The 12 biggest global food trends for 2022, from kelp to yakitori

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Expect to see more canned fish, food on sticks and various Asian flavors on menus and in stores this year.

Posted March 4, 2022, 06:01 GMT

Negima Yakitori. Glazed Japanese grilled chicken skewers with brown rice.

Photographed by Getty

While last year’s food trends were influenced by pandemic-related restaurant closures and shifts in consumer behavior, the outlook for 2022 is much brighter. Discovering new ingredients and new cuisines, whether at home or abroad, is on the agenda, as chefs and producers come to the plate with new openings and cutting-edge products to try. And if one thing ties many of today’s trends together, it’s the awareness of the need to reduce the impact of food on the environment, while still providing amazing things to eat.

1. Alternative milk

Given the exponential increase in oat milk sales in recent years, predicting the next big milk alternative could be a big deal. Waitrose supports potato milk and started offering a variety produced by Swedish brand Dug in February 2022. It is said to work well in coffee and, importantly, has a much lower carbon footprint than dairy milk. Oats – Potatoes are twice as efficient to grow as oats in terms of land and water use. Other contenders for non-dairy supremacy include blended milks such as peas and oats, as well as banana, hemp, cashew and coconut.

A spread from Sarap Filipino Bistro in Mayfair.

Photographed by Thomas Alexander

2. Filipino Food: Phase Two

Filipino cuisine has been on the verge of breaking into the UK for a few years now – National Geographic Traveler Food has named it a cuisine to try in 2019 (read the article here). And now, a recent string of restaurant openings have put it firmly back in the spotlight. Where before you had to scour the outskirts of London for places serving Filipino food, the latest batch can be found right in the heart of the capital. There’s Budgie Montoya’s Sarap Filipino Bistro in Mayfair and two Soho establishments: Kasa and Kin, an all-day cafe and bakery; and Ramo Ramen, a Filipino-inspired ramen restaurant. Meanwhile, Bong Bong’s Manila Kanteen, one of the early standard-bearers of Filipino cuisine, has moved from Bethnal Green to Covent Garden.

Read more: Sour, Salty, Sweet: Taste Filipino Cuisine

3. Calvados

Calvados, this century-old apple brandy made in Normandy orchards, has had a facelift in recent years. It is losing its stuffy, traditional image and a new generation of drinkers are discovering its charms. The market has been shaken by newcomer Avallen, which touts modern, colorful packaging and green credentials, claiming that every bottle it produces is carbon negative. East London bar Coupette, meanwhile, has teamed up with cider producer Maison Sassy to create its own brand of calvados, which it uses in cocktails.


A fungus – aspergillus oryzae – commonly used in Japanese cuisine, koji is responsible for fermenting soybeans into soy sauce and miso paste, for example, as well as hundreds of other applications. Top chefs have been using koji behind the scenes for years, but it’s now featured as a featured ingredient on restaurant menus in New York and London, as well as in new food products, such as bacon. of koji in the United States.

5. Vegan Chocolate

Plant-based chocolate is not new, but it is moving from specialist to mainstream. Lindt launched two new vegan bars in January this year, following in the footsteps of Nestlé’s KitKat vegan bars and Hershey’s oat milk bars, both of which appeared in 2021. At the more premium end, the Luxury chocolate brand Firetree has introduced five variety vegan bars, while donut maker Crosstown is also venturing into chocolate bars, with three vegan flavors including passion fruit yuzu.

Macrel of redfish in olive oil, can of fish.

Photographed by Nick Hook

6. Canned fish

Colorful tins of tinned fish have long been a fixture of food culture in countries like Spain and Portugal – and they may soon be more common in the UK too. One of the country’s best-known seafood chefs, Mitch Tonks, recently launched a range of British canned fish under his own Rockfish brand, including Brixham Cuttlefish and Lyme Bay Mussels. Meanwhile, online specialist The Tinned Fish Market sells the continent’s finest preserves in gift boxes or via monthly subscriptions.

7. Baijiu

Baijiu, a Chinese alcoholic beverage distilled primarily from sorghum, may not be familiar to most people, but it’s actually the best-selling and most consumed alcohol in the world. This is largely due to a very healthy domestic market where the drink has been produced and enjoyed for hundreds of years. But today, the big Chinese distilleries are targeting international consumers. Luzhou Laojiao, the oldest operating distillery in China, recently launched a new brand, Ming River, exclusively for the Western market. This has inspired Western distilleries to try their hand at making baijiu: Buffalo Trace released a variety in 2021, while in the UK craft distillers such as VIP Jiu 8 and Baijiu Society are making their own versions, as well than Baijiu flavored beers. , to bring the drink to a whole new audience.

8. Upscale Vegan

The rise of vegan food and restaurants shows no signs of slowing down, and many Michelin-starred chefs have begun to turn to plant-based menus, offering the same level of complex fine dining, but without the ingredients of animal origin. In London, Alexis Gauthier offers gourmet vegan menus at his eponymous Soho restaurant as well as his new outpost, 123V, while American plant-based pioneer Matthew Kenney recently opened a new outpost at Selfridges. In 2021, ONA, near Bordeaux, became France’s first all-vegan restaurant to win a Michelin star, and Daniel Humm’s Eleven Madison Park in New York reopened as an all-vegan destination. However, not everyone is convinced. When Humm attempted to do the same at his London restaurant, Davies and Brook at Claridge’s, the hotel refused and the Swiss-born chef decided to leave.

Read more: 11 of the best restaurants in Europe for gourmet vegan cuisine

9. Kelp

One particular variety of edible greens may become more common in 2022. Kelp, a fast-growing seaweed, is the most notable ocean crop to watch, lauded for its nutritional and environmental benefits as it removes carbon and toxins from the sea. grows. It is also versatile and has already been used by American start-up Akua to make burgers, pasta and jerky jerky.

10. Udon noodles

You can be sure that a budding food trend is here to stay when the big global players get involved. London’s then-nascent burger scene was widely hailed with the arrival of Shake Shack and Five Guys in 2013, for example. Now it’s the turn of Japanese udon noodles, with the UK launching of two huge chains, Murugame Udon and Kineya, both of which have hundreds of locations around the world. The brands now run wildly popular restaurants in London that serve hearty bowls of noodle soup and plan to expand rapidly across the UK.

11. Climatic metering

Consumers may be used to seeing nutrition information on pre-packaged foods, and now they are being asked to make choices that are good for the health of the planet as well as their own. In 2021 a new ‘traffic light’ testing scheme was announced to rank the climate impact of supermarket food products, with major retailers such as M&S and Sainsbury’s signing on; a standardized system on a European scale is also in preparation. Climate-friendly ratings are also found at restaurants, including Chipotle, which offers a sustainability tracker for its ingredients, and Italian pasta chain Miscusi, which recently launched in London and rewards customers for making greener choices when ordering – the most climate-friendly dishes earn extra loyalty points to use on future visits.

12. Yakitori

Deceptively simple Japanese skewers of charcoal-cooked meat or vegetables, yakitori are growing in popularity, with several specialist addresses springing up in London. These include the highly-received Humble Chicken in Soho and Junsei in Marylebone, both of which offer hearts, gizzards, necks and skin alongside more regular cuts of chicken. Other new openings include Apothecary in Shoreditch and Yatay in Soho.

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