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2022 Food & Beverage Trends Marketers Need to Know

  • Ann D'Adamo

We all know that consumers are always looking for new… new flavors, new innovations, and new brands. According to the latest research into 2022 food trends, flavor, function, and sustainability are driving beverage innovation. Here are five key trends we’re seeing in the market.

Five 2022 Food & Beverage Trends

New Flavor Exploration

Faced with travel restrictions for almost two years, Americans are increasingly safely exploring the world through their taste buds. One poll recently found that 40% of consumers are interested in exploring authentic international flavors and foods. While flavor mashups have been on the scene for years, we’re seeing more innovation in this space and a juxtaposition of vibrant flavors to offer excitement and adventure – think Mexican-Korean burritos or Chinese-Peruvian bao buns. There’s also interest in adding international flair to classic dishes such as Thai-peanut salad dressing or yuzu-dragon fruit smoothies. New flavor trends in 2022 include a growing interest in Latin American cuisine from countries such as Cuba, Argentina, and Columbia.

Upcycling

Sustainability has been at the forefront of innovation since the early 2020s and this trend shows no sign of slowing down. Upcycling utilizes ingredients that would have otherwise ended up in landfills to create entirely new products. Amazingly, 1.3 billion tons of food are wasted each year, among them, produce that’s discarded for aesthetic reasons. While there’s literally tons of potential (experts estimate it’s a $46 billion market), only 10% of consumers are familiar with upcycled food products, however, after education, 80% of consumers say they would be likely to seek them out.

Adaptogen Infused Foods

We’ve seen an influx of healthy beverages, energy drinks, snack foods, and supplements fortified with adaptogens. What are they? Adaptogens are superfoods with roots in Chinese and Ayurvedic healing traditions that have therapeutic effects and increase the body’s ability to respond to stress, anxiety, and fatigue. Globally, there’s growing interest in the trend – 60% of consumers are looking for products that support immune health and 33% of consumers are already using functional foods and beverages because of the pandemic. And, the global market for adaptogen infused products is projected to grow at 8.5% this year alone. Brands such as Pepsi and Mondelez have already started rolling out products in this category and boutique brands are launching products and scaling production to meet demand.

No-and-Low Alcohol Drinks

Consumers say boozier isn’t always better. No-and-low alcohol beverage trends increased 33% over the past year and is expected to grow by 35% by 2023. It’s not that consumers are completely abstaining from alcohol, they just don’t want to drink as much.  According to Nielsen research, 78% of consumers who are buying non-alcoholic spirits are also buying beer, wine, and other spirits. Rising interest in health and wellness and more intentionality around drinking alcohol is driving the trajectory of this trend. In terms of flavor,

Sustainable Packaging

More than two-thirds of consumers consider it important that the products they buy are in recyclable packaging, according to Trivium Packaging’s 2021 Global Buying Green Report. The report also found 54% take sustainable packaging into consideration when selecting a product. Some packaging trends we’re seeing including compostable and biodegradable packaging, the use of environmentally friendly inks, and paper alternatives like bamboo and pressed hay.  

More informed consumers are better positioned to make sound decisions and explore options. Offering the ability to try new flavors and products alongside a robust education platform will be key to conversion. Reach out today to learn how Inspira’s expertise in education and sampling programs can help grow your brand.

Sources: Food Engineering Magazine (2022), Dawn Foods 2022 Flavor Trends, Nielsen IQ

Photo by Alexander Mils on Unsplash