8 Innovative Christmas Food Trends for 2022
It’s that time of year again: snow days, sleigh bells, mistletoe, and big family dinners. Christmas 2022 is on our doorstep.
The holiday season is always an exciting time between the many festivities, beloved traditions, and new Christmas products. In 2022, consumers are getting back into the swing of their pre-pandemic holiday celebrations.
They’re eager to indulge in long-held favourites, try new interpretations of the classics, enjoy some healthy splashes of alcohol, incorporate more plant-based alternatives, and gift food products to the foodies in their lives.
However, inflation and the threat of a recession are forcing consumers to be more discerning about their purchases.
1. Chocolate everything
From advent calendars to chocolate Santas, cosy hot chocolate to perfect stocking stuffers, chocolate is an undeniable holiday classic. You could even say that chocolate is an inseparable part of Christmas.
In 2022, chocolate will dominate the holidays like never before. Expect to see chocolate as the star ingredient of many desserts, snacks, sweets, and other decadent treats. Black Forest cake and chocolate-orange cheesecake are predicted to be two crowd-pleasers this Christmas.
When it comes to flavour pairings, chocolate and orange are a winning combination. Chocolate caramel, blonde chocolate, and cinnamon chocolate are also destined to be fan favourites.
2. Reinventing the classics
This festive season, consumers are feeling bold and ready to try new versions of their holiday favourites—chocolate included!
Consider infusing your chocolate products with festive flavours, or reinventing hot chocolate by adding caffeine or using white chocolate. Sugar-free versions of classic chocolate treats are a great way to appeal to consumers who aren’t letting the holidays derail their health goals.
Christmas dinner is also undergoing a makeover. In 2022, fruit is mingling in the stuffing to add an enticing burst of sweetness. Meanwhile, the turkey has been swapped with other forms of protein like pork loin or prime rib. Additionally, festive marinades and glazes offer new opportunities for fresh flavours.
3. Add some spice
Christmas cookies are another staple of the holidays. Their flavours are tried and true…and the same year after year. Incorporating fresh flavour profiles is an easy way to add new life to our favourite festive treats.
So, in the spirit of reimagining beloved classics, why not add some spice to your sweet treats? Ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and other warming spices are the perfect additions to cookies and desserts. They pair beautifully with traditional holiday spices like cinnamon. Furthermore, these spices offer a subtle but welcome heat on cold winter days.
Alternatively, try infusing cookies, desserts, and other sweet treats with chai and Early Grey flavours.
4. Panettone still reigns supreme
The panettone was trending during Christmas 2021 and its popularity is expected to continue through 2022. This Italian sweet bread is now expanding into new and exciting flavours, including savoury (for example, Parmesan and black pepper)!
Tiramisu, pistachio, matcha, and alcohol-flavoured panettone will be flying off the shelves. Your imagination is truly the limit when it comes to reimagining the buttery delight that is the panettone.
5. A splash of alcohol
Alcohol will not be regulated to the cocktail glass this Christmas. Many desserts are also getting a tipple (or two!).
Peach Bellinis, Espresso Martinis, Negroni, and Passionfruit Martinis are making their forays into cakes, puddings, and brioches. You can combine these with chocolate, candied oranges, ganache, and more citrus.
As the holidays approach, festive flavours also begin to appear in select alcoholic beverages. Mint, gingerbread, and pumpkin spice are classic Christmas additions. Of course, there are also the classic options of hot buttered rum, mulled wine, and spiked eggnog.
6. Go plant-based this holiday season
The plant-based boom is far from over. Consequently, we expect to see many vegetarian and vegan best-selling products this Christmas. There is no shortage of classic holiday dishes available to be transformed for a plant-based audience. Nor is there a limit on new products that can be created to appeal to this growing demographic.
If you’re looking for ideas, consider vegan versions of gravy, eggnog, cream, parmesan, chocolate, cakes, cookies, galettes, and other desserts.
Vegan beef wellington is also trending in 2022. There are many different animal-free versions circulating, including several using soya meat, mushrooms, or lentils. Furthermore, tofu, tempeh, and seitan are replacing other traditional animal-based proteins at Christmas dinner.
Exciting plant-based products with tantalizing flavours are sure to win the hearts and taste buds of vegan, vegetarian, and flexitarian customers this Christmas.
7. Food as gifts
Many consumers are opting to give the gift of incredible flavour in festive and sustainable packaging. Chocolate and drink boxes have long been classic Christmas gifts. However, spicy sauces, infused olive oils, charcuterie boards, baked goods, and candy are now joining the party.
By creating products that look as good as they taste, you can appeal to consumers as they search for a creative gift for the foodie in their life.
8. Cost consciousness
As the cost of living continues to rise and a recession looms, consumers will be watching their spending a little more closely this holiday season. However, this is at odds with the deep desire to celebrate, especially after two years of the global pandemic limiting holiday festivities.
Consequently, Christmas 2022 shoppers will be looking for quality and value. A product’s price tag is not as important as the feeling that they are receiving good value for the cost. Nonetheless, it’s crucial to remember that consumers are prepared to make cutbacks, particularly for what they perceive to be overpriced or extravagant products.
Christmas may be a time for indulgence and celebration. However, inflation and the threat of a financial crisis will see consumers adjusting their buying habits.
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