What is America eating in 2022?
Persistent disruptions in supply chains, new perspectives on worker welfare and safety, a renewed focus on food insecurity and climate change concerns will all play a role in driving food trends in 2022, according to the International Food Information Council (IFIC).
In its annual forecast of trends, IFIC outlines five food themes for 2022:
Well, well, well…ness: Recent IFIC surveys show consumers proactively looking for positive food attributes like whole grains and fiber, and exploring immune health more so than previously. IFIC’s annual ”Food and Health Survey” also found 46 percent of consumers aware of the federal dietary guidelines for Americans, compared to 23 percent in 2010. Micronutrients, like B vitamins, and magnesium macronutrients, like whole grains and protein to help manage stress, as well as CBD-infused foods, will move even closer to center stage. Rising food insecurity concerns accentuated by the pandemic are expected to lead to a heightened focus on federal feeding programs.
Yearning for yesteryear: Nostalgia will continue as a strong trend, with 1990s’ recipes and snacks trending. IFIC wrote, “Expect its ethos of simple, no-fuss, home cooking to continue in 2022.”
Fever for the flavor: With a continued reluctance to travel, Americans will “look for new ways to transport their taste bud.” Ingredients such as hibiscus, yuzu, turmeric, kelp, gochujang and ube are expected to grow in prominence. IFIC wrote, “Not only will they continue to savor the ‘fifth taste’ of umami with ingredients like MSG, they will also become more acquainted with the richness of kokumi, considered by some to be a ‘sixth taste.’” Salt alternatives, like potassium chloride, and sugar substitutes, like allulose, maltitol and monk fruit, will get more attention from consumers.
Necessity is the mother of (pandemic) invention: Pandemic-driven innovations — whether new (e.g., ghost kitchens, QR codes and self-service kiosks for restaurants) or newly accelerated (e.g., e-commerce, direct-to-consumer) — will gain further momentum. Urban farming and “vertical agriculture” will expand in cities.
Sustainability “cemented in”: Sustainability as a consumer value will help fuel new eating patterns like “reducetarian,” “climatarian” and low carbon, as well as extend into social issues, driven by younger consumers.
- Wellness, Nostalgia, Innovation and New Views of Sustainability Are Among the Food Trends for 2022 – International Food Information Council
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Which food trends do you see emerging or accelerating in 2022? What pandemic-influenced trends are you most confident will wind up reshaping America’s diets for many years to come?