The Kroger Co. released its 2022 Food Trends Report, which predicts emerging food trends, consumer behaviors, and popular items for the year ahead.
The Food Institute took a deeper dive into some of the most noteworthy predictions:
One emerging flavor that Kroger believes is about to take over is umami.
Umami has been looked at as a fifth basic taste in recent years, encapsulating savory flavors that are often found in ingredients such as soy sauce, parmesan, and stocks.
British supermarket chain Waitrose believes that umami will be “the prevailing profile in our food,” with sales of its Cooks’ Ingredients Umami Paste rising 17% in 2021, compared to 2019.
The biggest beverage taste of 2022 is expected to be tequila, which is in line with the “savory” theme. Kroger notes that, as consumers continue to host at home, tequila is a shareable spirit option that also opens the door for experimentation.
Celebrities have also been trying their hand at tequila in recent years, adding to the drink’s popularity. Michael Jordan, Dwyane “The Rock” Johnson, Nick Jonas, and Kendall Jenner are just a handful of stars who have launched their own brands.
Consumers are continuing to focus on the health of the planet, not just through plant-based foods, but also by reducing their waste impact. They are turning to upcycled ingredients and more recyclable packaging.
Kroger says plant-based foods are now being purchased for indulgence, comfort, and nostalgia, instead of being solely known as a healthier choice.
Similarly, consumers are becoming more conscious about purchasing products grown or made closer to home. There are more alternative farms creating ways for consumers to get locally sourced, natural ingredients, that are still fresh.
In 2021, Kroger launched Go Fresh & Local, which offers opportunities for fresh suppliers to become part of the organization’s supplier network.
GROCERY GLOW UP
Many consumers became more accustomed to cooking at home during the pandemic. However, now, it is not just about convenience.
Home-chefs are aiming to emulate restaurants and travel experiences at home with leveled-up “Instagram-able” meals.
In Canada, this also applies to coffee consumption, NPD Group found. To replicate the foodservice coffee experience at home, people are purchasing coffee appliances at unprecedented levels.
OTHER TRENDS TO NOTE
The rest of the trends on Kroger’s list included:
- “Everything” seasoning
- Throwback/nostalgic flavors
- Natural health and beauty