Each new year brings innovative movements and shifts of focus in the health world. Various ingredients, flavors, and ways of eating ebb and flow depending on current world events, concerns, or highlights.
What are current food trends this year? Read on to learn about the 2022 trends to watch out for from the continued amplification of plant-based eating, focus on new international flavors, and unique beverages.
The 12 Most Anticipated 2022 Food & Health Trends
Here is a deeper dive into current food trends for 2022 that include focusing on global flavors, boosting immune health, sustainability, new beverages, and plant-forward foods.
1. Highlighting Lesser-Known Mediterranean Flavors
The Mediterranean diet and flavors like olive oil, seafood, lemon, tomatoes, etc. have been popular for providing not only a delicious way of eating but many health benefits. This year the focus will continue to be on a Mediterranean diet, but lesser-known flavors will gain more attention.
For example, expect to see more Turkish ingredients like pomegranate molasses and Urfa biber, which is a dried chili pepper with a smoky, raisin-like flavor. Feta cheese, common to Mediterranean cuisine, will continue to be a popular food trend. It is expected feta baked goods and phyllo wrapped feta and spinach delicacies will gain in popularity.
2. Bigger Breakfasts with Working From Home
The global shift of more people working from home means the way people are eating throughout the day is shifting. Working from home increase post-pandemic is shifting food intake with a stronger emphasis on big breakfasts (and snacking throughout the day).
Many no longer need to rush getting ready in the morning while eating something quick on a work commute. Instead, lingering over breakfast longer is possible with working from home.
While there is still some debate if breakfast is the most important meal of the day, regardless many are taking advantage of a change in pace by diving into eating more first thing in the morning. Expect to see more foods and marketing catering to this growing trend.
3. New Alternatives in Plant-Based Milks
While plant-based milks are not a new trend this year, new alternatives from different plant sources continue to evolve as a trend through 2022. Oat milk continues to gain popularity, but other surprising plant-based milks will emerge including……
Potato milk as a new, sustainable plant-based milk! Other newer plant milks may also debut or gain popularity this year.
4. Flexing with the Flexitarian Approach
Plant forward eating continues to be a food trend for sustainability and health reasons. However, this does not mean one must give up animal foods entirely. A flexitarian approach to eating, or also called reducetarianism or plant-curious eater, will be a food trend this year.
This approach to eating not only means a stronger emphasis on plant-based foods but also cutting back on animal-based foods. It also emphasizes premium animal-based foods when they are eaten including locally raised meats/cheese/eggs, grass-fed meats, pasture-raised eggs, wild seafood, etc.
5. Jumping on Japanese Flavors
Coming off the tails of the Tokyo Olympics, Japanese flavors continue to have the global spotlight into 2022. Making sushi at home has been a growing trend with increasing sales of sushi mats and nori sheets.
In addition, the Asian citrus fruit yuzu is gaining popularity as an ingredient in sauces, drinks, spreads, and is increasingly found in restaurants. Yuzu is gaining popularity as it combines flavor notes of lemon, lime, and grapefruit all in one.
Turmeric, while native to India but also grown in Japan, is also gaining steam this year by being added to more food and drinks amongst the grocery aisles. Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, many are eager to add turmeric to the diet outside of taking a supplement.
6. Increasing Interest in Indoor Farming
Maximizing space, reducing carbon emissions, and preserving natural resources continue to be a focal point in food production into 2022. One way this emphasis is seen is an increase in foods grown hyper-locally in indoor spaces and/or with renewable energy.
7. Unique Mocktails Making Waves
With the stress of going through a pandemic, turning to alcohol may be a temptation. However, many are trying to combat this pull and are also aware of the dangers of too much alcohol. Therefore, a trend in abstaining from alcohol is a current popular trend.
In fact, some estimates suggest more than half of adults polled plan to cut back alcohol intake for both the short and long term future. Because of this trend, mocktails and boozeless drinks are on the rise for popularity.
With this increase in demand, there will be an increase in unique flavor options and nutritional enhancements in the alcohol-free drink category. For example, there may be extra enhancements added such as pre or probiotics, botanicals, herbs/spices, and other catching ingredients.
8. Hype about Hibiscus
Hibiscus can commonly be found as a tea, but hibiscus is a current health trend that will be found in more supplements, drinks, and foods this year.
9. Immune Health Continues to be a Top Priority
Post pandemic, immune health is still on the mind for many people. Immune supplements and catchy phrases like "immune-enhancing" continue to be in demand for supplements, add-ins for drinks, and additions to various food categories.
10. CBD Craze Continues
Similar to previous years, the CBD category continues to grow without showing signs of stopping. Once mainly found in health stores, CBD is casually making its way into more mainstream products and grocery stores this year.
11. Mushroom Obsession is Magnified
Unsurprisingly, mushrooms continue to gain popularity as an increasingly popular ingredient for meat alternatives, but mushrooms are being found in many other forms. Known for their ancient use of medicinal properties, mushroom drinks and powders are also gaining popularity this year.
12. Sensational Seeds
With the rise of peanut and tree nut allergies, seeds are gaining momentum as a more allergen-safe nutrition superstar. Expect to see sunflower, pumpkin, hemp, and other seeds added to more and more food categories and as nut alternative snacks.
2022 Popular Food Trends Recap
Bold flavors from Japan and unexplored flavors of the Mediterranean will be popular this year along with the continued growth of plant-based diets and milk alternatives. Depth of options from mushrooms, immune health, seeds, CBD, and alcohol-free beverages will also be popular.
Sustainability is continuing to be a trend in 2022 with indoor farming and the flexitarian eating approach growing in popularity. Shifts in eating habits from more people working from home will include a heavier trend on bigger breakfasts.
Our top 10 food trends for 2022. Whole Foods Market. https://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/trends/top-food-trends-2022.
10 food and drink trends set to soar in 2022: News. Speciality Food Magazine. Published November 10, 2021. https://www.specialityfoodmagazine.com/news/food-and-drink-trends-for-2022.
Top 10 food trends for 2022. Prepared Foods RSS. Published October 21, 2021. https://www.preparedfoods.com/articles/126135-top-10-food-trends-for-2022.