Four Food and Beverage Trends to Watch in 2022
March 16, 2022
Two years into the global pandemic, food and beverage trends for 2022 remain heavily influenced. The desire for a healthier lifestyle remains a constant theme while experimenting with new flavors and technology for a nostalgic or feel-good experience is reflected in the ingredients and techniques used.
But while the pandemic has resulted in healthier food choices, increasing concerns over climate change have undoubtedly transformed how we eat too. A growing interest in food sources and their impact on agriculture will continue to influence trends in 2022 and beyond. Consumers are considering the personal cost of their food choices too. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, meat and poultry costs have increased 5.4% in the last year alone, making meat and dairy alternatives even more appealing. Find out more about the latest food and beverage trends, by reading below.
1. Plant-based and alternative protein expansion
In 2022, environmentally conscious consumers will continue to influence the food and beverage market. Today's young consumer is more concerned about sustainability, nutritional value and the ethical practices of the companies that produce their food. As a less resource-intensive option to animal proteins, alternative proteins help mitigate the environmental impacts associated with livestock production. Alternative proteins have seen rapid growth due to consumers' willingness to adopt new foods Approximately 94% of Americans surveyed by the Yale Program said they would be willing to eat more fruits and vegetables, while 54% said they would like to eat less meat. Additionally, a pan-European survey conducted by ProVeg International revealed almost 30% of respondents planned to consume more plant-based dairy and meat products.
According to a report by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Blue Horizon Corporate (BHC), sales of alternative proteins will reach a staggering $290 billion by 2035. New plant protein sources include coconut, sunflower, sustainable palm, linseed, and rapeseed oils, while technology advances include making high-moisture extrusions to produce improved meat alternatives.
Overfishing and ocean health will also affect consumer food choices, leading to innovation in plant-based seafood alternatives.
2. The rise of “reducetarianism”
Those not willing to completely give up meat are likely to embrace flexitarianism, or "reducetarianism," one of the biggest trends expected in 2022. Due to growing awareness of sustainability and environmental concerns, consumers will also seek prioritize quality over quantity with meat, dairy, and egg products. According to a report published by Packaged Facts, 36% of US consumers identify themselves as flexitarian, consuming meat or poultry as well as vegan or vegetarian meals. Likewise, a survey conducted by ProVeg International revealed similar attitudes in Europe, with 46% of respondents saying they had already reduced their meat consumption, and just under 40% planning to cut down over the coming year.
In the drinks industry, reducetarianism is also making an impact. In the low and no alcohol market, consumption is forecast to grow by 31% by 2024, according to market research IWSR. Moderation is making a comeback as health and wellbeing concerns fuel this trend, alongside the growing concerns around sustainability. Learn how we support more sustainable beer production by reading our blog post.
3. Functional food and drink
Growing health consciousness has led manufacturers to introduce more traditional functional ingredients into food and beverage products. Technology has played a significant role in driving change as consumers customize their diets and eating patterns through websites, apps, and social media. Increasingly, consumers seek healthy products they can trust and want to know the provenance of the ingredients. Innovative product developers are devising ways to incorporate healthier ingredients into foods as a response. From better-for-you snacks with fewer sugars and more protein to side dishes and bakery, 'healthier' additions provide a license to indulge, making it an appealing option.
The functional beverage market is also evolving. According to Research and Markets, the global functional beverage market alone will be worth $173.23 billion by 2025. CBD-infused sparkling water, beer, coffee, and cocktails, as well as prebiotic-based drinks designed to improve gut health, are becoming more popular among consumers.
4. Nostalgic and Exotic Flavors
As the pandemic continues to prevent our ability to travel, people continue to look for exotic flavor combinations closer to home. Global flavors have experienced an upward trend in the last few years but will accelerate in 2022. Fresh, full of color and packed full of healthy ingredients like chickpeas, seeds, nuts, beans and pulses, global foods offer a sense of escapism. Likewise, in beverages, wines from lesser-known regions like Eastern Europe will become areas of exploration. Nostalgic flavors will play a dominant role in 2022 as consumers turn to familiar flavors recalled from happier times. Retro desserts like trifles, rocky road brownies and Victorian sponges are given a 2022 twist in the bakery, while sweetshop flavors like rhubarb and custard grow in popularity.
Want to learn more about how Pall can support you to build on these trends? Contact us to learn how our solutions help improve your production processes and provide measurable cost savings.