What's going to be the top diet trend of 2022? Based on feedback and communication with our customer base at Clean Eatz Kitchen, here are some musings on what's happening in the food world and where we see the future of some of these eating styles going.
1. Keto Diet is Fading - We continue to see a declining interest in the keto diet. The ketogenesis diet, which focuses on high fat, low carbs and low protein, putting your body into a state of "ketosis" maxed out around 2019. It held steady into 2020 but began to fade over 2021. The science that the keto diet is based on is a bit rocky and adhering to a strict keto diet is generally not fun from a consumption stand point.
2. High Protein, Low Carb is in - A modification of the keto diet that we are seeing pick up steam is the light keto, lazy keto, or HPLC-type of diet. Essentially, the adherents are saying, "we know carbs aren't good but cutting them out entirely sucks". Carbs taste good. They're fun to eat. They fill you up. They're abundant and cheap. So we are seeing people gravitate to what we feel is a long-term, sustainable, healthy diet - meals with higher protein and fat counts that still include small servings of carbohydrates.
3. Vegetarian/Vegan mean well - While vegetarianism, veganism and meat alternatives have been very newsworthy of late with the IPO of Beyond Meat and major chains like McDonalds, Dunkin, and Starbucks all introducing meat alternatives, overall interest in vegetarianism hasn't grown that much. The market-size hasn't expanded, new companies have just stepped in to serve an underserved market. When the incumbent options are Boca or Black Bean burgers, the introduction of Beyond and Impossible are sure to make a huge splash in a small market. Its worth noting that the "Flexitarian Diet", one that encourages vegetarianism but allows for meat eating is gaining a following.
Google Search Popularity for "Vegetarian"
4. Meal Kits - Meal kit companies have stabilized. After booming introductions from Blue Apron and Hello Fresh in 2016, the market was awash with competitors and the novelty wore off. Welcome COVID restrictions. If you're requested/required to stay at home, a meal kit can be a welcomed activity for having a gourmet meal prepared at home. Even with all the competition, the industry has seemed to of found it's niche. It's not as big as initially anticipated but repeat customer trends have stabilized. In addition, new entrants have focused on smaller niches - Hungry Root, Purple Carrot - to serve more specific customers.
5. Milk Alternatives - The intolerance we didn't know we had. About 70% of the world's population has some degree of lactose malabsorption. In lay man's terms - dairy products don't sit well in many of our stomachs. Enter almond milk, oat milk, hemp milk, cashew milk, etc. etc. Essentially, squeezing foods that have fat and fiber in them and mixing them with water creates a gastronomically similar product as cow's milk. While more expensive and arguably worse for the environment, milk alternatives are here to stay.
6. Juicing is Not Sustainable - After years of growth, the juicing market is starting to decline. The late 2010s saw the rising of juicing chains such as Pressed, Juice Generation, and Clean Juice and delivery companies such as Daily Harvest. But all of these companies have diversified into smoothies, bowls, etc. The problem with juicing is it's not sustainable - it's an expensive, calorie-deficit crash diet. So while juice cleanse were all the rage for a while, most followers have awoken to the idea they were paying $12 for 100 calories of pressed veggies.