Kim Baker Foods, November 15, 2021
2021 entered with a mix of hope and mourning, and this mood penetrated our food experiences. We spent the 2020 holiday season in eerie solitude away from gathering around big family tables, and then we dined al fresco in the frigid winter months on makeshift outdoor patios at restaurants wearing hats and gloves and sitting in yurts, igloos and pop-up domes. This, of course, gave way to 2021’s summer of freedom as we flocked outdoors and once again enjoyed cookouts – albeit six feet apart. We grieved our favorite neighborhood restaurants that didn’t make it through the pandemic, and as a society, have been learning how to reconnect in live environments after sustained isolation. The Internet, despite its woes and shortcomings, fed us in 2021. Online we shared about pantry meals and comfort food as people looked for easy at-home cooking inspiration and nostalgia. The TikTok folded tortilla hack and baked feta pasta went viral. Everyone was cooking – even Paris Hilton! Gordon Ramsey started making vegan meals and Epicurious said no more beef recipes.
As we turn the corner into 2022, we can reflect on how these dynamics will continue to take shape and look ahead to what will nourish us.
2022 Food Industry Summary
Cooking fatigue from the pandemic combined with the trend for snacking as meal replacement will continue to make healthy snacks ever more popular in American life.
- A growing consciousness around ingredients and nutrition is shifting diet trends.
- Plant-based snacking will continue to rise, driven by strong, growing interest among 18-24 year olds and women.
- Online food sharing will continue to be a primary tool for social food experiences.
- The reopening of social activities and lifting of the U.S. travel ban is expected to reinvigorate interest in snacks that are convenient and portable and give healthy shelf-stable products a boost.
- Supply chain challenges will continue to persist making manufacturers fine tune their offering and procurement practices to manage operational pressures, and small producers will continue to lead in innovation.
Download the full 2022 food trends outlook below.
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