People are trying to get back to the world post-pandemic unaware of the impact it will have on their lives for years to come. The catastrophe of COVID-19 and extended lockdowns changed perspectives in every sphere including eating and drinking choices. So, if you are curious about future trends in food and beverage industry in 2022, know that they will bear a clear signature of a health-conscious society. There is a wide awakening and growing inclination towards health and wellness and it will keep evolving for at least 3 to 4 more years. Concepts like adaptogens, CBD, nootropics, ethical sourcing, and local food are growing at a tremendous pace and are here to stay for long. What more? Let’s find out.
Millennials Will Be Replaced By Gen Z:
Millennials refer to those born between 1981 – 1996 while Gen Z is the ones born between 1997 – 2012. The latter are now entering their adulthood and they have some interesting ideas about shaping the world. They have better education, attitude on social issues, and purchasing power. These new adults also have a new perspective towards the environment which will have a big impact on the food business. Gen Z consumers have a purchasing power range of $29 – 143 billion and they are paying close attention to the sustainability, corporate ethics, and nutritional value of their food. If you are a food maker who still believes in old ways, it’s high time that you start paying attention to the opinion of this rising generation. Their values will decide the food industry’s future trends in the coming decade.
More Focus On Easy Food:
People are tired of planning meals, cleaning, cooking, and eating the same thing during the pandemic. They are more than ready to hand over the food decision to someone else for a change. This need has led to resurgence of meal kits. Meal kits are sophisticated and more delicious ready made meals beings offered by several outlets, easier-to-reach online grocery stores, and food subscription boxes. There is no lack of retailers partnering with meal kit companies, recipe sites, chefs, and brands with gourmet and diet-focusing features. It is predicted to be a leading future trend in food and beverage industry.
Functional Ingredients Will Have New Applications:
As health and wellness are surfacing as a high priority among food lovers, more and more Consumer Product Good (CPG) makers are trying to fuse traditional functional ingredients into their products. Probiotics, nootropics and adaptogens are being incorporated into beverages and food in a completely new way. For example, probiotics that were earlier only present in yoghurt are now being added to edibles and drinks consumed as a nutrition bar, sodas, etc. Similarly, adaptogens are now moving out of coffees and teas and making their way into chocolates, energy bars, and sparkling water. You can count on it as a food industry future trend that is bound to evolve in the coming years.
Shift In Eating Occasions:
The recent pandemic gave rise to several new eating occasions that revolve around technology. It also increased consumers’ expectations when they eat outside. This became evident from several new deals like the one between Oatly and Starbucks. The two corporate giants are working together to provide safer eating environments to their consumers by leveraging technologies like digital menus, contactless payment, QR-code menus, drone delivery, etc. The goal of these efforts is to meet the elevated consumer expectations and offer something extra to keep the customer intrigued and engaged for the longest possible time.
As more and more people are learning to value our planet, there is an increasing trend of using ingredients that were once considered waste. In 2021, more than 54% of launches in the food & beverage industry were related to upcycling. These included the use of coffee grounds in cosmetics, grain husk in keto flour and so on. More than 35% of consumers now believe in the appeal of such products not just in terms of sustainability but also in terms of freshness and health benefits. It will continue to be a future food trend in 2022, 2023, and for a few more years to come.
Bringing Back Old Traditions:
There is a rapid rise in demand for fresh and healthy local foods. As more and more restaurants are now planning to invest in local food ingredients and suppliers, they are also trying to resort back to less harmful traditional cooking methods like smoking, drying, etc. They are also trying to make the best of leftovers and decrease waste to make their business more sustainable. Sourcing from local suppliers ensures freshness and nutritional value of food and this is being recognized by more and more food lovers all over the world. So, this drive to get back to the roots is expected to stay in fashion for coming years and needs to be considered as one of the major future trends in the food industry.
Discovering The Upside Of Sobriety:
Over the last few years, the demand for alcohol-free drinks has gone up. As the need for sobriety takes up, more and more people are purchasing low or no-alcohol beverages. Even the International Wines and Spirits Record found in 2020 that the market share of such buyers has increased to 3% and consumption of such products is expected to grow by 31% within the next two years. Therefore, it is safe to assume that this trend will continue upside in the coming years.