Who knew that the pandemic would be a time when we settled in and got creative, inspiring trends in many consumer categories? Bicycle sales, both new and used, increased, gardening was a big deal, everyone was a bread maker, and crafty Tick-Tok recipes exploded in popularity. Food and beverage trends were definitely impacted due to the pandemic with both new consumer behaviors and increased interest in the pre-existing trends before 2020. Here are a few that will stick around for a while.
Things will stay earthy.
Gardening, foraging, and mushrooms! Gardening will continue to be huge as more and more consumers are interested in growing their food. There is also the motivation to de-stress.The gardening hobby takes us to those earthy places to calm down and regenerate. With supply chain issues and recession forecasting, I also expect to see a rise in the community, school gardens, and farmer's markets.
Foraging was in the early trend prediction stage before the pandemic, and it is now one of the top trends for 2022. Searching, identifying, and collecting food has become a new way of life and hobby for some, but is a primal way of being since the dawn of humankind. Everything from flowers to herbal medicine is an option to forage. Depending on your region and season, some of the most accessible foods to forage are mushrooms, nettles, berries, and dandelions. Chefs have started to incorporate foraged foods on their menus, and there are also opportunities to take guided foraging experiences.
Several years ago, I wrote about the importance of mushrooms in food, fashion, and home décor. Yes, a modern mushroom-shaped lamp, a mushroom printed dress and everything mushrooms in food and beverage. With the continued importance of health-related trends, the fact that some mushrooms are adaptogens maintains their spot at the top of the food trend list. I don't look for this trend to relax anytime soon.
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Less is more
As consumers target a healthier post-pandemic lifestyle, the increased interest in non-acholic craft cocktails and low ABV beverages will continue. While low ABV beverages are not new, their increase in popularity and variety are a record high! The hard seltzer selection has expanded exponentially. Even famous beer brands like Budweiser have entered the market.
I am personally excited about some of the single-serving wine options that have entered the market in the last few years. In particular, organic brands like Wander & Ivy. Small bottle offerings solve many dilemmas, from wasting good wine to drinking too much. Packaging is also a factor in this category. I predict consumers will gravitate towards beautiful packaging in glass bottles, so the vino drinking experience remains tasteful and romantic.
Small and Multi-Functional
The focus on at-home cooking will continue and aligns perfectly with the increasing small kitchen appliance options. Some sought-after pandemic countertop favorites were air fryers, smart ovens, sous-vides, and dehydrators. Now small appliances that serve multiple uses are flooding the market. The recent spring 2022 William Sonoma catalog featured a Vitamix that includes the blender and food processor attachment and a Kitchen Aid stand mixer with the option to buy shaved ice and ice cream maker attachments. All-in-one takes on a whole new meaning with the new small oven technology. Some ovens serve as a pizza oven, microwave, and sous-vide, while other models can simultaneously cook two different dishes at two different temperatures. The technology is impressive!
At this very health and food-focused time in history, we will see these food and beverage pandemic trends continue to evolve, and no doubt be a part of our lives somehow. Which one will you be trying next?
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