Prescriptive planning and in-depth research in cities and regions are needed to stay ahead of the curve when tracking the top food and beverage trends in 2022. Recently, Symrise interviewed leading food journalists throughout the United States to learn innovative top food trends in four different cities.

We’ve created the Symrise 2022 North America Top Trends Report for a big-picture look at the changing palettes and attitudes of American diners. The research presents insights from Symrise’s commissioned food service survey and from discussions and input from chefs, pastry chefs, and mixologists. 

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This study of the top U.S. food trends of 2022 also includes interviews from food journalists from eight cities, providing a comprehensive understanding of the notable flavors in each locale. Here are the highlights from our regional report:

Houston

This forward-focused foodie city, like many others, has experienced some significant changes in menu preparation since the beginning of the pandemic. The combo of two outstanding regional cuisines with incoming new cultures has led to a lively fusion scene. We’ve seen more tasting menus than ever before. Other trends include:

  • A focus on creative BBQ dishes
  • Mexican influences, along with Vietnamese, Chinese, and Filipino fusion
  • Cocktails with ranch water and infused Vermouth

Seattle

Seattle has its own climate and attitude and has its own top flavors and food trends. The interest in healthy, sustainable sources and accountability has an affect on the city's trends. The locals enjoy the many resources available locally, from seafood to fresh produce. They are also experiencing more accessible tasting menus, as well as:

  • Retro comfort foods making a big splash
  • Clean eating that tastes great, with flavors being of greater importance
  • Less meat consumption, with more interest in good sourcing
  • Embracing more seafood into dishes
  • Korean and Szechuan influences, along with a growing interest in Middle Eastern and peri-peri, and in Japanese food beyond the traditional sushi

U.S. South

It's hard to generalize trends over this diverse region. Top flavors and cultural pride from city to city create distinct local trends throughout the south of the United States. Some trends carry across a wide spectrum, though. They are:

  • Dominance of comfort food and simplification of dishes that grew out of the pandemic
  • Continued propensity for sugar and tradition
  • Less emphasis on sustainability and healthy eating trends
  • Thai comfort food and Filipino desserts

RELATED: 2022 Symrise NA Top Trend Report Overview

Chicago

Although Chicago is a city known for its innovative chefs, food journalists have noted that 2022 is a time of less experimentation. During the pandemic, Chicago has shown all the signs of "cocooning" culture, with traditional and comfort food dominating the scene. High-end chefs are entering the burger space, with less expansion in desserts. Newer trends have been strongly influenced by hearty flavors and warming foods. Other trends include:

  • An interest in healthy eating, but less of an emphasis on “good for you” ingredients
  • A stronger push toward global influences
  • Korean tastes top the new flavors of 2022, again followed by Filipino cuisine

Philadelphia

Unlike the Mid-West, the chefs in Philadelphia are enjoying a moment in pop-up culture, which drove experimentation during the pandemic. Unlike much of the country, the city has shown trends that include healthy, sustainable foods and produce that extends beyond the grocery standards. We’ve also found:

  • An increased interest in local and heirloom grains
  • Growth in gluten-free and vegan options
  • A lack of pastry chefs in the region
  • A growing Cambodian community, along with the rise of “Poblanos” and modern Middle Eastern flavors

Los Angeles

In L.A., we have noticed a rise in healthy foods tied to ultra-convenience, along with interesting comfort food mash-ups. Think Cantonese BBQ and Asian brasseries. A city with a huge range of ethnic cuisines to draw from, and superb supplies of fresh produce, seafood, and meats, L.A. has been willing to play around with new ingredients and ideas. Other trends are:

  • Increased use of Wagyu and high-end seafood
  • Growing awareness of the differences between chile/chili types and styles
  • A noted chirashi boom during the pandemic
  • Chickpea fermentation

Miami

While staying a couple of years behind the rest of the nation's food trends, Miami has found that residents are eager to have a nice meal out, post-pandemic. This has led to a rise in ornate and formal omakase-style Japanese cooking. We’ve also discovered:

  • An increase in health awareness
  • New coffee-infused drinks replacing desserts
  • South American and growing Caribbean influences

New York

The last area of our roundup of top flavors by city, New York always provides great insights. They're investing in the importance of creating very specific connections through food. In the same trend, New Yorkers are particularly focusing on regionalism. Also of interest are:                                                                                                                                                     

  • A rising interest in flour and baking
  • A shift from sugar to light-roasted black coffee
  • Korean foods beyond BBQ, such as soups and stews
  • A reduced emphasis on natural goodness

With this look into the new flavors of 2022 throughout the United States, we hope our current and potential customers alike can create new product innovations. Connect with us today to learn more about our 2022 North American Trend Report to stay ahead of the trend curve.

 

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