The Top 5 Food Trends of 2022

Our stomachs have always been a gateway to our hearts. After a very stressful 2021, many people turned to food as a means of comfort and wellbeing. The top 5 food trends for this year point toward better health for our bodies and planet.

1. Ultra-Urban Farming

Ultra-urban farming supports conscious agriculture and produces fresh fruit and vegetables that are grown locally and can be found in all the best restaurants. The produce is super fresh and is grown without pesticides and other toxic chemicals.

Urban farms usually grow using hydroponics, a technique where you grow without soil and use plant trays that can be stacked vertically. This allows local farmers to grow a large volume of food in a small space. It's also extremely sustainable as the growing process uses only a fraction of the water as traditional farming. Urban farming is a growing food trend that will continue in 2022 and beyond.

2. Vegetarianism and Veganism

Although vegetarians and vegans only make up about 5% of the US market, the trend toward healthy plant-based eating is fueling the rise of flexitarians and reducetarians in 2022.

The term "flexitarian" - a combination of the words "flexible" and "vegetarian" - is for people that eat primarily a vegetarian diet, but with occasional meat or fish. Reducetarian, on the other hand, is a wider term that incorporates the practice of eating less meat and fewer dairy products and eggs.  Following this trend, plant-based meats are also on the rise in 2022.  Expect to see an increasing variety of interesting vegetarian dishes in local restaurants throughout the year.

3. Cold Brew Coffee

Expect to see more restaurants adding cold brew coffee to their menu as it continues to gain in popularity in 2022. This type of coffee is made by steeping coarsely ground coffee beans in cold water for 12-24 hours. Unlike other types of brewing, the process is done without heat and leads to a coffee with less acidity and bitterness.  It has a smooth and mellow taste and is perfect for people who like their drinks on the sweeter side; you can mix it with milk or cream without affecting its robust flavor. Cold brew coffee is not what iced coffee is regularly made from and can also be used as an ingredient in lattes, smoothies, and other drinks.

high probiotic food, like greek yogurt, are trending in restaurants

4. Food That's Good for Your Gut 

The digestive health market has shown steady growth in the past few years. It's been said that gut health impacts everything from emotional to immune system function. Nearly half of consumers today believe a happy, healthy gut is key for overall wellbeing.  Some foods that are good for your gut are fermented foods that are high in probiotics or prebiotics, raw food, and foods that help maintain the health of your microbiome. 

One of the most popular new diet trends is the keto diet which focuses on high-fat, low-carb foods. This may not seem to have anything to do with your gut microbiome, but it does! When your diet is high in fat, there's more fat for gut bacteria to process. A diet high in carbs can be bad for your gut because these break down into sugars. Too many sugars can cause issues like gas or constipation due to an imbalance in healthy bacteria.

5.  Mocktails

Coming in at number five is a popular restaurant drink trend that is becoming more popular, especially with millennials and Generation Z. Mocktails are also called buzz-less spirits. Mocktails are alcohol-free and are gaining steam in 2022. They are increasing in popularity as they are a fun twist on the regular beverage. There is a growing group of people who want to consume less alcohol and live a healthier lifestyle.

There you have it: all our predictions for what will be the top five food trends in 2022. We'll keep you updated as the year progresses if any unexpected changes or new trends emerge.