Sustainability, health and e-commerce will remain top priorities for consumers | 2022-01-10

WASHINGTON – Nostalgia, sustainability and e-commerce are all expected to continue to thrive in 2022, according to a food trends forecast from the International Food Information Council. Food insecurity and exotic flavors will be big topics, and terms like kokumi, “reducer” and COP26 could also be heard often, according to the Washington-based IFIC.

Consumers’ desire for wellness will push them to seek out whole grains and fiber, and they will explore immune health as well. Many Americans are looking for ways to manage stress, which will cause them to seek out products that contain micronutrients like B vitamins and magnesium or macronutrients like whole grains and protein. Consumers wishing to reduce their sodium intake will be urged to learn about potassium chloride, while those wishing to reduce their sugar intake will consult product labels for allulose, maltitol and monk fruit sugar substitutes.

Foods infused with cannabidiol (CBD) may become more common even though the United States Food and Drug Administration has not approved its use as an ingredient in foods, beverages, or dietary supplements.

Nostalgic consumers will remember the 1990s in 2022, according to IFIC. The Food Network will offer programs with simple, hassle-free home cooking. Consumers reluctant to travel will always be adventurous, seeking out exotic foods and flavors like hibiscus, yuzu, turmeric, kelp, gochujang, and ube. They will savor the taste of umami and learn about the richness of kokumi.

Policymakers will pay more attention to issues such as federal diet programs and health and nutrition disparities after COVID-19 exposed state of food insecurity and links between comorbidities and susceptibility to the virus. Consumers in the city will look to urban farming and “vertical farming” in their efforts to promote sustainability, nutrition and food security. The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) will advance attitudes towards sustainable purchasing. New modes of food such as “reducer”, “climatarian” and low carbon will emerge.

More and more businesses will turn to ghost kitchens and pop-up locations. The adoption of technologies such as QR codes for menus will increase, as will self-service kiosks in restaurants. E-commerce and direct-to-consumer sales will increase their presence in the food system.

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