Macro Trends to Watch 2022 | Page 2

While consumers find comfort in traditional and familiar flavors , unexpected and unique twists in taste are enticing more and more consumers . Cuisine exploration is on the rise as consumers look to travel the world through their tastebuds with newer trending flavors like yuzu , hibiscus , ube , and tzatziki .
As restaurant restrictions lifted this past year and consumers look to explore cultural diversity , it is a good time for brands to share authentic cuisine from around the world with others . While Mexican , Italian , and Chinese cuisines dominate as the most reached international cuisine types , younger generations , like Gen Z , are driving consumption of African and Mediterranean cuisines and bridging the gap of mainstream and emerging international dishes .
In recent years , there has been a rise in plant-based meats and sugar substitute demand . However , those mainstream substitutes and meat alternatives are not cutting it . Consumers are also demanding simpler and real ingredients from brands . In the next year , KeHE experts predict the continued rise of plant-based varieties such as ready-to-eat meats and alternatives for eggs , an increase in demand for allulose as a sugar replacement , and new categories utilizing food technology .
“ Sober-curious ” or “ mindful drinks ” are two terms referring to those that are abstaining or selecting alcohol-free options . The rise of this trend stems from the cultural dominance of mindfulness , legalization of alternatives to alcohol , deepening health & wellness understandings , along with shifting spaces of consumption and ways of socialization . In fact , 31 % of adults over the age of 22 consumed an alcoholic beverage less than once per month or not at all over the last three months . A large driver of the trend is Gen Z , with 24 % saying they do not drink alcohol often or at all when dining out because of health reasons .