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 foods that have clear and clean labels, foods that promote health, and environmentally friendly packaging.
Lately and specifically during the pandemic, our focus is more on aspects such as gut health, sleep, and mental health.
The impact and aftermath of the pandemic will be felt for a long time to come and this is why food retailers, big brands, and restaurants are trying to keep a wide range of sustainable food options on shelves while accommodating the shifting consumers’ demands. This year, we have seen blooming trends related to plant-based foods, cook-at-home kits, sustainable packing, clean labels, and much creativity in terms of a variety of textures, aromas and flavours.
Let me tell you a bit more about this last point.
As the pandemic has halted our ability to travel, the least we could and can do is travel with the food we create while staying at home. There is nothing better than fighting homesickness with our traditional dishes with the ingredients we find in the local supermarket or gourmet shop. Though global food fusions are nothing new, little was known about one of the latest emerging food mashups called Itameshi. It simply means Italian food in Japanese and now 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). This trend was mentioned by Food & Wine in 2020 when giving predictions for food and restaurants. Not only Itameshi, but we have also seen the demand for complementary flavours through a mashup of cultures like Mexican, Korean, Chinese, and Indian. Now consumers like to express their creativity by cooking at home, and the recipes from their childhood are a significant source of comfort and joy for them (hello food romantics!).
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 and is also linked to 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.