What will food look like in 2022?
In today’s fast-paced world, we are constantly looking for the next big thing at a rapid pace. So what can we expect from our plates in five years’ time?
If 2017 was all about hyper-fresh, which saw consumers opt for restaurants with short menus and locally sourced ingredients, then 2022 will see a shift towards hyper-local, predicts food futurologist Dr Morgaine Gaye.
“In 2022, we will demand fresh products that are sourced and served with the shortest time frame possible,” she tells BBC Good Food. “Millennials are aware of where their food comes from – they don’t just want to know, they expect to know, and it’s something they will champion.”
What else can we expect? Here, the expert predicts the biggest five food trends for 2022:
1. Hyper-local produce is in
Consumers are no longer satisfied with just buying imported fresh goods from supermarkets – nor are retailers willing to offer them. So where does this leave us? “Supermarkets will have no choice but to buck up their ideas and begin sourcing hyper-local produce, or start losing customers,” says Dr Gaye.
2. Surprise flavour profiles
“We have entered the age of the ‘elusive taste’,” she explains. “Until recently, we were still in a time of classic flavour profiles, such as sweet or salty. But we’re now seeing ingredients being combined in new way – using herbs and spices to create surprising flavour combinations.”
3. At-home immersive cooking experiences
“Virtual reality is already changing the experience of going out for dinner,” says Dr Gaye. “So it’s only a matter of time before people can recreate this at home. “In 2022, you’ll be able to have a virtual chef come to your house and give you an immersive cooking experience.”
4. Taste exploration
“People are now bored of just exploring the taste that they already like,” says Dr Gaye. “They want to be challenged and presented with new ones, and they want to travel the world through taste.”
5. Alternative milk usage
Almond, oat and soya milk have been huge over the past few years, but Dr Gaye predicts that by 2022 a new kid on the block will take over: watermelon milk. “We’ve already seen this used in drinks,” she says. “And it has gained popularity in the Middle East, which is where this trend often comes from.”
She adds that while coconut milk will always remain popular, hemp will become a lot more common as a dairy alternative. “We’ve already seen big brands such as Ben & Jerry’s using ingredients such as almond and coconut,” says Dr Gaye. “In 2022, hemp and pea will also appear in a variety of products.”