With 2022 now on the horizon, Head of Process at Integrated Food Projects, Ed Keenan, gives his predictions for the top food and drink trends for next year.
Over the past year, COVID-19 has continued to impact on our lives in many ways, including our shopping and eating habits. The combination of Brexit and the pandemic have seen lasting changes to supply chains. Innovation in the food and drink sector continues at a great pace, finding solutions to environmental challenges and meeting changing consumer demands.
High end frozen ready meals: Having already felt the impact of various supply chain issues, consumers are seeing the benefits of having frozen foods in stock at home. Although many consumers perceive frozen foods to be lower quality there is a huge gap in the market for high-end frozen foods which I expect to be filled over the coming year.
Mushroom drinks: From relaxing teas to mushroom coffees and energy drinks, we’re only just starting to understand some of the benefits that mushrooms can provide and it will be the drinks sector that sees the biggest increase in mushroom-based products.
Vegan Butchers: There are still only a handful of vegan butchers dotted around the UK, but the roaring success of these are examples that the model works will no doubt inspire others to follow suit, I expect to see the major multiples adding vegan butcheries to their in-store offerings at some point during the year.
CBD foods: While we’re seeing the odd CBD drink appear on the shelves, I expect to see an increase in the range of snacks aimed at improving focus and attention, and sports performance.
High-end delivery: Think Michelin star takeaway deliveries, many high-end restaurants pivoted to become takeaway only during previous lockdowns and there is proven market demand for this service to continue.
Meal kits: This has been a growing trend over the past few years, but I expect the category to mature this year as more people want to make something special from scratch.
Food subscriptions: With a move towards increased online shopping and delivery services that are better equipped to handle chilled and frozen products, a growing number of manufacturers are dealing directly with their customers through mail order subscription services, cutting out the supermarkets altogether whilst also ensuring repeat purchases.
Closed-loop packaging re-use: Companies like TerraCycle with their Loop system will become commonplace as the climate debate intensifies, expect to see both supermarkets and brands attempting to operate their own systems too.
Core ranges (fewer options within ranges): A nice way of saying less choice. Another trend initially necessitated by general supply chain issues.
Higher prices: I’m afraid this is inevitable and actually long overdue. The price of foods will be increasing over the year due to the compounded increases within the supply chain.
Integrated Food Projects have partnered with Kettleby Foods on a number of high-profile multi-million pound capital projects since 2003/4, helping the business to develop and grow. Throughout that time they have provided cost-effective and efficient solutions on development projects both at our existing ready meals production facility and also in creating a new satellite facility. The projects at our existing facility were managed without impact on our ability to service our own clients, and all projects have been delivered within budget, in a timely fashion and to the requisite standards of safety and quality. Their team work ethos and professional approach ensure successful projects and I would utilise Integrated Food Projects in the future without hesitation.
- Jarrod Thorndyke, Production Director
I have worked with Integrated Food Projects on many capital expenditure projects since 2004, the latest being the development of the new plot of land adjacent to our main site. They successfully employed a project delivery process to ensure the integration of a leased modular building solution with the development of the site infrastructure to improve logistics and Health and Safety. Their staff are always positive and enthusiastic and have fostered a team-work approach ensuring another successful project delivered. I look forward to working with them again in the near future.
- Engineering Manager, Major UK Ready Meals Manufacturer