What consumers want: creativity, home cooking, functional foods

The food manufacturing industries, retailers and restaurants are continuously adapting to consumers’ and environmental needs. We know very well that we, as consumers, prefer consuming functional foods that have with clean labels. We look for foods that promote health and have an environment-friendly packaging.
Lately and specifically during the pandemic, our focus is more on aspects such as gut health, sleep, and mental health. 

Creativity in our kitchen

We will feel the impact and aftermath of the pandemic for a long time to come. Therefore, this is why food retailers, big brands, and restaurants are trying to keep a wide range of sustainable food options on shelves. They want to accommodate the shifting consumers’ demands. This year, we have seen blooming trends related to plant-based foods or cook-at-home kits. Moreover, we have seen sustainable packing, clean labels and a variety of textures, aromas and flavours.

Let me tell you a bit more about this last point. 

Itameshi

As the pandemic has halted our ability to travel, we travel with foods at home. There is nothing better than fighting homesickness with our traditional dishes. Though global food fusions are nothing new, we know little about one of the latest emerging food mashups called Itameshi. It means Italian food in Japanese. It has become synonymous with a new trend that joins Japanese and Italian flavours together to create something truly unique and hyped (see the recipe for Tamako spaghetti). Food & Wine in 2020 mentioned this trend when giving predictions for food and restaurants. Not only Itameshi: we have also seen the demand for complementary flavours through a mashup of cultures like Mexican, Korean, Indian etc. We express our creativity by cooking at home. Therefore, the recipes from our childhood are a significant source of comfort and joy (hello food romantics!). 

Functional ingredients and Foods

Despite the drastic surge in supplement intake, consumers are now looking for natural products. Functional foods are indeed trending in 2022, with examples of functional ingredients including antioxidants, probiotics, protein fortification, sugar reduction, and omega-3. Turmeric in lattes (hello golden latte) is already used to bring about colour, and intense flavour . Tourmeric’s bioactive compounds have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Consumers are becoming aware of what they eat and more adventurous and bold with their choices by opening up to novel combinations of flavours and textures (at least, I am!).

I am completely biased as my favourite latte is a golden latte and I couldn’t wait for an excuse to write about it. Will you let me know about the trends that you have spotted? Any strange coffee combination? Leave me a comment here or send me a picture via Instagram (@thefoodscienceaddict), I will be happy to share it with out community.

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