10 food and drink trends set to soar in 2022

October 2021 Get Speciality Food magazine delivered to your inbox FREE 1. Flexitarian food

Retailers take note: the flexitarian movement is going strong. In Whole Foods Market’s latest Trends Council report, ‘reducetarianism’ was dubbed a top trend to watch for 2022, perfect for “plant-curious eaters” who aren’t ready to give up meat entirely. The vegan food sector is certainly growing – online food platform ShelfNow said between 2020 and 2021 sales of vegetarian products increased by 156% and vegan product sales jumped 150%.

But according to Whole Foods, the flip side of the flexitarian diet means that the highest quality meat, dairy and eggs are also in demand. This is because consumers are more aware of animal wellness and environmental concerns. Waitrose’s 2022 Food & Drink Report found that nearly 70% of surveyed customers said the carbon footprint of their food was important. 2. Bigger, better breakfast

The home working boom caused a shift in consumers’ eating habits – and with many still yet to return full-time to the office, cutting out the commute means more consumers have time for a leisurely breakfast. In fact, during the first lockdown, one survey found that Brits ate eggs for breakfast 68% more times than in the previous year, and bacon was up 21% and pastries up 25%, according to Waitrose. 3. Mushrooms

Versatile mushrooms are not brand new to the superfood category, but their cult-like status is reaching the masses today. Not only is the consumption of ordinary mushrooms on the rise , but they’re being found in more and more unexpected places, from mushroom powder adding punchy flavour to alternative meats to varieties like Lion’s Mane adding functional benefits to beverages. 4. Bottled cocktails

Convenient, cost-effective and tasty – there’s nothing not to love about the premium pre-batched bottled cocktails on the market today. Whether sold in ready-to-drink cans or in larger bottles that consumers can return to for an evening tipple, pre-mixed cocktails have shed their less than sparkling reputation as speciality brands revamped the category to ride the wave of premiumisation in drinks. Waitrose expects pre-batched bottled cocktails to be one of the top future trends in food and drink. 5. Nostalgic desserts

The novelty of retro foods has not worn off on British consumers, who are still returning to nostalgic recipes for a dose of comfort. Younger generations are getting involved too, with one video of a school-dinner-style traybake receiving more than 100,000 views on TikTok. On Waitrose’s website, searches of knickerbocker glory were up 171%, the retailer said. 6. Japanese flavours

Dishes inspired by foreign countries have flourished since the pandemic hit, and experts have tracked a particular interest in Japanese flavours in the build-up to and following the Tokyo Olympics. At Waitrose, sales of the retailer’s own-brand Umami Paste were up 17% compared with 2019, while sushi sales saw a 54% increase. Consumers were also keen to try their hand at creating their own sushi, with sales of sushi mats […]

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