Expo West 2022 reveals their top 7 food trends

Eathis magazine reports on the trends at the trade show: plant-based meat, cheese snacks, and much more

Expo West 2022 in California, at the Anaheim Convention Center, was the place to see thousands of food and beverage brands debuting functional, innovative, and solution-oriented products, “many of which will revolutionize grocery aisles permanently,” according to Eatthis magazine. Here are the food trends that will be pillars of new products to come.


With increased consumer interest in natural, healthy sources of energy that don’t result in an afternoon sugar crash, the battle to gain market share and create a drink that both tastes great and is derived from a simple formula without artificial sweeteners, colors, or preservatives will see consumers with a bevy of exciting options on the shelves in the coming months.

As a near-effortless way to boost overall wellness, the swap to these more functional beverages is a straightforward and easy way to hit consumers’ health benchmarks by utilizing the addition of adaptogens, probiotics, fiber, vitamins, and root extracts.


Plant-based has certainly been one of the biggest food trends in the industry over the past five years, and it is still growing. Now the focus has shifted from plant-based beef to plant-based chicken as well as other plant-based alternatives that aren’t trying to be meat (like jackfruit).


Aadaptogens are becoming increasingly prominent across the food landscape despite many consumers still struggling to grasp at exactly what they are. The active ingredients found in plants, mushrooms, and herbs believed to provide health benefits that can increase the body’s ability to respond to stress, anxiety, and fatigue, adaptogens are now found in countless food and beverages from sparkling waters to canned coffees to even whole coffee beans. Regarded for their therapeutic effects in eastern medicine extending back centuries, more well-known examples of adaptogens include: Ashwagandha, Ginseng, Goji Berry, Turmeric, Tulsi or Holy Basil, and Licorice Root.


The faces behind majority shareholders and founders in food and beverage companies is shifting – and fast – with historically underrepresented entrepreneurs introducing flavorful and authentic products to consumers. Whether it be through types of employee-owned models, or new enterprises with BIPOC, Latinx, or Asian-American founders, entrepreneurs are diversifying what ownership and traditional grocery store shelves look like.


Climate change, as well as food and packaging waste, are top of mind for many shoppers, and brands are either revamping their sustainable packaging efforts, overhauling their supply chains, or new companies are popping up solely based on tackling the issue of food waste. Several brands boasted a Regenerative Organic Certified seal, indicating ingredients were produced by methods that advance soil health, animal welfare, and social fairness.


In our increasingly busy worlds, it’s no surprise that consumers are looking for quick and easy ways to get food on the table faster. While previous decades solved that problem with TV dinners or Hamburger Helper, food brands are now tackling the issue with nutrient-dense, flavorful, and creative alternatives regarded to as the food trends to come.

For example, A Dozen Cousins showed off their new seasoning sauces for both rice and meat/meat alternatives. The entree seasoning sauces include flavors like Jamaican jerk and instruct consumers to pour the seasoning pouch onto your meat or meat alternative of choice, coating it thoroughly, then simply bake, broil, or grill it. Mekhala, a Singaporean/Thai whole foods, showed off their Plant-Based Starter Pack that combines a sachet of non-GMO textured pea protein, with a flavor-packed organic and vegan Mekhala sauce.


Since Covid-19, snacking has been on the rise. More than 35% of consumers report snacking more often now than one year ago, with snacking occasions accounting for 48% of all food and beverage, as reported by Food Business News. Consumers are continuing to seek out healthy snacks options, many of which now mimic childhood favorites—similar to how comfort foods started to trend during stay-at-home orders. Cheese snacks fit perfectly with that trend, pairing comfort foods with health food buzzwords like low-carb, keto, and high-protein.

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