As we welcome a new year, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at what the experts are predicting will be the hot new “Food Trends” of 2022. This is an area of trend forecasting I personally find fascinating.
At the start of 2021 I wrote a blog on this website highlighting what we could expect to see on our plates. Fermented foods, grazing boards and a more localised supply chain were all on the list… So let’s take a look at what we’ll be eating and drinking more of in 2022!
Yes, you read that right… We’re milking potatoes now! Developed at Lund University in Sweden, it’s being touted as the most sustainable plant milk. So how do you ‘milk’ a potato? Well, the exact process is something of a trade secret, but the principle is heating it and then emulsifying it with rapeseed oil.
According to developers ‘milking’ potatoes is twice as efficient as oat milk (which is currently one of the more environmentally friendly alt-milks). It’s vegan-friendly, and free from common allergens such as lactose, gluten and nuts. It’s also low in sugar and saturated fats and is fortified with calcium, vitamin D and folic acid. And as potato allergies are incredibly rare it’s ticking the boxes for restrictive diets too… This is one I’m personally keen to find out more about!
Peanut butter alternatives like cashew butter and almond butter have been popular for a few years now, but one substitute is heading for the big time. Ben & Jerry’s recently released four non-dairy flavours in the US which were all made with a base of sunflower seed butter.
Sunflower seeds are hard workers in the world of health. Immunity-boosting with anti-inflammatory properties and high levels of magnesium, selenium and vitamin E, these protein-rich seeds are a great alternative to nuts and can be roasted and blended to form an allergen-free dupe for more traditional nut-butters.
Gin may have been the drink of choice for many over the last few years, but British Vodka is making waves this year… And when you think about it, it makes a lot of sense! The UK produces over 6 million tonnes of potatoes every year, and brands like Chase Vodka have been using the humble spud to make their range of Vodkas since 2008. The production process involves peeling, heating and mashing the potatoes before adding yeast for fermentation
But it’s not all about potatoes… Black Cow Vodka from Dorset recently won a BBC Food and Farming award for best drinks producer. Their vodka is made using milk from cows that graze on the fields neighbouring the Black Cow Distillery. The waste curds from Black Cow’s cheese-making process are repurposed and the whey is fermented according to an ancient Mongolian tradition, creating a superb zero-waste product.
All Hail the Persimmon!
When (if ever) did you last eat a persimmon? Known as the ‘Food of the Gods’ in Ancient Greece, these bright orange fruits have been overlooked by western cultures for years. However, they’ve recently spiked in popularity Stateside as many turn their hand to hoshigaki, a traditional Japanese method of drying persimmons which produced a chewy, sweet treat.
Nutritionally speaking Persimmons are also worth their weight in gold, being high in fiber and minerals like sodium, magnesium, calcium and iron. They’re also finding their way into dessert menus due to their high pectin content giving them a naturally jelly-like consistency. Blend the raw flesh of a ripe persimmon with cocoa powder and then refrigerating will produce a solid pudding you’d swear contained gelatin!
“Drinks That Do More” was one of my top trends for 2021, and we’ll see even more in the way of beneficial additives in the soft drink category in 2022. CBD drinks are now appearing in mainstream supermarkets, and trend forecasters are predicting that prebiotics and fibre will be the next health-led additives we see in this category.
But the next big trend in the soft drink category is a move towards big, bold flavours. Seltzers and flavoured sparking waters are no longer cutting it for customers, and experts predict a return to childhood flavours like strawberry and watermelon, alongside more savoury flavours like turmeric and rosemary.
No, not the kind of small menu you need to put your glasses on to read… When it comes to choices, less will be more in 2022. It’s an obvious one, but ongoing supply chain issues and general uncertainty around the pandemic will result in less availability of certain products, forcing restaurants to reconsider their menu offerings.
But there’s more to it than politics… Customers are making a million decisions a day between work, home and family. There’s a certain luxury in having a decision made for you, and more customers are now trusting their favourite chef or restaurant to make that decision for them. We’ll see less choices overall but a rise in tasting menus and set menus in 2022. There may be less choice, but we also expect to see more focus on local sourcing which is a great opportunity for small producers!
Thinking about what should be on YOUR menu in 2022? Why not get in touch…