Food Trends for 2022
If you’ve read the blog post on Health Trends you’ll have an idea of the way we might be thinking about food and health in the near future.
Nowadays, consumers not only expect food to meet their nutritional needs but also to connect them to farmers and producers with a particular focus on sustainability. There are sure to be some surprises when it comes to what’s in vogue in culinary circles this year but here are a few things you may come across in the year ahead.
Culinary Travel – with travel restrictions and uncertainty, the kitchen may be the top destination if we want a taste of the exotic. Latin American, Caribbean, and Indian regional cuisines are all growing in popularity.
Fusion Foods – blending foods from more than one cultural cuisine is also on the up. Sushi pizza, kimchi carbonara and korean style spicey spag bol combine ingredients and culinary techniques from different countries and cultures to create exciting new taste sensations. The possibilities are endless. Why not get creative and try combining some of your favourite foods or recipes in interesting ways.
Fusion Flavours – are on the rise with examples such as “swicy” (sweet and spicy) and “swalty” (sweet and salty).
Edible flowers – these include nasturtiums, borage flowers, chive flowers and calendula. Grow your own and add them to salads for instant beauty.
Milk Alternatives – most people use some type of milk most days, whether it be cow’s, goat’s, sheep’s, soya, oat, rice, almond or coconut milk. There are also some new kids on the plant milk block to add to the mix. These include potato milk and Notmilk which contains an unlikely blend of ingredients including peas, cabbage and pineapple, designed to taste more like cow’s milk. And if that’s not enough choice for you the search is on for fungi that can turn grass into milk in an artificial stomach. Be prepared to open minded when it comes to what you pour on your cereal in the future!
Mochi – A popular food in Japan and Taiwan, mochi is a chewy, often sweet, though it can be savoury, rice based food. It is made by pounding glutinous rice until it sticks together in a lump that can be moulded into the desired shape. It is a low-sugar, gluten-free food that’s popularly eaten at New Year.
Mushrooms – increasingly seen as a tasty vegan food that has nutraceutical properties. For example king oyster mushrooms can take the place of scallops.
Probiotics – our understanding of the gut microbiome looks set to grow. Use of probiotics, to increase the population of good bacteria in the gut is likely to become more targetted and sophisticated. Some foods, particularly fermented foods and drinks, contain probiotics, but can also be taken as pills or powders.
Prebiotics – these are compounds found in food that provide the fuel needed for good bacteria to grow. Various types of dietary fibre act as prebiotics. See the blog post on Nutraceuticals to find out more about how fibre and other foods may help to improve health and prevent disease.
Postbiotics – these are the bioactive compounds produced by bacteria. Postbiotics can be used to manipulate the populations of bacteria that make up the microbiome. They can be made in a lab and taken as a supplement to support the gut and the immune system. Postbiotics may help those with eczema, colic, IBS or allergies. Butyric acid is one of the best studied postbiotics. It is a short chain fatty acid which provides fuel for certain gut bacteria, encouraging them to thrive. Postbiotic foods include buttermilk, oats, flaxseed, seaweed, garlic and fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, yoghurt, kefir, kombucha, miso, tempeh and sourdough bread
Postbiotics are not as widely available as probiotics but taking probiotics may increase the postbiotics in your gut.
Rewilding and Food
Rewilding is all about reducing the impact of human beings on nature and allocating space for balanced ecosystems to evolve where animals, plants and fungi can thrive. Many farms are now blending the need for humans to have food with the needs of other living beings through regenerative farming, edible forest gardens and food forests.
An increasing number of consumers will prioritise sustainability, with knowledge of regenerative farming practices growing. Consumers are increasingly wary of green-washing and are better able to discern the authenticity of brands and products.
How we buy our food is changing. It’s now possible to order something online and get it delivered within minutes, or to pick it up yourself from somewhere local. Paying for food can be done via apps so the need to get the wallet out is on the wane.