Future Food Trends 2022 – Rise in Flexitarian Diets and Plant-Based Cuisine
Since January this year, flexitarian and plant-based diets have been increasing across all occasions (Eat-at-home, Eat-in-restaurants, Food-to-go), as trends indicate people are including more plant-based meals in their ‘flexible’ diets. This is in contrast to the slight increase of meat consumption during the pandemic, perhaps providing a treat in a time of need, that is now considered an unnecessary expense in this economic crisis. The analysis of this year suggests that meat eaters are becoming ‘beginner flexitarians’ as they begin to explore the growing number of innovations in the category.
The plant-based category is heating up, as new brands continue to emerge, offering new alternative tastes and textures. Many existing and challenger brands are focusing on cracking the chicken once and for all; Moving Mountains is preparing to launch ‘No Chicken Nuggets’, Eatplanted has unveiled their Vegan Chicken Skewers and Unilever’s The Vegetarian Butcher launched Mexican-inspired, marinated soy pieces Mexi-Hen Fiesta in May. Quorns ChiQin wings have been a great success, offering a great eating quality in a QSR setting. New and up-and-coming brands have been finding success as they aim to fill the gap and meet demand, however the heavyweights of the industry are committing more and more to transferring their focus from famous meat brands to plant-based. Birds Eye epitomise this shift in the market, as they leverage their reputation in other categories to make serious inroads into plant-based. The iconic coatings from their meat and fish lines are also used in their Green Cuisine range to offer consumers their favourite dinner time staples, in a meat-free format, without having to compromise on taste or quality.