Check in with my 2022 trends forecast

Check in with my 2022 trends forecast

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In early January I created my top five trends forecast for 2022. As we are almost half-way through 2022, let’s check in with my 2022 trends forecast to see which predictions are on target.

The top five trends

1) Authentic & Transparent; 2) E-commerce; 3) Experience & Celebrate; 4) Good for Me, Good for the Planet and 5) Proactive Health & Wellness.

1) Authentic & Transparent

Sustainability awareness has accelerated during the global pandemic and now with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Supply chains are thrust into the limelight with consumers paying more attention to how their favourite products were sourced. Consequently, traceability and transparency get a boost with those supply chain disruptions and consumers’ expectations of wanting to understand their foods’ gate to plate journey and footprint now and in the future.

Consumers, especially Gen Zs and younger Millennials, want their food and beverage purchases to reflect their self interests, lifestyle, and values. As a result, companies need to create authentic connections and communications with their consumers as we move forward in 2022.

Is this trend still on target?

  • Yes, especially with the new development of the Russian war on Ukraine.

2) E-Commerce

Online purchases have increased across all industries since March 2020. Shoppers who were not buying their groceries online prior to the pandemic lockdown quickly became familiar with the process. writer Joan Verdon, comments in her article Global ecommerce sales to hit 42 trillion as online surge continues (based on an Adobe Report), “Surveys of consumers in the United Kingdom, Japan and the United States showed online shopping is becoming the preferred method of grocery shopping for a growing number of consumers. Over half of the consumers in all three countries said they believe they are saving money by shopping for groceries online.”

Research suggests consumers across all ages will continue to take advantage of the e-commerce option for food purchases into 2022 and beyond. Similarly, keep an eye out for new tech delivery options such as drone delivery and campus/hotel robots.

Is this trend still on target?

3) Experience & Celebrate

As we move into year three of dealing with a global pandemic, people are craving fun experiences and the opportunity to celebrate. Eating occasions continue to be a source of entertainment with people spending so much time at home due to travel restrictions and lockdown guidelines.

Data indicates consumers want travel-like eating experiences including global flavours similar to hibiscus, lychee, gochujang, pimento seeds and wasabi. The opportunity to celebrate is another trend I see for 2022. Consumers want to celebrate in safe way on a smaller scale due to the continued health crisis. Backing up this point, the chocolate industry is reporting demand for more confetti, sparkles, seasonal flavours, plus new formats for celebratory sharing in 2022.

Is this trend still on target?

  • Yes, this trend is on target, especially with the continued complexity of air travel and the cost to fuel your vehicle for a road trip.

4) Good for Me, Good for the Planet

It is apparent today’s consumer is not only concerned about their physical and mental health, but also the planet’s health. From food origin and transparency to customer experience and demands, consumers are interested in real-life shared planet examples. They want to understand how circular economies are already impacting the food system, the climate, biodiversity, animal & human health, energy & water use, and land use.

The food waste reduction discussion is part of the good for the planet theme. As a result, it continues to drive revised practices across the entire food value chain. The global health crisis has emphasized consumer behaviour of pursuing functional, wholesome ingredients that signal a health halo, not only for humans, but for the entire planet. Consequently, this trend will thrive into 2022.

Is this trend still on target?

  • Yes, this trend is on target, especially with sourcing food globally and food costs raising.

5) Proactive Health & Wellness

Proactive health and wellness are top of mind for many consumers since March 2020. Consumers continue to seek out foods and supplements to support their immune health and gut health with the ongoing Covid-19 health crisis. Flavours that support the proactive health and wellness trend like citrus for immune and tangy, sour for gut will continue to rise in 2022.

A spotlight has been shone on our mind-body since the pandemic. Uncertainty, restrictions, and changes in habits have all lead to people feeling the stress impact on their everyday lives. More than ever, consumers are looking for natural ways to manage stress and anxiety. Nutrient dense foods are vital in maintaining and thriving mentally. And more specifically, certain nutrients play critical roles in supporting our cognitive and mental state. This trend will continue to gain momentum in 2022. There is an accelerated demand for great tasting, competitively priced, new plant-based formats, plant proteins and more sophisticated alternatives. I predict seeds, pulses, nuts, and other plants will continue to make their way onto the centre of consumers’ plates in 2022.

Is this trend still on target?

  • Yes, this trend is on target, as people focus on how to spend their food dollars.

Final thought for the check in with my 2022 trends forecast

Although none of us have a crystal ball, as an industry thought leader and health professional for over two decades, I am confirming my 2022 trends forecast is on target for the rest of this year.

Contact Jane and her team to assist you on your upcoming projects and speak at your events including podcasts & webinars!

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