In the food industry, making predictions for the New Year is a long-standing custom. Everybody has their own predictions for the trends that will dominate the aisles in the upcoming year, including supermarket chains, trade organisations, and consumer think tanks. They occasionally get things right.
Gochujang, the fermented chile paste with a long history in Korean kitchens but a then-rare find at U.S. supermarkets, was being pointed to by forecasts not too long ago. These days, it’s not difficult to get a jar at Target or Walmart.
1. Hot & Spicy Food
The popularity of hot sauces over the past few years has spread to a variety of other goods, including honey and ketchup, as people’s demand for tingling, capsaicin-heavy flavours doesn’t appear to be abating. Watch out for new chili-infused cheeses and cookies, which come in a variety of spice levels and frequently include label callsouts for particular peppers.
Remember that bland food is for more tranquil times and reflect on the status of the world. According to Mintel’s Bartelme, “Spicy food tends to increase popularity in difficult times, as hotter products can give customers a rapid reprieve from their daily pressures without much investment.” Giving customers more options for this type of mental break by offering nuanced heat sources from various peppers.
2. Low Caffeine Drinks
According to the National Coffee Association, 491 million cups of coffee are consumed daily in the United States. We adore the smell. We adore the boost it gives our minds. The unsettling effects? Not really.
According to a recent Mintel poll, 37% of American coffee consumers are concerned about the effects of all that caffeine on their health. There is now a more moderate alternative to decaf or quitting coffee altogether: low-caffeine coffee, such the amusingly named brand Buzz Lite.
3. Exploring different Cuisine
The majority of the goods from Hispanic and Asian cuisines can be found in the so-called ethnic foods aisle of American supermarkets. But with a growing infusion of Caribbean, South American, and West African influences, that restricted scope is beginning to broaden.
If you’ve never experienced shito sauce made in the Ghanaian style, you’re in luck! Today, you can get a bottle at Target or Walmart. Experts speculate that our collective wanderlust stems in part from being cooped up during the pandemic and trying to mimic the joys of travel while at home.
Dates have been around for a very long time, but it’s unlikely that the ancient Mesopotamians ever turned them into candy bars. Thanks to a popular TikTok recipe for Snickers-inspired stuffed dates, the sticky, sweet stone fruit gained a new position in the public’s mind this year.
Forecasters claim that’s just the beginning because dates are proving to be a successful natural sugar substitute and ingredient in a wide range of goods, including cookies and barbecue sauce.
5. Seafood Alternative
Get ready for alternative seafood, the next big item in man-made proteins, if you were amazed by contemporary plant-based burgers that bleed like real beef.
We’re talking frozen treats like konjac-root-based vegan shrimp and rice-flakes-based fake fish sticks. At least 120 businesses compete to provide edible answers to problems including overfishing, microplastic contamination, and seafood allergies in this small but rapidly expanding industry.
According to the charity Good Food Institute, the amount of plant-based seafood products sold in the United States increased by 25% in 2021. Investors poured around $175 million into alternative seafood businesses just last year, and much more is on the way.