Now that the world is finally crawling out of the shadows of COVID-19, the food and beverage trends that planted their seeds during lockdown are actively starting to see the light of day. Foods that stimulate both mental and physical health rise in popularity every day. Not only because of the actual health benefits, but for the aesthetic just as much. Who hasn’t seen the common, rather than uncommon, aesthetically pleasing Instagram story of a bowl of vegan oatmeal with coconut yoghurt and chia seeds to top it off. To keep you up-to-date on the latest food trends for the past year, we’ve put the most common ones together for you!
Veganism and vegetarianism are constantly growing in popularity. It comes in a bunch of shapes and sizes, varying from potato milk as a dairy substitute, to organisations like Beyond Meat making plant-based meat replacements available for everyone. It is safe to say that veganism and vegetarianism are seen as the “healthier” lifestyles when it comes to food and who doesn’t want to follow that trend.
If we’re talking about replacements, this next food trend might be just as popular as the ones mentioned before. Coffee is the go-to morning beverage of many. But truth be told, there’s plenty of folks that prefer something more mild, less bitter and less intense on the body. However, in 2022, coffee alternatives have risen in popularity. Who hasn’t tried a matcha latte, or has had a friend order the all too famous chai latte. Like matcha and chai there’s a bunch of healthy coffee alternatives that are liked by many. Examples include yerba mate, kombucha and chicory.
The world-famous social media platform TikTok has brought a lot of popularity to the Asian cuisine. With over 750 million users the video-creating app has brought fame to well-known recipes such as the jiggly Japanese cheesecake, salmon rice and Dalgona whipped coffee. But apart from the food, we’ve all fallen in love with the adorable Japanese bento box concept by now. And it is safe to say, we’ve all had a cup of bubble tea at some point.
The visuals of any served dish play a massive role in what becomes a food trend. Same goes for the trend of over-the-top desserts. Whether it is an oversized milkshake with whipped cream, chocolate sprinkles and raspberries or a Belgian waffle, with caramel syrup, freshly cut strawberries and heart-shaped chocolates, the dessert lovers have probably seen it all. Any sweet tooth will acknowledge that these sugar-bombs are an absolute must-try in 2022 and now that more and more restaurants offer these huge desserts dairy- and gluten-free as well, it wouldn’t at all be surprising, if they are here to stay.
Take two of the biggest food trends, chocolate and veganism. Yes, vegan chocolate was bound to find its way to the top at some point. Whether it’s made from almond milk, oats or is flavoured with healthy and tasty nuts or seeds, the possibilities are endless. These are some vegan chocolate bars you can find at most supermarkets for a reasonable price.
Spice It Up
We’ve enjoyed the spiciness in Indian, Mexican and Asian cuisine for decades already, but hot and spicy cooking is developing as we speak. Not only are spicy foods and spices getting more famous, the need for refined palates in spiciness also grows. This means the spicy food trend goes deeper than cayenne pepper and Madam Jeannette. The public has a growing interest in for instance the spicy Korean cuisine. Or rather than spicy food, a spicy sauce to top off any dish is currently very trendy in the world of cooking and eating.
Hibiscus has become one of the most popular beverage tastes in the world over the course of 2022. The best part about this pink plant is the variety in tastes based on its origin. According to Mashed, hibiscus tea will taste different depending on preparation. Some are more sweet where others are more spicy, varying across China, India and Europa amongst other places. On top of that hibiscus can be served up in a variety of ways, warm, cold, as a tea or as wine, cocktails or even as a snack. It is often prepared in the form of a jelly or jam to go with cakes and pies.
Gut Health Is Key
Do you know the actual benefits of a healthy gut microbiome? There is a grand variety of positive effects to improving your gut health, which is the reason why it is probably one of the biggest food trends of the year, if not the decade. A healthy gut will help you with your weight management through fixing your hormonal imbalances, it will support a healthy sleeping pattern, regulate your emotions, strengthen your bones and improve your overall immunity. Examples of foods and ingredients that support a healthy gut are sourdough, almonds, peas, garlic, ginger and so much more.
Whether the cause is the pandemic or digitalisation is unclear, but ghost kitchens are taking the world by storm. Rather than a restaurant with a kitchen as well as a dining space, ghost kitchens do not have the possibility to dine in. During lockdown, when restaurants were unable to invite their customers in, most of them switched to a ghost kitchen concept to make a profit. Post-COVID, some restaurants continued this way and plenty of new places with the same idea have emerged. And with take-out food comes packaged food, which is a great bridge to the last trend which is sustainable food packaging.
When we talk about food and drink trends it is impossible to forget about the sustainable packaging trend that comes with it. What started out as an attempt to eliminate the global plastic problem, quickly grew into paper and cardboard packaging all over the world. In 2022, the aesthetic trend of metal straws, cute tupperware and stylish reusable cups has grown immensely. Which is of course a great development. The aftermath of sustainable packaging is one our children and grandchildren will see the benefits of.
Food is becoming a representation of one’s lifestyle, especially online and within the social media world. Not only are the foods themselves a trend, but the way they are served, packaged, produced and processed is just as important. Within the UK, the food and drink processing sector is the biggest and arguably most dynamic out there.
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