2022 trends in the UK Food & Drink industry

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The UK Food & Drink industry is thriving and continues to grow at a rapid pace. This growing industry has a huge impact on our life, so it is important that we understand it. In this article, we look at some of the trends shaping this industry right now — and beyond!

One of the big trends we’re seeing in the UK food and drink industry is a rise in healthy eating. People are becoming more health-conscious: they’re looking for products with low calories, trying to cut their sugar intake or consuming products with health benefits.

The UK offers a wide range of low calories products from low calories ice cream to low calories alcohol such as Prosecco containing only 63 calories per glass. In just minutes you can have access to the long list of healthier options on each grocery store’s website.

Non-alcoholic drinks are also becoming more popular than ever before. Brands like Clean G, which offers alternative sugar and alcohol-free options, have started to gain ground in this category.

Finally, consumers are also looking for products offering health benefits. With the increase in demand for CBD-based products, we are seeing a growing interest from customers looking to buy these items. A study done in 2019 showed the CBD sales in Europe reaching $405 million (growing 26% over 2018) predicting the UK to have the second highest growth in market size through 2025. Trip is one of many UK’s leading premium brands that offer CBD-infused drinks. Leading food futurologist, Dr Morgaine Gaye, predicts that CBD will be a big player on the ingredients list of many foods because of its wellness benefits. In fact, the FSA has recently updated the list of CBD products, adding an additional 6,000 products. If you have any concerns about which products are allowed to be sold you can access the list at: UK CBD list — list of cbd products allowed to be sold in the uk — UK CBD LIST. This can also be used to find any gaps in the market! However, beware of growth being resisted by changes in food regulations — which is less likely in the UK as there is a moratorium on enforcement.

Lastly, the gut-friendly trend is still going strong with products like kombucha, kefir and hydration drinks.

From a sustainability perspective, there is no better time than now to be in business. The rise of veganism and vegetarianism has led many people towards environmentally friendly practices that can help our planet recover from all the damage we’ve done. People are becoming more aware of food wastage, and are buying locally whenever possible or consuming seasonal foods only during their respective seasons — which helps limit their carbon footprint.

Loop is an example of a company that has successfully tapped into the growing ‘returnable’ market, allowing shoppers to return back the packages of the products they have consumed in exchange for a financial incentive.

Other companies have decided to develop refillable products. This is the case with Waitrose, Morrisons and M&S which have introduced refill stations to reduce plastic waste.

Due to covid restrictions not allowing travel abroad in recent years, people have been looking for new cuisines in the UK. 6 out of 10 said they are likely to explore new venues that offer interesting cuisines. People want to experience flavours that aren’t originating from their home country. Japanese cuisine has become popular in recent years with restaurants like Itsu offering Japanese dishes such as udon noodles, yakitori skewers, matcha lattes and koji rice crackers.

The rise of exotic flavours is a trend that will continue into 2022. Some inspiration for your brand could be found in niche cuisines such as Peruvian, Filipino or Burmese (which have similar ingredients to those found in Chinese, Indian and Thai cuisines, which British people are known to love). There are over 300K Filipinos living in the UK, meaning you can play to the power of nostalgia and culture to generate interest and grow an appreciation for this well-deserving cuisine.

The vegan market has grown exponentially over the last few years, and it continues to grow. It’s estimated that there are approximately 79 million vegans worldwide. Awareness of the benefits of a vegan lifestyle continues to grow, as people learn about animal welfare issues and environmental impact. In addition, many people who don’t wish to be completely vegan are choosing to be “flexitarians” (eating mostly plant-based foods with some animal products). This means they may cut down on their meat intake or eliminate it altogether but still eat eggs and dairy products occasionally.

There have been many new products appearing on supermarket shelves in recent years, including vegetable-based milk such as potato milk from the Swedish brand, called Dug; oat milk; coconut yoghurt; almond butter; almond cheese; vegan chocolate bars made with fair trade cocoa by Pico Chocolate.

TikTok is one of the most popular apps among young people in the UK and it’s rapidly increasing in popularity. The app is used to post quick 15 sec — 3 min videos over music or voiceovers. The number of UK TikTok users rose from 9.8 million in 2020 to over 13.3 million in 2021. By 2022, TikTok user growth is expected to be 7.6% in the UK. TikTok’s trending foods such as ‘cloud bread’ got 3.3 billion views; ‘whipped coffee’ at 2.4 billion; pancake cereal at 1.6 billion, showing the astounding power of TikTok over the younger generation. On top of this, the TikTok algorithm tracks consumers’ behaviour so only displays content relevant to their interests. As a result, the For You page is highly personalised for each user. TikTok makes tailored recommendations, meaning businesses that are trying to appeal to a specific type of person are likely to reach that exact audience. Someone who watches a lot of recipe videos will be shown similar content, pairing them with videos that can solve their needs or wants. It also heavily influences the market; in March, a pasta recipe that spread quickly on TikTok led to a feta cheese shortage! After all, people like to follow trends, and the trends are controlled by TikTok.

Do you want to explore the Food & Beverage trends? operviser can help you explore your chosen market and get more insights before launching your new product in the UK. For more information, contact our team at contact@operviser.com.

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