Specialty Food Association spotlights 5 food trends for 2022

The SFA Trendspotter Panel — which includes market analysts, food researchers, professional chefs, and culinary arts professors — met virtually over the course of three digital SFA shows to research thousands of specialty food and beverage products from around the world.

After analyzing the data and the group’s findings, five clear trends emerged, said Denise Purcell, vice president, content and education for the SFA.

“As we head into a second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, comfort is an overriding theme,”said Purcell.

“The events of the past 18 months have consumers seeking out familiar and comforting foods and beverages, but often with a twist for some excitement, or with specific diets and health concerns in mind.”

How are consumers interpreting comfort in their specialty food and drink choices?

Pasta stages to comeback

According to the Trendspotter Panel, consumers’ idea of ​​comfort foods with a twist could be as simple as picking up pasta made with black rice, red lentils, or purple carrots instead of traditional wheat.

“The COVID-influenced comfort food surge has revived the pasta category. We’re seeing shapes that are less familiar to the US market, or brand new,”noted the panel.

Plant-based comfort food

More plant-based options of nostalgic comfort foods are coming to market, making these types of products more accessible to those following alternative diets.

WE ARE​, a brand launched by three KIND Snacks alumni, has reinterpreted the Mexican cuisine for the US consumer audience with a line of traditional plant-based Mexican entrees and sides available in the frozen section.

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