Familiarity and comfort are key when it comes to the USD 170,4 billion specialty food industry, according to the Specialty Food Association’s (SFA) trendspotting panel. Members of the panel researched thousands of specialty food and beverage products from across the globe. Denise Purcell, vice president of content and education for the SFA, used those findings to identify trends that will drive growth in specialty foods consumption in 2022.
While keto and low-carb diets have slowed pasta sales in recent years, a pandemic-driven surge in comfort foods helped revive the category. The SFA expects pasta’s comeback will continue in the year ahead, with new shapes being introduced alongside gluten-free and alternative-grain options. Black rice, pumpkin, red lentils and purple carrots also are bringing “new spins on traditional pasta in Instagram-friendly ways,” said Jonathan Deutsch, founding director of the Drexel Food Core Lab and a member of the SFA’s trendspotting panel.
More meat-free versions of nostalgic favorites are predicted to hit shelves in 2022, making comfort foods more accessible to consumers following alternative diets. Plant-based patties, pea-protein based crumbles to use in tacos, and nuggets made with Chilean seaweed were among the trending innovations highlighted at the SFA’s virtual Fancy Food 24/7 show.
Global flavors offered consumers culinary adventures in lieu of traveling during the pandemic, and their growing prominence may inspire innovation in snacks and treats categories in the year ahead, the SFA predicted. Examples from Fancy Food 24/7 include keto-friendly snack bars in Thai flavors, potato chips from Spain in foie gras flavor and peanuts flavored with turmeric and chili. Also on display at the digital event were Latin American-inspired ice cream flavors and white chocolate moringa-infused bars topped with pinipig, a traditional Filipino ingredient of pounded and toasted young glutinous rice.
Finally, immune system health emerged as a key priority for consumers during the pandemic, but the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of some functional foods also are gaining traction for their purported anti-aging benefits. Functional gummies and drinkable cosmetic oils were on display at Fancy Food 24/7 alongside a butterfly pea flower extract and beverages pairing mango with collagen.
Source: Specialty Food Association Date: November-2021
Effects on Costa Rica’s exports
The rich diversity of natural beauty and microclimates of Costa Rica creates a fertile land for the growth of the most exotic, diverse, and select agricultural produce, as well as many other natural ingredients used to prepare our food specialties, ready to be exported to the rest of the world. Today, the excellence, innovation and sustainability has made the offer of food produced in Costa Rica unique and supported by high international standards.
As October 2021, the Costa Rican food sector registered exports over USD 1.7 billion, our main destinations were Mexico (13%), Guatemala (12%), US (10%) and the Netherlands (10%).
If you are interested in learning more about Costa Rica’s food specialties, please let us know at [email protected]
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