The top food trends for 2022 have been revealed in the latest Tastewise market trends report, with plant-based foods dominating the list. With health and sustainability considerations now playing the biggest role in the mainstream consumer outlook, foods like sea moss, oyster mushrooms, and edible flowers are topping the trend predictions.
The top US consumer trend prediction for 2022 is sea moss – the sustainable and nutritious ingredient often used as a thickening agent in food and beverage. Its high zinc and folate content boosts its reputation as a fertility-booster in women, with the data showing that functional health ingredients are here to stay.
Sustainability is trending next at +24% 2YoY with a special interest in regenerative farming, habitat conservation, and carbon footprint. Consumers are also becoming more aware of greenwashing and fake sustainability news.
Micronutrients such as adaptogens, zinc, and electrolytes are emerging as key trends, with postbiotics and nootropics growing rapidly in the beverage industry.
Floral and zesty flavor profiles will dominate, particularly in gourmet settings, with florals like osmanthus and zesty flavors like yuzu trending strongly.
Next up is on the list of trends is King oyster mushrooms – the healthy mushroom being used as a key ingredient in the emerging alt seafood sector. Meaty, hearty, and a great canvas for flavor, the mushrooms have been used by Wicked Kitchen’s first-to-market vegan lamb and extensively by Belgium’s BonRill.
Authentic regional cuisine and sweet fusion flavor profiles are also on the rise, as well as mochi, the sweet Japanese rice-based treat, up +41% over the last 2 years in consumer interest. Brands like My/Mochi and Bubbies offer vegan versions with more entering the market.
“The way we order, cook, and eat is transforming in the face of a global pandemic, climate change, new technologies, and increased interest in health. Today’s consumers require food and beverage that responds to their needs, and provides solutions to their problems – from the personal to the planetary,” explained Alon Chen, CEO of Tastewise.
“Ten years ago, affordability and taste were the sole top motivators behind America’s food and beverage choices: if it was tasty and good for the wallet, it was on the plate. Health – while always a consideration for some – has become a much more mainstream consideration in the interim, joining other demands like convenience, authenticity, and sustainability on the table,” he added.