8 Food Industry Trends of 2022
Two difficult and turbulent years in the world have taught food developers and restaurants the importance of adaptability. As consumer priorities and preferences continue to change as we come out of the global pandemic, this flexibility persists as an asset.
Established trends and new fads are shaping the food industry in 2022. Some are no surprise (ie. the plant-based boom), and some are indicative of life going back to normal (ie. the return of breakfast and brunch). The reliance on delivery is not going anywhere and, unfortunately, neither are challenges brought on by supply chain issues.
Keep reading to learn all of our top 10 food industry trends of 2022, brought to you by the food industry experts: Hela Spice.
There is a plant-based boom taking place across the food industry. From new product developments to menu mentions, the desire for more plant-based food options is everywhere.
In 2022, many of the top fast-food chains are now offering meatless versions of classic menu items and oat milk is available in most coffee shops. In fact, all dairy alternatives (including oat milk) are trending this year. We also see an increase in interest in plant-based condiments, plant-based cheeses, and innovative plant-based products
As plant-based continues its upwards trajectory, we’re sure to see more and more products and traditional dishes transformed into vegan versions. For example, expect to see more vegan bacon and caviar appearing on menus and store shelves.
2. Sweet and spicy
Consumers still want fresh and exciting flavours. In fact, 74% are still interested in flavour experimentation (Whole Foods Market Report on 2022 Food Trends). To meet this need, food providers are experimenting with spice and sweetness.
Adding some sweetness to otherwise spicy flavours makes spice more approachable. Doing so reduces the intensity, so even consumers with a moderate spice tolerance can dabble in spicier flavour profiles.
On menus, this flavour profile appears in everything from appetizers to desserts. Think honey and chilli oil, or salted caramel and miso sauce.
3. Breakfast is back
There is a renewed interest in breakfast thanks to the pandemic. As many of us went to work at home, breakfast became a bigger part of our day. Even going back to work in 2022 is unlikely to dethrone the most important meal of the day.
Grabbing breakfast or brunch at your favourite restaurant is once again becoming a normal activity. As a result, restaurants will be amping up their morning menus and marketing efforts. In addition, 24/7 breakfast offerings will be back on the table.
Furthermore, look for products and meal-delivery services designed to help busy employees eat in the morning.
4. Healthy eating
Since the pandemic, consumers are more focused on their health than ever before. Moreover, consumers are more aware of how big a role diet plays in their overall health, and this knowledge is fuelling their purchasing decisions.
Consequently, foods that are functional and healthy without compromising on taste are trending in 2022. For example, consumers want products with less or healthier sugar. Alternative natural sweeteners like dates and maple syrup are less likely to turn consumers away.
In addition, foods that support digestion and foods that boost the immune system are also on the rice. Keep an eye out for more adaptogenic herbs in the future!
5. Sustainable choices
More and more consumers are choosing sustainable, ethical, and environmentally-responsible options on menus and in the grocery store. According to Deloitte, “71% of Canadians say that’s important for them to understand where their food comes from.” Furthermore, Mintel found that 55% of Canadians are more environmentally conscious now than they were at the start of the pandemic.
All of this points to consumers caring more about personal, planetary, and animal well-being. There is an ever-increasing drive for more plant-based, organic, and environmentally-friendly products. The majority of Canadian consumers also prefer products in reusable or recyclable packaging.
Therefore, it would be wise for companies to evaluate their ecological footprint and take steps to reduce packaging.
6. Innovation following supply changes
It’s no secret that global supply chains have been strained since the pandemic. As a result, restaurants and food developers need to adjust to supply challenges. Creativity and flexibility are more important than ever.
Recipe development in 2022 will likely see the replacement of hard-to-find ingredients for more common ones. While this does call for a certain level of ingenuity, it’s also an opportunity to invent fresh flavours and interesting dishes.
7. Take-out and compact service models
For many of us, the pandemic solidified take-out as a huge part of our lives. Restaurants that never before offered take-out or delivery options rolled out these services to cope with the Covid-19 lockdowns. Even as restaurants have reopened for dine-in, more than half of all consumers are still relying heavily on delivery.
In order to meet the demand for take-out, some restaurants are opening compact service models. These compact units exclusively service delivery orders. This keeps costs low even as business soars.
8. Online presence
An engaging and active online presence continues to be immensely important for food brands. The purchasing decisions of consumers are heavily influenced by their digital experiences with food companies. They are more likely to buy products from brands that they are familiar with and feel an affinity for.
Building up an online presence allows companies to build relationships with their customers. Not only does this deepen brand loyalty, but it helps companies stay in touch with what their customers want.
Choose Hela Spice: The Food Industry Experts
Whether you want to incorporate more plant-based options into your product line or find ways to offer more sustainable choices to your customers, Hela Spice can help.
We specialize in product development to create memorable, interesting, and best-selling flavours. By combining quality ingredients, nutrition expertise, and the latest technologies, we deliver unparalleled flavour custom to your products.
For the last 100 years, Hela Spice has been bringing the food revolution to North America. We are your food industry experts and expert food product manufacturer.
Have a product idea? Tell us all about it and your search for the perfect ingredients. Find it all at Hela Spice. Let’s talk about your next best-seller.