While the panic over COVID-19 seems to be waning slightly thanks to the vaccines, the effects of it can still be seen throughout all kinds of industries, including those involving food. Like it or not, the pandemic has helped shape our food choices within the last few years, and this trend will likely continue into 2022.
Don’t worry, though – 2022 isn’t going to be the year of the junky, comfort foods that we may have relied on back in the early days of the pandemic. Expect to see more nutritious foods, non-alcoholic cocktails and spirits, and plant-based options on the menu in 2022, perfect for a new year, a new outlook, and a new focus on keeping ourselves happy and healthy.
Check out the 2022 food trends to watch out for below.
Although you may be unfamiliar with the term, you’ve likely heard something about the concept. Reducetarians are those who are mindfully decreasing their consumption of animal products but aren’t ready to go full vegetarian or vegan. There isn’t necessarily one specific reason why more people are choosing reducetarianism, but a growing awareness of environmental concerns and animal welfare may certainly be contributing to the decision.
Along with more of an emphasis on plant-based foods, the reducetarian diet also means that there will be an increasing demand for high-quality eggs, meat, and dairy in 2022. Since reducetarians are only eating so much meat, they seem to be choosing quality over quantity when it comes to their animal-based products.
Standardizing Plant-Based Menu Options
Though vegetarian and vegan diets are nothing new, the growing movement of diets like reducetarianism suggests that an increasing number of restaurants and shops will be offering more plant-based menu options in 2022. You can already see this trend starting to take off in 2021, for example with many coffee shops suddenly offering plant-based milk options that were just not on the menu before.
What’s more, in 2022 it’s no longer going to be a nice surprise when your favorite places offer these plant-based alternatives – it’s going to become the standard. Businesses that currently don’t have these options on their menus should take note.
Sunflower seeds have always been around in the form of a popular peanut butter alternative for those with nut allergies. However, in 2022 you can expect to see a lot more of them in other kinds of foods, increasing their appeal to a wider audience.
Be on the lookout for sunflower seed crackers, cheese, ice cream, protein bars, and even more in the upcoming year. Sunflower seed lovers rejoice!
Non-Alcoholic Cocktails and Spirits
Mocktails are already having a moment in 2021 with the success of booze-free bars, and this trend is likely to continue into 2022. There is even increasing demand for non-alcoholic spirits such as zero-proof whiskey and alcohol-free bitters.
Again, it’s hard to say exactly why non-alcoholic cocktails and spirits are starting to take off, but it could simply be an attempt to make up for heavy drinking during the pandemic, or a growing awareness of the effects of alcohol on the body. Either way, look for more opportunities to take advantage of this trend in 2022.