Has TikTok Cancelled the Family Recipe? 10 Massive Food Trends Right Now
Forget grandma’s old recipe book, today’s cooks turn to TikTok for inspiration! From CBD cooking to home-grown ingredients, food and drink are catering to the new, conscious consumer, while digital dining is changing the restaurant experience and big food names set up shop on the metaverse.
The future of food is sustainable, health-conscious, and driven by the same kind of rapid digital innovation that’s taken a blade to the traditional world of work. Those are just some of the headlines from a new report released by customer collaboration and insights company Bulbshare.
The report reveals some surprising trends: Not only is today’s consumer an experimental health idealist and ecologically minded, but they’re also more likely to embrace the possibilities technology can bring to their relationship with food, and to want to grow their own food.
“The past two years have dramatically changed almost every aspect of our lives, from the way we work to how we play and workout,” says Bulbshare CEO Matt Hay. “Food, fundamental as it is to our survival, is no exception. The next 12 months will see revolutionary new consumer behaviours, progressive lifestyles and eccentric eating habits.”
With that in mind, here are the top 10 trends that will define the future of food.
1. Digital Dining
QR codes made a major comeback in 2020, with restaurants using them to allow customers contactless access to menus. But their potential applications go much further. They also have the potential to become an augmented reality portal into nights ‘out’ with friends and family across the world. That’s especially powerful in a time of disconnect.
QR codes aren’t the only way digital technology will change eating out either. Restaurants could, for example, recreate physical spaces in the metaverse (as Chipotle has already done in the Roblox gaming platform).
We could also see interactive VR menus that let you envision your food before ordering and new landscapes for online dating. Small wonder then that 58% of respondents picture 2022 embracing virtual hospitality.
2. Freshly Clicked Food
Where family recipes were once closely guarded secrets, people can now access a galaxy of recipes at their fingertips. Trends catch like wildfire until everyone is recreating ‘the TikTok pasta recipe’ with feta and tomatoes or whipping their own Dalgona.
And the more people get involved, the further the word spreads. In fact, 54% of respondents source their recipes on social media, particularly TikTok.
3. Waste-Free Cooking
There’s no room for waste. 79% of the respondents are initiating waste-free cooking this year, and as sustainability grows ever more important, using every part of every ingredient will be the new norm.
In this world, citrus peels won’t be tossed away but might find renewed uses in homemade syrups or even DIY cleaning products. Vegetable peels and broccoli stems will become freezable stock, parmesan rinds will be melted into soup for an indulgent undertone, and carrot tops may well be fed to pets as treats.
4. Mushroom Magic
People are paying attention to what they consume, and more and more, they’re looking for superfoods that can pack nourishment. One in two respondents thinks mushrooms are a superfood and think mushroom powder, mushroom coffee, and mushroom shakes are the future.
While mushrooms are the ones to watch right now, they’re not the only superfood on the menu, with 65% of respondents vowing to incorporate more brain foods into their diet, and 80% intending to eat more healthily overall.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that CBD is much more than a passing trend. In the UK alone, the CBD market was predicted to generate £690-million in sales for 2021, vastly surpassing previous predictions. It should hardly be surprising then that 54% of respondents predicted CBD will be even more popular this year especially in cooking.
6. Sourcing Locally and Growing your Own
The past two years taught us exactly how important the communities we live in are. One of the best ways to support those communities is to source our food locally. It’s also a far more sustainable approach than buying produce shipped from across the world.
As such, 68% of respondents will be sourcing food locally and 42% will be growing their own food - with 58% predicting the trend will grow. Moreover, 60% are attempting to only eat low air-mile food.
7. Home-Cooked and Wholesome
Far from being sick of cooking after spending the best part of two years at home, people are keener than ever to make homemade food. Some 80% of respondents report wanting to cook more at home arguing that it gives them greater visibility of what goes into their meals. Half of respondents also feel more confident in the kitchen post-Covid-19.
8. The Continued Rise of Subscription Services
Something that may be aiding with that confidence is the ongoing rise of food subscription services. Initially the preserve of startups such as HelloFresh and Blue Apron, big-name retailers are now jumping on the bandwagon too. The rise of these services can be attributed to cost, convenience, curation, and potential for personalisation.
61% of the community have tried a subscription service before (although at least half admit to signing up just to get the first box free) while 43% of respondents said they would engage in a food subscription service this year.
9. Abstemious Alcohol and Sober Spirits
Despite all the jokes about people using alcohol to get through lockdown, people are actually trying to take a healthier approach to drinking. Some 59% of respondents expect alcoholic abstinence to be a trend over the following months.
Additionally, 83% are familiar with dry January, and 30% put a lid on the bottle for the month. Of those who abstained in January, 40% hope to carry on their healthier relationship with alcohol into the following months. Around 52% of respondents also think alcohol free spirits will be a big trend.
10. Pea Milk, Potato Milk and Plant Based Produce
Once on the fringe, now a mainstream movement, we’ve witnessed an increase both in vegans and in the products available to them. It’s not just veganism that is on the rise - it is all of the many versions and offshoots it has, from vegetarianism, pescetarianism, and flexitarianism.
In fact, half of the UK customer community have tried to cut out meat in some way during their lifetime, with 12% of our community being vegan, 7% identifying as plant-based, 19% classified as vegetarian, 13% being flexitarian, and 8% being pescetarian.
Some 48% of the community think veganism will become an even bigger trend this year - and 61% think plant-based foods will be more popular. More than half (51%) of respondents said they drink vegan milk alternatives, with soy and almond milk voted as most popular types and Alpro voted as the most popular brand.
Of those who had previously dropped meat in their diet, 88% were also drinking plant milk. And it doesn’t stop there - 60% of people think dairy-free milk will become an even bigger trend.
A milk trend we may not have anticipated though, is the rise of pea milk, with 49% of the community saying they are seeing pea and potato milk now more than ever - and 1 in 5 expecting it to become more popular due to its low carbon footprint.