If you’re noticing a shift in the way people eat and drink, you’re not alone. The latest food trend predictions are out, and they’re calling out some pretty noticeable trends — including some that you may not be aware of yet.
Kroger, America’s largest grocery retailer, released its fourth annual trend report based on 2022 insights from its team of experts, from product developers to culinary specialists.
The trends build on the continued dominance of at-home meals — as people cook more and restaurants continue to contend with pandemic restrictions — and focus on convenience, affordability, social gatherings and a push for sustainable and nutrient-rich foods.
Of the report’s top 10 food predictions, here are the five we’re most excited about:
Umami all the way
Umami, known for its savouriness, is one of five basic tastes (along with sweet, sour, salty and bitter). While Asian cuisine has long showcased how umami-rich ingredients can elevate and round out flavours, this staple has taken off in the West in recent years, with umami paste and other umami-rich food products growing in popularity. You can expect awareness surrounding umami to continue to grow in 2022. Find umami in soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, broths, miso, mushrooms, Parmesan, seaweed, anchovies, black olives and cooked meats as well as fermented foods, such as kimchi.
You may be aware of individuals who are consciously shifting their diet to include fewer meat products and more plant-based alternatives. The good news is that there is no shortage of tasty, nutrient-rich options to choose from these days, and you no longer have to venture far to find them. Plant-based everything will continue into 2022, and you may start to see more people even in your immediate circle going flexitarian, vegetarian or full vegan.
With grocery prices rising in 2022, it’s unsurprising to see this one on the list. Foods that have to undergo lengthy transport are the ones most impacted by this price increase, as the pandemic continues to put a strain on supply chains. Perhaps for this reason — as well as our ever-growing awareness of the way our consumption impacts our environment and those who grow and harvest our produce — more individuals will be seeking hyperlocal food when possible. When we say hyperlocal, we mean hyperlocal: this includes foods that are grown or made very close to or in your own home. Not only is the food fresher, but it tastes better too — and that’s a win all around.
Our collective desire for all things nostalgia will be major in the way we eat in 2022 as well. Think foods you grew up with, or that were big in the ‘90s, and that you’d reach for as part of that nostalgia kick to bring familiarity, comfort and joy. Cookie dough? Yes please.
You may also like: Here’s how Canadians will change food spending habits in 2022.
Taste of tequila
With more people entertaining at home, Kroger is anticipating that tequila will play a big role in 2022 food trends. Right along with umami-rich ingredients, this savoury spirit is expected to trend up this year. A versatile option, tequila is also a great spirit to experiment with.
And, while this wasn’t noted in the Kroger report, we’re willing to bet that when it comes to cocktails, non-alcoholic options will continue to grow in popularity as well as people embrace the sober(ish) lifestyle by opting for low- and no-alcohol for Dry January, Sober October and beyond.
Other Kroger trend highlights include:
- “Everything” seasoning
- Recreating dining-out experiences at home
- Sharable eats
- Natural health and beauty products