2021, cottage foods really started to take off, especially with the help of social media. In the upcoming year, it seems likely that more cooks and bakers will choose to make cottage foods and launch independent operations, allowing them to be creative and experiment in the kitchen. 

Sunflower Seeds

Small, but ready to shine – Sunflower seeds seem to be the next big thing. It is expected that sunflower seeds will appear in all sorts of foods, from butter and spreads to protein bars and even ice cream and cheeses! Why the sudden interest? Aside from being power-packed with healthy fats, protein, fiber, minerals, vitamin E, and phytochemicals, sunflower seeds are a great alternative to nuts in many healthy snacks, making them available for people with nut allergies. Find out more about sunflower seeds and their culinary value here