Based on the new developments showcased at the Anuga Trade Fair – the worldwide go-to fair when it comes to food trends – and the analyses by the most prestigious market research companies, such as Innova Market Insight and Mintel, in this article we will discuss some of the most important food industry trends that will leave their mark in 2022. When making our pick, we have taken into account factors as diverse as the sector’s situation, new habits, consumer demands and needs, and the current global landscape. Keep reading!



The most important food industry trends that will lead the market

Healthy eating by sticking to varied diets composed of natural and healthy products, prioritising vegetables over animal foods, as well as a mindful, sustainable consumption that is respectful of the environment, are the new habits of a significant part of consumers across the globe.


With the main goal of adapting to these new consumer customs, needs and requirements, in 2022 companies of the food sector will need to adjust their production processes to make them more sustainable while ensuring that they reduce their footprint on the environment. This requires a proactive, decisive mind-set that fosters recycling and emission reductions.


In parallel, the food industry as a whole will need to work hard to make high quality products with more natural and healthier ingredients, being highly transparent in informing their origin and the process that they undergo.


To sum up, a shift towards a more sustainable, responsible and ecological production will be the most important trend of the food industry in 2022.



  • 1. Sustainability through and through

The concept of sustainability will be understood in a global sense, encompassing a wide range of product and process characteristics – including the ingredients, the preparation and even the packaging.


Consumer expectations when it comes to sustainability will be higher than ever, which will force companies to prioritise their eco-efficiency, especially in regard to the use of recyclable, reusable and biodegradable products.



  • 2. Proteins? Yes, but only plant-based

The popularisation of plant-based proteins is one of the most ground-breaking trends. The preference for these types of proteins started becoming noticeable in the year 2020, it saw a great increase in 2021 and it is expected to explode the following years.


The greatest consumers of plant-based proteins are millennials – a sector of the population that is greatly concerned with food sustainability, who like to try new foods and renewed diet concepts.



  • 3. Global awareness regarding the state of the planet

One of the greatest trends in the immediate future will be that consumers will demand companies increasingly decisive actions to put a stop to the climate and energy emergency we are currently experiencing.


The rising awareness in society in relation to the need to apply sustainable and ecological production systems will force companies to adopt proactive outlooks in that regard. They will also need to implement concrete measures that are ambitious, effective and result-oriented: higher energy efficiency, reduction of CO2 and other noxious emissions, fair treatment of animals, ethical production systems and fair trade actions.



  • 4. Less fear of processed products

Mintel has published an extensive study related to food trends which thoroughly analyses the future  of the food industry. One of the most striking conclusions due to its apparent contradictory nature in a context that is characterised by an increasing preference for healthy food is this: consumers will be less apprehensive about processed foods.


The reason for this trend lies in the trust people have for cutting-edge technology applied to food, as it is increasingly perceived as more capable of creating foods and beverages with healthier and more sustainable processing techniques. 



  • 5. New social habits

Global sustainability and the planet’s health has become the main concern among consumers – even surpassing personal health. Innova Market Insights, the world information platform for the food & beverage industry, has identified the universal demand for trust in a sustainable future as the top consumer behaviour driver for the upcoming year.



Related content: Dairy alternative products, a growing category in search of the best nuts


  • 6. From ready-to-eat to snacks

Another leading trend is snacks. But not your classic potato chip bags… nor your low-calorie candy bars. Trending snacks are characterised by having natural and healthy ingredients, including nuts; varied, international flavours; sustainable packaging and clean labels – meaning clear and transparent information about the ingredients, allergens and the manufacture of each product.



  • 7. Clean label: where does this food come from?

The clean label food trend is nothing new, but it has now evolved, going beyond the information about the ingredients. Now, the transparency of the information contained on labels encompass a number of aspects, including production, ecological and ethical factors.


Another key aspect is food traceability; in other words, informing all the players involved in the food chain – including, naturally, the consumer – about the origin, movement and final application of each and every one of the ingredients of a food product.



  • 8. Hi-tech agricultural revolution

Another major trend for the food industry looking into the future is the application of cutting-edge technology in agriculture, which will translate, during the next decade, into a radical transformation for the sector: vertical farming, harvest robotics and all kinds of technological innovations that will increase product supply and quality. A true agricultural revolution is expected to take place as we head towards 2030, based on bleeding-edge technologies.



The role of nuts in food industry innovation

Nuts satisfy many of these trends and consumer drivers, and this makes them an increasingly attractive ingredient for both manufacturers and consumers. 


In fact, according to information by Innova Market Insights, the use of almonds as an ingredient rose by 12% in 2019 worldwide, and a total of 12,206 new products containing almonds in their composition were launched on the market. 


In addition, according to the same source, when analysing the use of peanut or peanut paste as an ingredient in the development of new products, we can see that Europe leads the world market of new launches containing peanuts – especially in appetisers, spreads, chocolates and confectionery, as well as sauces and appetisers when referring to peanut paste.



You may like: Chocolate confectionery trends: plant-based, healthy indulgence and texture innovation



Are you considering adding nuts to a new product formulation? At Itac Professional, B2B brand of Importaco Group, we can help you, since we are expert nut producers and, thanks to our multi-sectorial experience, we can offer specific solutions to each segment of the food industry.


If you need to include walnuts or other nuts to your food products or you believe we can help your business grow in any way, do not hesitate to contact us and our team will offer you personalised advice to find the most satisfactory solution.



almond and peanut NPD




 download report





Main sources:

Mintel. Global food and drink trends 2020 to 2030

Innova Market Insights. Top Ten Trends for 2022

Food Trends at Anuga 2021



Go to Top