Since the outbreak of Candid-19, food industry trends have been wrought with increased demand, supply chain disruptions, and stringent new regulations. Although businesses are opening up now and vaccinations are increasing, the pandemic is far from over. Based on the complex circumstances in 2020 and 2021, coupled with the hope of restoration to a ‘new normal’ soon, data analysts have come up with some intriguing, well-researched insights.
Here are four prominent trends that the food industry can expect in 2022:
Tighter Food Safety Regulations: Food industry trends indicate watertight regulations in 2022. Operationally, the food and beverage industry should brace itself for stringent food safety norms in the coming year. This has already been witnessed during the pandemic when food hygiene norms were revised and expanded massively.
Just because the high-risk phase of the pandemic is probably over doesn’t imply that the regulations are expected to be relaxed anytime soon. Governmental agencies and widespread consumer interest are stressing a strict regulatory framework for food and beverage businesses.
1. Going Green Will be Mainstream
A decade or two earlier, adopting sustainable practices was not a priority for food and beverage companies. A handful of businesses that embraced sustainability usually did it as a part of their CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) initiatives.
Today, the scenario is entirely different. Climate change, deforestation, groundwater depletion, soil quality deterioration, and pollution are significant issues that food businesses cannot ignore. Whether on the agricultural front, the use of water in factories, energy sources, or packaging material, everything is under scrutiny by the highly discerning and eco-conscious consumer.
2. Plant-based Alternatives
An increasing number of consumers are shunning meat, seafood, and dairy, leaning towards plant-based alternatives. Innovation in F&B industry and major food trends in 2022 will witness a lot of attention paid to developing plant-based foods. Healthier, cheaper, and tastier alternatives to meat using legumes, lentils, seeds, soy, and nuts will be the prime focus of food scientists.
If you have a full-fledged meat-centric brand, it is the right time to diversify and provide suitable vegan alternatives. This trend is in line with the aforementioned rise of the environmentally-conscious consumer. And not to forget, health concerns are also making an exemplary case for vegetarianism.
3. Recreating the Gourmet Dining Experience at Home
Even though restaurants have opened up in most parts of the world, consumers are still hesitant to step out frequently. With home-cooking kits, artisanal ingredients, and fancy dinnerware, the erstwhile outdoor diners are keen on experiencing the joys of simple home-cooking and clean eating.
Besides the health-conscious aspect, there is a strong resurgence of nourishing foods that provide satiety and exotic foods that recreate the fine dining experience at home.
Given the uncertainty associated with the f&b industry, modern data-driven forecasting methods can help businesses tread the right path. Whether with food innovation, product launch, or supply chain practices, data analytics can render a stable hand to each facet. This will enable start-ups and existing food businesses to cater best. And to evolve consumer requirements amidst the rapidly changing corporate, socio-economic, and political environment.