As an easy way to improve overall health, many people are turning to functional beverages that contain adaptogens, probiotics, fiber, vitamins and root extracts. Companies like CLEAN Cause are also creating a community and contributing to society by donating 50% of their net profits to help people recover from alcohol and drug addiction. Last year, The Manual covered ghost kitchens with the most popular foods on TikTok through Virtual Dining Concepts (VDC). Cheese sandwiches are a perfect fit for this trend, as they combine comfort foods with healthy food buzzwords such as low carb, ketogenic and high in protein.
Climate change and food and packaging waste are top of mind for many consumers, and brands are renewing their sustainable packaging efforts, reviewing their supply chains, or new companies are emerging that focus solely on addressing the problem of food waste, such as Renewal Mill. It is no surprise that this collision of dietary trends is occurring even while people continue to stay at home due to the need involved. The report also indicates that consumers are refocusing on the foods that are best for them after choosing comfort foods during the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 35% of consumers say they eat snacks more often now than a year ago, and snacks account for 48% of all food and beverages, as reported by Food Business News.
Though formal federal regulations on THC in food and beverages are not yet in place, that hasn't stopped food companies from adding it to products or chefs and bakers from experimenting with different types of buds on their plates. Healthy foods and reusable or recyclable restaurant supplies are more abundant than ever in food establishments. Food and beverages are more than just fuel, and food brands are taking that spirit to the next level. From pink sauce to dinners with marijuana and tables of butter, these are the most important and strangest gastronomic trends of the year.
Consumers are still looking for healthy snack options, many of which imitate childhood favorites, similar to how comfort foods began to trend during stay-at-home orders. However, many people have also taken a serious stance in favor of racial and social equality and joined the fight for food sovereignty of marginalized bipoc communities that are reclaiming and owning their food systems. A quick search for “butter boards” on Instagram or TikTok shows seemingly endless options of butter with scallions, flowers and sweeteners artfully spread on wooden boards, and the trend has also affected other food groups. As we look ahead to 2022, it is clear that health-consciousness will remain a priority for many consumers. Functional beverages will continue to be popular as people look for ways to improve their overall well-being.
Sustainable packaging efforts will remain a focus for brands as they strive to reduce their environmental impact. Consumers will continue to seek out healthy snacks that mimic childhood favorites while also supporting racial equality initiatives. Finally, THC-infused foods will become more commonplace as regulations become clearer.