ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Eat This, Not That asked food world experts, ranging from chefs to food and beverage industry analysts to market researchers, to give their food predictions for 2022. Here are 12 trends expected to take off this year.
Vegetables: This year, vegetables are going to “move to the center of the plate,” according to one chef in Food and Wine, and that is for three reasons. The first is that supply chain issues are going to make meat prices rise and decrease availability, making veggies an easy alternative. Also, consumers are not stopping their quest for health, plus the environmental impact of the meat industry is becoming more forefront. The third is that the trend of eating locally and seasonally isn’t stopping any time soon.
Mushrooms: Within the vegetable category, mushrooms are predicted to be the ingredient of 2022, according to the New York Times. The health benefits of mushrooms are putting them in the spotlight this year, and their relatively mild taste allows chefs and home chefs to slip them into recipes for a wellness boost.
Kombucha: The fermented, lightly carbonated drink will remain popular in this era of elevated health consciousness, according to Gabrial Kolofon, director of culinary at Conrad Tulum Riviera Maya, via Food and Wine. Kombucha is made using tea, sugars, yeast and healthy bacteria and has myriad of health benefits.
Passionfruit: Food and beverage flavoring company Monin is predicting that passionfruit will be one of the year's most popular flavors.
Potato Milk: After many iterations of plant-based milk, potato milk is latest to enter the crowded space, and it’s predicted to be a hit this year. Already big in Scandinavia, potato milk is calcium-rich, free of most allergens and eco-friendly.
Sea Moss: Sea moss will be a major player on land in 2022, according to Vegconomist. Also known as Irish sea moss or Irish moss, the sea plant is rich in folate and zinc and has already been used as a food thickener, but now it’s predicted to take center stage.
Non-Alcoholic Beverages: Cocktails and beverages sans alcohol have been gaining popularity for some time now, but as the personal wellness trend continues to explode, so will beverages without alcohol, according to Fernando Soberanis, executive chef of Laurel Brasserie & Bar in Salt Lake City, Utah, via Food and Wine.
African Cuisine: African cuisine is going to become more mainstream in the U.S., much like how Asian, Caribbean and European foods have in the past, according to Southern Living. Watch out for dishes from Nigeria, Senegal and more.
Plant-Based Meats: The meat alternative trend is hardly new, but Food Network says that the trend will only increase this year, as many restaurants, from fast-food to dining, are offering some iteration of faux meat. One subcategory of plant-based meat that will grow this year is plant-based seafood.
Hibiscus: The edible flower is poised to have a moment in 2022, according to Southern Living. Hibiscus’s subtle flavor can be added to a plethora of beverages, including tea, cocktails seltzer water, and even food such as ice cream.
Cannabis Foods: Cannabis will be seen in more foods this year and will become more broadly accepted, predicts Food Network. Food items you’ll see with added cannabis include artisanal pizzas, rich and tasty pies and alcohol-free but THC-infused cocktails. (Although many states have legalized cannabis, it still remains illegal at the federal level, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration hasn’t approved ingestible cannabis or CBD products for sale.) Read more about the category in “What’s New With CBD?” in the February 2022 issue of NACS Magazine.
Umami: The “fifth” taste is ready to have its due this year, says Hello Magazine. The taste is described as savory, and umami paste is going to be “it” this year. The paste can add a rich, savory complexity to dishes, and no additional cooking or meat is required.