Here are the ingredients we'll be cooking, how we'll be dining at home and eating out, and what we'll drink in the coming year.
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As we prepare to say goodbye to a year full of takeout, pesto, and nostalgic comfort food, we're getting ready to say cheers to 2022 with functional bubbles and buzz-less spirits. According to experts within the grocery, restaurant, and hospitality industries, better-for-you drinks, a continued interest in home dining, and a renewed focus on eating with the environment in mind are all on the menu for 2022. Here's a look at the food trends that will likely shape what and how we eat in the upcoming year.

The Ingredients We'll Crave

Whether we're eating out or cooking at home, chefs, including Melissa Sallman, executive chef at JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa, Chris Madsen, executive chef at Amway Grand Plaza, Curio Collection by Hilton, and the experts at Hello Fresh and Whole Foods all note that hibiscus, yuzu, and turmeric will be among the hot ingredients for 2022.

Environmentally Conscious Eating

The plant-based diet has long been trending, but as concerns about the climate crisis rise, expect to see even more ecologically conscious eating options from restaurants, meal delivery kits, and in supermarkets. This will likely take the form of flexitarian diets, renewed interest in the Mediterranean diet, increased hyperlocal greens in supermarkets from urban farms, and a commitment to reducing food waste. "I'm excited that people are looking to take a more holistic approach to cooking and minimize their food waste in the kitchen through creative, nutritious and delicious root-to-tip recipes which, in turn, will help to reduce their carbon footprint and the incidence of hunger in their communities," says Meghan Dillon, nutrition coordinator at HelloFresh.

grilled vegetarian stuffed peppers
Credit: Armando Rafael

Frozen Assets

Many of us got into the habit of not visiting the supermarket quite as often in 2020, and to do that, we often reached for frozen foods. According to a new Deloitte study, the growth of frozen food sales continues to outpace fresh. Between the convenience of frozen food and ongoing concerns over the supply chain, we expect to see this trend continue well into 2022.

Growing Grains

When supermarkets ran out of flour during the beginning of the pandemic, those in the know turned to local mills for flour, which are often made from ancient and heirloom grains, spurring a grain renaissance. And while most of us aren't still baking sourdough bread daily, we're still reaching for grains. In 2022, expect to see more ancient grains popping up in granola, baked goods, even barley and buckwheat milks, as well as newer grains like Kernza®—a perennial grain developed by The Land Institute that has been used in cereals and beer.

Functional Bubbles

Bubbles, we just can't get enough of you. Sparkling water has been our go-to beverage the past few years, but in 2022 the experts at Whole Foods expect it won't just be great-tasting sparkling water we reach for, but ones with functional ingredients like probiotics, prebiotics, botanicals, and more.

Buzz-Less Spirits

Over the past few years, we've seen the rise of mocktails, but in 2022, experts from Whole Foods to Hello Fresh think we'll see the low-ABV beverage category grow. "I expect to see a shift into more low-ABV rather than no-ABV options," said Carol England, culinary development manager at HelloFresh. "There's been a micro-trend in the natural wine industry for the past few years around a product called 'Piquette.' This is essentially a naturally spritzy, wine-adjacent product that's created with the leftover pomace from wine making and clocks in at a lower ABV than a traditional glass of wine, without being totally alcohol-free."

We're Still Eating In

While we started to venture out to eat more in 2021 than we did in 2020, come 2022, most experts are predicting that as inflation rises and supply chain issues continue, we're still going to be spending a lot of time eating and drinking at home.

When We Do Eat Out, We'll Be Looking for Personal Dining Experiences

From limited-capacity wine tastings to pasta-making class and white truffle dinners, we'll be looking for intimate dining experiences that feature one-one experiences with chefs, sommeliers, and front-of-house staff. "Guests enjoy feeling they are part of an exclusive experience tied to their interest, and we enjoy it as we get the opportunity to know our guests better," said chef Tony Mantuano and wine expert Cathy Mantuano of The Joseph, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Nashville.

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