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2022 Food Trends Released by IFIC

By: Sydney Sheffield 

The International Food Information Council (IFIC) released a report detailing the predicted food trends of 2022. The report used expert opinions as well as consumer survey data to generate the trends. 

Americans are focused on wellness through nutrition according to the survey, citing the global pandemic as a possible cause. IFIC states that Americans are interested in specifically whole grains, fiber, and protein. Additionally, the average American’s knowledge of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) has doubled over the past decade. The 2020-2025 DGA was released December 2020, and ASAS President-Elect Teresa Davis served on the DGA Advisory Committee. 

While the pandemic forced people to stay at home, thus leading them to become interested in food, it also revealed hardships and food insecurity for many. IFIC expects more attention from policymakers in 2022 on issues such as federal feeding programs, health and nutrition disparities, and the role of lifestyle-related non-communicable diseases. 

Going along with the wellness trend, it is also projected there will be an increased interest in micronutrients to manage stress, such as B vitamins and magnesium. IFIC predicts that CBD-infused foods and non-alcoholic alternatives, or functional fizzes, will also increase in popularity. 

Both exotic flavors and nostalgia are expected to trend in 2022. IFIC reasons that the pandemic has allowed people to stay home and watch cooking networks. This is expended to bring the 1990’s back to American’s kitchen with simple recipes. On a similar note, the desire to travel will have some reaching for exotic spices and flavors. IFIC predicts that flavors such as hibiscus, yuzu, turmeric, kelp, and ube will rise. Umami will also be a factor that will lead to an increase in MSG usage. 

Lastly, IFIC estimates that sustainability will be a top priority when making food decisions. IFIC found that 42% of consumers believe their food choices have a moderate impact on the environment, while 7 in 10 believe climate change sometimes influences their purchases. Justice and equality for those working in the foodservice industry will also be important social issues in 2022. 

In 2020, IFIC predicted a hyper-focus on food safety concerns, a shift towards affordability and convenience, an increase in foods with health benefits, and an increase in snacking and caffeine. Do any of those food trends apply to your past year? IFIC ended their reporting by noting how unprecedented the times are and with all things, to “expect the unexpected.”