woman drinking green juice

Top Diet Trends for 2022: What Food Companies Should Know

As we emerge from lockdown, some significant diet trends are emerging. Check out the top consumer trends in diets for 2021 and what they’ll mean for food and beverage companies in 2022.

2021 Diet Trends

The pandemic has brought on major changes in people’s lifestyles this year, from where they work to how they socialize to what they eat. These shifts continue to shape consumer perceptions and behaviors in new ways, particularly around health and nutrition. With this in mind, here’s a look at the top diet trends expected for this year and next:

1. Immune Supporting

The COVID-19 situation has created a buzz around immune system health, with everyone from public health officials to food bloggers weighing in. Key recommendations for optimizing immune function include managing stress levels, getting adequate sleep, and eating the right foods—particularly fruits, vegetables, and functional foods that deliver immune benefits.

For immune-supporting functional foods, the most in-demand ingredients are vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, probiotics, and adaptogens such as echinacea, turmeric, and ginger. A custom premix of immune-support ingredients is an easy way to upgrade a food or beverage to meet this growing need. Diets focused on supporting the immune system will continue to be in the spotlight through the new year. 

2. Keto Diet

While the Keto diet is not new, it is still trending as a popular diet with consumers in 2021, especially among those who are looking to kick start a new healthy eating program. The Keto diet is a very low carb, high fat diet that aims to put the consumer’s body into a metabolic state called ketosis. 

The staggering volume of Google searches for keto snack options indicates continuing consumer interest in convenient, indulgent Keto-friendly eating choices. Food manufacturers are paying attention, with products like Perfect Keto’s Banana Bread Keto Bars, Rhythm Superfoods Kale Chips, and CHOMPS Grass Fed Beef Jerky Meat Snack Sticks becoming popular snacking choices.

To learn more about our latest Keto-inspired solution, KetoSure™ MCT, click here

3. Plant-Based

The plant-based diet is going strong. Besides addressing consumer trends in sustainable foods and adventurous eating, plant-forward eating is fully in line with healthy eating recommendations to support general wellness and immunity. Products featuring well-known superfoods—such as berries, quinoa, chia seeds, and avocado—are especially appealing due to their high levels of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

seeds

The plant-based diet also embraces protein derived from plant sources, especially for center-of-the-plate options. Recent meat shortages stemming from COVID-19 led to many consumers trying plant-based meats for the first time and undoubtedly discovering how versatile and tasty they are. Manufacturers can address this shift toward flexitarian eating through expanded plant-based offerings, especially those featuring popular superfoods and plant proteins like pea, flaxseed, and hemp proteins.

4. Volumetrics

Stay-at-home orders have given consumers ample opportunity to snack throughout the day, while at the same time restricting physical activities like sports and working out at the gym. Weight gain as a result of COVID-19 is expected to impact consumer’s interest in weight loss strategies and products in the months ahead. A trending example of this is the volumetrics diet.

The volumetrics diet has been gaining attention recently for reportedly helping people shed pounds while still allowing them to eat until they feel full. For many consumers, this represents a more realistic option than other weight loss diets like the keto diet or intermittent fasting. Since emphasizing low-calorie, high-water foods like broth-based soups, non-fat milk, and non-starchy vegetables is at the heart of this approach, this provides a key opportunity for manufacturers who currently produce these types of products.

5. MIND Diet

Another diet gaining traction—particularly among seniors—is the MIND diet (short for “Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay”). This diet, which combines aspects of the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet, is based on recent research showing reduced risk of cognitive decline among those with diets rich in so-called brain-healthy food groups (such as berries, leafy greens, beans, red wine, and olive oil).

senior couple making salad

Food and beverage manufacturers can tap into the growing interest in cognitive health by incorporating ingredients from the brain-healthy food groups into their products. Another approach is to use a custom premix to create functional foods specifically for brain health. A custom premix might include a blend of omega 3s, vitamin E, and resveratrol, for example. With the COVID-19 outbreak driving many seniors to reevaluate their lifestyle habits, expect growing interest in the MIND diet and brain support products.

Healthy Ingredients to Support Today’s Trends

Consumer trends in health and wellness play a significant role in the types of food and beverage products that consumers look for. Staying on top of trends allows manufacturers to deliver the right ingredients to meet consumers’ needs. 

We have many solutions to help you navigate these consumer trends. From our bioactive ingredients like KetoSure™ MCT that supports a Ketogenic diet, our plant-based solutions, to our custom premix solutions like All N Off-the-Shelf Premixes allowing you to use our base immunity, Keto or superfood blends as a starting point for your new product formulations. 

Get in touch to learn more about our solutions that can help you meet these diet trends. 

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