UK Food Trends 2022

UK Food Trends: What's in store for 2022

As 2021 draws to a close, our team have been closely following the major UK food and drink trends for 2022. Whilst there are some constants – such as the ever-growing demand for plant-based everything – here are the key trends and innovative food concepts we’re expecting to see in the coming year.

1. From farm to table: The locavore movement is only going to get stronger

As consumers become more and more interested in where their food comes from, the locavore movement is only going to grow. This means that we’re going to see more people wanting to know the origin of their food, and opting for locally grown produce.

In the culinary world, we predict that this trend will lead to a rise in end-to-end supply chain transparency, with consumers wanting to know exactly where their food came from and how it was produced. For global food manufacturers, this means that there will be increased pressure to ensure that full end-to-end chain traceability is in place.

2. Fermented foods: The new superfood?

Fermented foods are one of the major UK food and drink trends right now, and we don’t see that changing in 2022. From kombucha to kimchi to kefir, these probiotic-rich foods are being touted as the next big thing in the health food world, and for good reason.

Not only are they delicious, but they’re also incredibly good for you, providing a host of health benefits such as improved digestion, and can also boost immunity. We predict that fermented foods will continue to grow in popularity over the next year, and we’ll see more and more people looking to incorporate them into their diets.

3. The rise of the flexitarian

A flexitarian is some who is choosing to reduce their meat intake for environmental or health reasons. Whilst this may not be a new trend, we’re expecting it to continue to grow in popularity in 2022 as people become more aware of the benefits of a plant-based diet.

With increasing awareness of the health and environmental benefits of a plant-based diet, the latest consumer data indicates that more people will be choosing to adopt a flexitarian lifestyle in the coming year.

This means that we’re going to see an increasing demand for vegan proteins, as well as meat substitutes and vegan-friendly products.

4. Going green: Sustainable eating is more important than ever

With climate change becoming an ever-present issue, a greater proportion of consumers are going to be looking for sustainable options to reduce their carbon footprint.

Whilst there’s still a long way to go, in the past year, we’ve seen more and more people opting for plant-based alternatives, as well as manufacturers investing in eco-friendly packaging. We expect this trend to continue and strengthen as we head deeper into 2022, and it’s already clear that sustainable eating will continue to be one of the driving global trends.

As general awareness of the issues surrounding climate change increases, we predict there will be an increased demand for vegan alternatives and eco-friendly packaging - as permanent lifestyle changes.

5. Gut health is the new frontier in health and wellness

We’re seeing a growing demand for foods and drinks that support gut health.

As our understanding of how our gut affects everything from mental health to weight gain increases, so does the demand for products that support digestive health.

Gastrointestinal health has always been an important factor in human health, but with current research linking it to seemingly unrelated issues such as mental health and obesity, we can expect to see a strong focus on probiotics and prebiotics in order to promote a healthy gut.

This means that we’ll see more products touting their benefits when it comes to supporting gut bacteria, as well as an increased focus on probiotics and prebiotics.

With grocery suppliers focusing on their own product lines, this is one of the top trends that we’re expecting to have a real impact over the next five years.

6. Vegan fast food is about to go mainstream

Whilst veganism has been on the rise for some time now, one area where it has yet to make much of an impact is fast food. So far, there’s been no convincing vegan alternative to the likes of McDonald’s or KFC, but that’s all about to change.

We predict that by 2022, vegan fast food will be big news, with more and more restaurants offering meat-free options for their customers.

As veganism becomes increasingly popular over the next year and grocery buying habits change, key opinion leaders expect to see a corresponding rise in fantastic fast food options for those following a vegan lifestyle.

7. Potato Milk and other Plant-based milk alternatives

In our last article, we looked at the rise of the plant-based diet and predicted that there would be an increased demand for non-dairy milk options as a result.

We think this is going to have a knock-on effect on products such as milk substitutes, which are getting better and better all the time. Global research indicates that in 2022, dairy milk alternatives such as almond milk, oat milk and even potato milk will be more popular than ever, with an increasing number of British consumers choosing them as an alternative to dairy milk.

8. Other micro trends

As well as the most anticipated food and drink trends, there are also several underlying micro trends to look out for in the coming year. Here’s a quick look at some of these individual micro-trends:

  • Pre-batched bottled cocktails will continue to be popular
  • Nostalgic desserts such as Eton Mess and Bakewell Tart will see a comeback
  • Low salt cheese is going to become a lot more common.
  • Hibiscus flavoured yoghurts, drinks, tea and fruit spreads.
  • The dialed down spirits category will become more important as healthy habits developed in the wellness movement.
  • Food kits are another one of these micro-trends, with more and more people keen to cook at home using fresh, high-quality ingredients.
  • Sunflower butter is being incorporated into more and more categories such as ice cream and cheese.
  • There will be sustained demand for superior products delivered fast as the restaurant industry began started offering takeaways on mass in the past year.


So, what does all this mean for the food industry in 2022?

Well, it looks like we can expect to see continued growth in alternative proteins, sustainable eating and the locavore movement. In addition, we’re likely to see an increasing demand for vegan and vegetarian options, as well as greater awareness of food provenance.

New product development: If you're planning to launch a new product in 2022, get in touch! Our team of in-house industry experts bring a wealth of experience and can offer advice on how to incorporate consumer insight, as well as product testing and consumer feedback.

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