200+ experts shared deep insights for Top 12 food trends in their respective areas of expertise. Food safety will be in focus in 2022. 70.8% of the panel weighed in on the need for clean, hygienically packaged meats and seafood from trusted sources.

The fifth edition of the Top 12 food trends report by Godrej was unveiled by Nadir Godrej, Chairman and Managing Director, Godrej Industries Limited, in the presence of the who’s who of the culinary space in India.

Started as an annual initiative in 2018, Godrej Foods Trends Report 2022 – Collector’s Edition. It is the fifth year that Godrej began publishing the annual holistic report on the food industry. It is a compilation of inputs from 200+ food experts, restaurateurs, top chefs, and bloggers.

Some of the notable food personalities whose inputs have brought life to this year’s report, include Chef Ranveer Brar, Chef Vicky Ratnani, Kunal Vijayakar, Tara Deshpande, Monika Manchanda, Roshni Bajaj Sanghvi, Anushruti, Chef Rakhee Vaswani, Chef Varun Inamdar, Debolina Ray, Priyadarshini Chatterjee and Chef Ajay Chopra.

Some key findings that have emerged for 2022 are:

  • SNACKING – With health in sharp focus, 55.6% predict millet-based snacks will be in demand.
  • FOOD SAFETY AND HYGIENE: Food safety will be in focus in 2022. 70.8% of the panel weighed in on the need for clean, hygienically packaged meats and seafood from trusted sources.
  • DIETARY FAT: Consumption and rotation of fats in the diet will be an important conversation in 2022, more than 80% of our panel see cold-pressed unrefined oils being popular. While 71% predict gourmet premium gee varieties will grow.
  • DESSERTS: 61.7% of the panel predict desserts with healthier claims will prevail. 57.4% predict bite-sized, portion-controlled desserts will be popular. Indian Mithai will see a marked more than 40% of the panel weighing in on a growing sense of pride in traditional, regional Indian sweets.
  • BEVERAGES: India has woken up to Gourmet Indian coffee. 70% of the expert panel predict Gourmet Indian coffee as the top focus in 2022 in the Non-Alcoholic Beverage Segment, while more than 50% see Gourmet Indian origin artisanal coffee/tea brands being popular in homes.

Here are the top 12 food trends Indian culinary experts predicted this year:

Food for Wellness in Focus

2020 was about eating for comfort. 2021 was about discovering the richness of Indian regional cuisine. 2022 will be about recognising eating for wellness. We will continue to rediscover our culinary roots, savour our oil and ghee, support locals, and take pride in all things Indian. The focus will be on traditional food systems, inherent wisdom in culinary practices, and building a connection with what we eat.

Artisanal ice cream will be ‘cool’

A growing desire for real food with real ingredients has created a shift in the segment of ice cream and frozen dessert, bringing artisanal ice cream into the limelight. Innovation and small-batch production mean endless possibilities, with organic milk, indigenous ingredients, and diet-specific offerings like high protein, probiotic-rich, and diabetic-friendly. Ice cream lovers will get their fix of fun with health topping!

Burgers and sandwiches reinvented

With in-home dining being the preferred choice, chefs, restaurants and cloud kitchens have found a new muse in humble burgers and sandwiches. This category lends itself to packaging and transportation and is rich with innovation potential. From house-made breads and spreads to vegan and plant-based patties and gourmet meats, 2022 will see the industry laying out an array of alternatives in global flavours on burger and sandwich menus.

Demand for clean, hygienic packaged meat

In the wake of the pandemic, protein’s strong link to immunity-boosting has come to the fore. A growing focus on quality protein intake will see consumers increasingly seeking clean, pedigree, untouched, hygienically packaged poultry, meat and seafood from sanitised facilities and trusted sources and direct-to-consumer delivery formats to bring them to the home kitchen.

Desire for nutritionally conscious snacking solutions

Until now, the focus was on comfort and indulgence. As flexible routines continue into 2022, and wellness becomes a top priority, snacking solutions that address individual preferences and nutrition requirements are set to explore. Expect to see protein-optimised, millet- and seed-enriched, superfood-fortified, sugar-free, gluten-free, vegan, and other options.

Indian spirits in the spotlight

The wave began with craft gin, expanded into whiskey, then rum and beyond. The excitement around artisanal has been growing in the Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL) segment with a definitive shift towards made in India. Expect to see explosive growth in the segment from homegrown Indian brands, even as indigenous Indian spirits like feni and mahua, once categorised as country liquor, are gaining a strong footing in national and global markets.

Ingredient and provenance driven menus

Conversations about the origin of our ingredients have been gaining traction among consumers and the industry alike as we engage more intimately with our food. Add to this a government push for recognition and support of native food products through GI tags and other initiatives. All the signs point to 2022 bringing the value of provenance on restaurant menus into sharp focus with local, sustainable ingredient-forward dishes.

Prolific innovation in the vegan food space

With chefs, restaurants and consumers all becoming increasingly conscious of the impact of our food systems on environmental wellbeing, conversations around vegan practices have been growing. The consumer will demand more in the category, and the industry will invest heavily in delivering plant-based, vegan-friendly options for diners of every persuasion, vegan, vegetarian or reducetarian.

Pride in culinary identity

The dawning awareness of the true richness of our culinary heritage, the inherent wisdom around wellness that is to be found in traditional culinary practices, an inward focus on study and documentation of culinary heritage at both the individual and professional level are all driving a new and wonderful sense of pride in culinary identity that we will see manifest into rich opportunities for discovery in years to come.

Growing interest in tribal culinary cultures

2022 will see a lot of effort invested into documenting native cultures, understanding the nutrition and science behind inherent practices, and preserving and propagating native produce and ingredients through Geographical Index (GI) tagging.

Protein will be the buzzword

As protein becomes a buzzword in mainstream conversations, thanks to linkages to immunity-boosting wellness, and nutrition, protein will no longer be the sole premise of those looking to build muscle tone or body mass but be in focus for everyone conscious of overall wellness, health and immunity. Protein-rich foods like paneer, chicken, seafood, meat, legumes and plant-derived protein foods that are quick to cook and adaptable to flavour will see a huge demand in 2022.

Shift to regular rotation of dietary fats

The increased focus on eating for wellness and a deeper exploration of traditional diets and cooking practices has brought dietary fat into sharp focus. Consumers will focus on integrating a diversity of fats into their diet, and home kitchens will see a regular rotation of oil and ghee to increase the flavour and boost the nutritional value of food.

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