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Food trends for 2022: What will you crave?

Shelley E. Huguley swfp-shelley-huguley-sunflower-harvest-20.jpg
Sunflower seeds are expected to be a 2022 foot trend. Sunflower seed-based products such as a peanut butter alternative are becoming popular in elementary schools.
Interactive foods, celebrity food collaborations, potato milk and more are on the menu for 2022. What's on your list?

Banana bread and sour dough were all the rage in 2020, and 2021 focused on air fried food and low-waste foods. What's going to land in your pantry after the New Year?

Upcoming trends in dining and cooking can be hard to predict, but the continued love for food and the desire to expand the average food pallet can make for more adventurous meals.

Interactive foods, celebrity food collaborations, potato milk and more are on the menu for 2022, as the Oklahoma State University Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center highlights food trends on the rise for the upcoming year.

Andrea Graves, business planning and marketing specialist, said with the coronavirus pandemic and its effects still lingering, people continue to be hungry for memorable experiences.

“It’s great to see food manufacturers who share a similar vision to FAPC turning up the creativity to add value to the seemliest ordinary foods,” Graves said. “This will be a big part of the upcoming year.”

Top 10 trends for 2022, according to FAPC:

  • Interactive foods: In the upcoming year, you’re encouraged to play with your food. Who says eating your favorite snacks can’t be fun? Activity-based foods are making eating a memorable experience. Hot cocoa bombs are a fun way to add a twist to the classic cozy beverage. In the past, a popular company turned guessing the grossest flavors of jellybeans into a marketing opportunity. Now, a Korean candy company is challenging sweets-lovers everywhere to carve a shape into their treat with their teeth without breaking it.
  • Buzz-less spirits: Imagine a new lineup of drinks that provide the taste of sophistication of cocktails without the hangover. Some drinkers are opting to cut down on the alcohol by volume (ABV) they are consuming. Mocktails are one of the newest dialed-down spirits without the buzz. There is a widening array of non-alcoholic drinks to try, and according to the IWSR Drinks Market Analysis, the category is expected to expand 35% by 2023.
  • Potato milk: What is next to sprout into the milk-alternative milk industry? Potatoes are not just for fries. With alternative milks like oat milk and almond milk continuing to penetrate the dairy market, there is good reason to believe the hype that plant-based milk will continue to grow in popularity.
  • Bubbly beverages: Consumers are on the hunt for sparkling drinks that taste great and offer ingredients that balance out the sweetness. Are you interested in fruity flavored soda? Get more from your bubbly drinks with ingredients such as probiotics and fizzy tonics with added prebiotics, botanicals and more.
  • Sunflower seeds: Sunflower seeds are growing into popularity outside of the ballpark. Delivering protein and unsaturated fats, sunflower seeds are reconstructing the snack game. Allergy-friendly and seed-based products such as ice cream, crackers and cheese are moving up in rank to the top of grocery lists. Thanks to the increased awareness of allergies to peanuts and other nuts, sunflower seed-based products such as a peanut butter alternative are becoming popular in elementary schools.
  • Reducetarian: Are you a plant-curious eater but not ready to commit to the full vegan lifestyle? Without having to give up meat entirely, reducing the consumption of meat, dairy and eggs allows for the best of both worlds. However, with this diet, when animal products are on the menu, reducetarians make them count by making sure they are high quality.
  • Celebrity food collaborations: Do you feel like a star while enjoying your favorite celebrity's drink or meal? It’s no question, celebrity collaborations are an easy cash grab for restaurant chains and the celebrity. Customizations are the touches of personality that allow the food products to stand out.
  • Hard seltzers: It’s easy to see hard seltzers are booming this year. These ready-to-drink canned beverages have sparked the growth in alcohol sales. Spiked seltzer has seen a meteoric rise in recent years and unexpected brands are continuing to hop on the bandwagon.
  • Seaweed: The interest in seaweed is quickly growing. Despite having been a largely forgotten food, seaweed has been used all around the world for nutrition, as well as providing natural umami flavor. The popularity of seaweed has skyrocketed and is looked to as a future sustainable food.
  • Thai tea: The elements of Thai tea emerge as a fun and versatile flavor system. With broad flavors and eye-catching visuals, Thai tea finds industry opportunities in ice creams and other desserts. Don’t sleep on Thai tea because it’s bound to field consumer excitement.

FAPC, a part of OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, helps to discover, develop and deliver technical and business information that will stimulate and support the growth of value-added food and agricultural products and processing in Oklahoma.

Source: is OSU, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.
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