Looking at Food Trends for 2022

Words: Crush

Predicting anything for the coming year is risky business… expect nothing and hope everything doesn’t fall apart, right? Well, we thought a bit of light speculation about upcoming food trends for 2022 wouldn’t hurt anyone and could possibly inspire some excitement for the next twelve months. 

So, here’s what (in our opinion) 2022 will bring in terms of food trends. 

Sustainable & Local Foods

Sustainability is the talk of the day, month and year and one of the first places people go to to decrease their carbon footprint is their diet. Environmental consciousness is a major factor in people’s purchasing behaviour and we expect that most large retailers are going to start making the shift to providing sustainable products, packaged in fully recyclable containers. Supporting local food producers is an easy way to reduce your personal carbon footprint, so we’re also expecting a rise in local, specialist retailers becoming more popular among South African consumers. 

Lab to Fork

Yup, you read that correctly. We’ve already been introduced to lab-grown foods, in particular meat, in the past year, but we think it’s going to explode in popularity this year, especially with more people adopting a predominantly plant-based diet. Lab-grown food doesn’t stop at meat though, we’ve heard about dairy-free ice cream that has a molecular structure identical to cow’s milk and lab grown ‘beanless’ coffee. There’s even ‘cacao free’ chocolate doing the rounds! We can’t wait to see what comes next…

Plant-Based… Everything

Remember the days when vegans had to bring their own food to a dinner party, or couldn’t order a takeaway? Well, those days are well and truly over, because it feels like we are seeing new plant-based delicacies pop up every month. Vegans will never go wanting again, because anything meat-eaters can eat, they can eat too (and more sustainably at that).  Plant-based sushi, plant-based charcuterie, plant-based cheese boards, plant-based steak (see above point)… literally anything your heart desires has and will become available in a more environmentally conscious, less harmful version in 2022. 

Social Media Chefs and Tutorials

Many good things came from the pandemic (yes, many did). One of them being the rise of the social media food tutorial trend. Two years ago marked a moment where we all had to suddenly become home cooks — a daunting task that left many feeling anxious for the health and wellbeing of their dependents. However, this critical moment inspired more adept chefs to take to social media and show us how it’s done. We are so happy that the trend is still alive and showing no signs of fizzling out. Lately, we’ve noticed an uptick in ASMR how-to videos — both a relaxing and informative way to learn how to cook dinner! We are never without inspiration and at the swipe of a finger, have access to thousands of recipes and how-to videos.

The Best of your Favourite Restaurant, at Home

Another useful trend that came from the pandemic has been restaurants starting their own lines of packaged condiments. What started as a way to keep the doors open during hard lockdown has become a popular way of keeping people interested in their products. Bao Down sells their in-house sauces and kimchi at selected retailers around Cape Town.

The Rise of ‘Ugly’ Produce

The carbon footprint of food waste is enormous and up to a third of fresh produce gets thrown out because of minor blemishes. Instead of buying your produce from major retailers, start supporting local fruit and veg vendors or ‘veg box’ companies whose fruit often doesn’t look the prettiest, but tastes just as good as produce from large-scale supermarkets.

Cookbooks are King

2021 gave us plenty of delightful cookbooks that are so beautiful and artfully designed and written, they double as coffee table books or nighttime reads! Seeing that many people have taken up home cooking as a hobby, we’re expecting more home-cook-friendly cookbook triumphs in 2022. One recent release we are anxious to read is Cooking at Home by David Chang and Priya Krishna. We’re loving the easy, relaxed and riffable recipes that are coming from the understanding that people do not own restaurant-grade blenders or sous vide machines at home. On the local front, look out for Beer Country’s second cookbook which drops in the second half of 2022 and features everything you need to know and everything you can cook in cast iron.


If all goes well (in South Africa at least), we’re looking at a more ‘dining out friendly’ 2022. The last two years have been without much celebration and it’s taken a toll on many of us. We need to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, even just the end of a week, and the best way to do that is to take yourself out for a delicious meal. We’re keeping our fingers crossed…

If you’re looking for tips on how to go zero-waste or be more sustainable with your food choices, learn more here.

To keep up with all the food trends for 2022, follow us on Instagram.

One comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>