How we’ll eat in 2022: 10 food innovations that will shape how we eat

Do you wonder what the food industry will look like in the near future? Here are 10 food innovations that will shape how we eat in 2022 - from lab grown meat and printed meals, to upcycled coffee drinks.

get a bite of this

When talking about food innovation, we often find ourselves discussing concepts and ideas that we won’t be able to see or experience in a long time. This, however, is a list of food innovations that you can already get your taste buds on, or that you’ll have access to sooner than you might think. 

Food innovation?

Food innovation is the development and commoditization of new food products, processes, and services. Right now, it’s happening rapidly. Food and beverage companies are looking for ways to make healthy, nutritious offerings that are not only enticing, accessible, exciting, and unique, but also sustainable. 

10 food innovations and concepts that will shape consumption in 2022​

Vertical farming and home-grown gardens

Sourcing awareness is more than a lifestyle trend, people are looking for access to healthier, more natural products. Projects like PERNUG know this, so they work towards revolutionizing how we buy, or in this case grow, our ingredients. House gardens have swarmed houses during the lockdowns, but you can expect vertical farming to be the new functional kitchen asset to be implemented soon.

Delicious byproducts

Upcycled food is the process of reducing food waste, by using everything we have and elevating all food to the best use. Upcycled food is made of ingredients that otherwise would not have gone to human consumption, and are sourced and produced using verified supply chains, and have a positive impact on the environment. Upcycling food is increasingly becoming a starting point for new startups, while existing businesses are starting to look at the byproducts of their processes.
One example of the big FMCG players tapping into this opportunity, is the 2021 launch of Nestlé’s Nescafé Nativ, a cold coffee-like drink made from upcycled coffee berry husks. Another is the startup ReGrained, that since 2020 have been producing various grain products made with spent grain from beer production. As technology evolves and we’re learning more about how to use all parts of food, we are likely to see more inventions like these sprout.

Immunity boosters

Functional snacking is here to stay. Following the onset of the pandemic, ingredients providing the right nutrients for a stronger immune system have been prioritized by customers, and producers as well. Take Nature's Heart as an example - they design their snack bags so each ingredient is measured and optimized to offer the right amount of vitamins and minerals to boost consumers’ immunity to face the new world.

New ways of grocery shopping

Following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, e-commerce saw a significant boom, and shoppers incresingly used online grocery shopping with at-home delivery as a way of getting their products home in a safe manner.
In collaboration with Board of Innovation, Colruyt's Collect&Go developed a no-walk-in grocery shopping experience for city dwellers. More initiatives like this are likely to see the light of day in the coming years.

Food stories as food innovation

Now more than ever, we have access to specific data about the components and nutritional value of the things we eat. But, nutritional information goes beyond the ingredients that make up our meals. Eating is redefined once we realize the human lives and experiences involved in getting our food to the table.

Pushing fair trade and local products isn't just a hype, it’s a new-found awareness on how economic cycles and commerce works. This is why companies like The Hyper Localist share the spirit of heritage brands in Europe, so tradition and quality are re-entered into the food industry business design.

New age meats

Plant-based meat substitutes (like Beyond Meat and Impossible Burger) have been around for a while, with the products getting increasingly closer to 'the real deal' and more food producers tapping into the growing market. The next big thing may be slaughter-free meat - particularly cell-based meat, with companies like New Age Meats building on the idea that everyone should have access to real meat without having to compromise their personal economy, health, religion, or values. Today, New Age Meats are doubling their efforts so that their cell-based sausages will hit the markets, and our plates, in 2022.

New super-ingredients

CBD has slowly been getting more attention as an ingredient in the last few years. Today, it’s being actively used in products consumed on a daily basis. Hummus? Pesto? Why not. Themptation looks to promote the health benefits of hemp and showcase its flexibility in the food industry by introducing them as base ingredients of our day-to-day foods.

SmartSalem

There’s no need to tap into space to change the way we experience access to food. In Dubai, Smart Salem medical center offers different kinds of services through robots, including their friendly self-service kiosks. If you don’t go to the kiosk, the kiosk shall come to you. These automated little shops drive around the clinic with state of the art tech that also identifies each customer through iris and facial recognition. You get more than a snack out of it - the robots are designed to guide the customers through the automated journey throughout the intelligent facility.

Starbucks digital orders

Starbucks is known for stirring things up. Although they encourage customers to visit their global stores after the pandemic, they’ve come to realize the potential of digital services. By pre-ordering your drink, you avoid crowded queues, contribute to social distancing, and make coffee drinking more efficient. These kind of services can be seen as a direct result of the low touch economy following the COVID-19 pandemic, and the need to make services and products more touch-free. And with the popularity of these services among consumers, we will likely see similar innovations hit the market.

Robots getting busy

Well, particularly one. Heineken came up with B.O.T, a short name for what they presented as a beer outdoor transporter. AI technology development spreads increasingly to different aspects of our life. Including how we consume. This little beer Wall-E is an example of the many ways in which robots will change the way food and drinks are made, and served.

Want to read more about food innovation?

Check out our other content pieces on food innovation and get inspired by some real-life cases!

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Find out how we helped Danone create 8 product concepts for the Chinese food & beverage market.

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