Potato milk and ‘climatarianism’ will be 2022’s biggest food trends, report finds

A new report from Waitrose has said that people eat less meat and cook at home more due to pandemic

Saman Javed
Tuesday 26 October 2021 00:05 BST
A person eats a vegetarian meal
A person eats a vegetarian meal (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Sure, you’ve tried almond milk, oat milk and even gone full-circle back to dairy-based milk, but have you tried potato milk?

This “milk” derived from potatoes is set to be one of 2022’s biggest food trends, a new report from Waitrose has found.

The report adds that social media is influencing more of our food and drink choices, which is why potato milk could become a popular plant-based alternative.

In September, research by Mintel found that one third of British people now drink plant-based milk, with oat milk being the most popular vegan alternative.

“Now it’s the turn of potato milk. Low in sugar and saturated fat, it’s set to dominate coffee shop menus in the coming months,” the report said.

Other food trends the supermarket predict will be big in 2022 include umami flavours, craft pre-batched bottled cocktails and climatarianism – a diet focussed on reducing your carbon footprint.

It also found that people are more likely to cook at home, eat less meat and waste less food than they did before the pandemic.

The supermarket said a year of three national lockdowns and social restrictions has turned the public into a “nation of homebodies”.

More than half of those surveyed (53 per cent) said they enjoy spending time at home more than they used to, while 50 per cent said they planned to go out less in the evenings despite restrictions having lifted in July.

Those aged between 18 and 34 are likely to stay in more – a sign that the “homebody” stereotype isn’t confined to the older generations, Waitrose said in its report.

People are also more likely to entertain at home, with 25 per cent of respondents saying they plan to have more dinner parties than they did before the pandemic.

This increased inclination to socialise at home led to one in five people investing in a new barbecue while one in 10 said they have installed an outdoor bar. Additionally, sales of pizza ovens rose by 195 per cent at Waitrose’s sister company, John Lewis.

James Bailey, executive director at Waitrose, said people fell “back in love” with their homes in the past year.

“We’ve rediscovered the fun, creativity and sense of togetherness that food brings to our households and many have embraced the inspiration that we get from popping to the shops to pick up our groceries.

“The majority of the people we surveyed told us the pandemic has fundamentally changed their outlook: they’re more conscious of their mental and physical health, they’re enjoying life’s simple pleasures, and they’ve embraced the importance of family and friends.”

As supermarkets limited the number of customers inside their stores during the height of the pandemic, and Public Health England revealed that people were exposed to Covid-19 at the supermarket, many turned to online shopping.

A quarter of Waitrose shoppers said they bought food online for the first time in the last year, but 50 per cent said they planned to resume shopping at physical stores now restrictions have been lifted.

People’s social media habits have also had an influence on their grocery shopping. Waitrose said it saw an increase in sales of feta cheese after the famed “feta pasta” went viral on TikTok.

After one TikTok user, Amy Wilichowski posted a video of herself making her fried eggs in a bed of pesto, sales of the sauce rose by 108 per cent in one week.

“These platforms are the way that people express themselves and share ideas and enjoyment. Food on these platforms is creative, exciting and fast-moving,” Bailey said.

Members of the public have also become more environmentally conscious. Of those who completed Veganuary, 82 per cent said they had dramatically reduced their meat consumption, only eating it two days a week.

Additionally, 75 per cent said they tried harder not to waste food this year, while 70 per cent said they have made an effort to reduce the amount of plastic packaging they take into their homes.

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