Best Served Hot: Food Trends Cooking Up In 2022 - Dine

The customer is always…upright?

Living through a major historical event, people in the 2020s are less easily surprised by the latest turns in food and fashion.

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We have come to expect the unexpected. Now, it requires so much more from current trends to prove that they are more than just short-lived fads.

Lasting food trends, however, can emerge from anywhere: inventive menus, popular ingredients, new techniques, fresh concepts, appealing designs, vocal demographics, social media conversations, demands of suppliers, chef talk, and even from parallel industries like the arts.

“While previously many food trends would start at the top in fine dining restaurants and then make their way into casual dining and limited-service restaurants and retail, now we are seeing trends evolving from all segments,” Amanda Topper, director of US research at market intelligence agency Mintel, explained.

Interestingly, food enthusiasts this year are considering the idea that bigger and bolder are not necessarily better. Rather, they are interested in wellness, nostalgia, innovation, and sustainability, according to the International Food Information Council.

This checks out with the forecasts of the Whole Foods Market Trends Council, Institute of Food Technologists, National Restaurant Association, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and the AARP.

Here are food trends predicted in 2022 by these different interest groups who found a common desire among people to scale back on food production and consumption.

Less is More

Reduceterianism, or cutting down on consumption of animal products like meat and dairy, is expected to gain traction. As opposed to vegans or vegetarians, a reducetarian does not eliminate animal products from their diet but rather chooses to decrease the quantity of their consumption.

Proponents say that this practice has significant benefits for one’s health, the environment, and the welfare of farmed animals.

Packing a Punch

Customers are increasingly concerned with their environmental footprint. Many are demanding an improvement in packaging, specifically in its sustainability, effectiveness in keeping food intact in transit, and ability to retain temperature.

“The economic need includes consumers realizing that food waste is expensive and inconvenient as they are faced with higher food prices and fewer store trips, and retailers realizing they can ease logistical stresses if they reduce in-store waste,” Claire Koelsch Sand, contributing editor of Food Technology magazine, said.

Melting Pot

Global influences will figure more into local cuisines, according to the What’s Hot 2022 Culinary Forecast.

The top five regions influencing menus this year are Southeast Asian (Philippine, Singaporean, Vietnamese, etc.), South American (Argentinian, Brazilian, Chilean, etc.), Caribbean (Cuban, Dominican, Puerto Rican, etc.) North African (Algerian, Libyan, Moroccan, etc.), and Western African (Ghanan, Nigerian, Western Saharan, etc.).

Urban Farming

The practice of growing food from the comfort of one’s home could develop this year as people stay indoors to avoid the threat of COVID-19 and its many variants.

By cultivating greens, sprouts, and fungi at household gardens, a trip to the grocery store is saved.

Health Care

Immunity-boosting and plant-based foods are seen to attract the more health-conscious market especially with the constant fear of the pandemic.

Examples of healthy food “in season” are tomatoes, seeds, berries, olive oil, dark chocolate, and plant-based proteins.

Photo by Ola Mishchenko on Unsplash

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