The biggest trends in food in 2022

2021 has been an unusual year in many ways, bringing changes to the way we eat, drink and entertain. Our team of experts look back at the trends of the past year, and those we’d like to see in 2022.

>    Food trends       

>    Cooking trends   

>    Table trends

Luke Mangan

Chef and Coles ambassador, Luke Mangan, predicts organising large cook ups with friends and family will be big in 2022.

Food trends with chef and Coles ambassador Luke Mangan

 

What food trends did you see in 2021 that you hope continue into 2022?

It was a tough pill to swallow having to close the doors of my restaurant Glass for almost four months during lockdown, but it meant I got to eat at home a lot more than usual! I loved seeing so many people share pictures and videos on social media of them whipping up dishes in the kitchen. It was also great to see Aussies support local restaurants and cafes by picking up DIY cooking kits and then spending quality time preparing them at home. I think a lot of us were reminded how great a pastime cooking can be and how lovely it is preparing and sharing a meal together at home.

More and more people are realising how important - and easy - it is to prepare healthy, nutritious meals. So many friends tell me they’ve made the switch to a Mediterranean-style diet - full of delicious whole grains, veggies, legumes, fruit, nuts, seeds and topped off with delicious herbs and spices. It’s “back to basics” cooking and eating… and I’m all for it!

 

Any ingredients that are going to be “hot” in 2022?

In more ways than one, 2022 is (hopefully) going to be all about getting out and about and exploring again. Our taste buds are dying to be titillated, so live on the wild side next year and add bold flavours to your favourite meals. Different flavoured yoghurts and labneh can be a great accompaniment to many dishes, and ingredients such as wasabi, lemongrass, artichokes and horseradish are the perfect way to give even mundane meals a kick.

Immune-boosting ingredients will also remain popular in 2022 as more of us realise just how easy it is to cook at home and eat well. Try turbocharging your immune system by regularly incorporating ingredients rich in anti-oxidants into your cooking – try lemon, turmeric, honey and ginger - or, like I do, make yourself a delicious fresh juice a couple of times a week.

Plant-based eating will also continue to become more mainstream as more Aussies try to have at least one meat-free meal each week.

 

What dishes do you expect to be cooking regularly in 2022?

I expect to be spending most of the summer on the barbecue cooking for family and friends. I can’t wait to have big groups of mates over again… and what better way to feed hungry mouths than with a big steak rolled in oil, fresh herbs and spices. The bigger the beef, the better!

Crispy chicken over turmeric cabbage with lemongrass will be my summer crowd-pleaser and I’d really love to see Aussies being adventurous with salads in 2022. When the weather gets cooler, I will be whipping up a quick and easy chicken fricassee in a silky rich creamy sauce. Topped off with fresh herbs, it will be my one-pot hit in the winter. For dessert, my Mum’s lemon delicious pudding recipe will, once again, be on high rotation in 2022. You can’t beat it!

 

Any food trends of 2021 you’ll be happy to say goodbye to? Any new ones you’d like to see in 2022?

I’d love us to say goodbye to anything bland and basic. Spice up your life and your favourite dishes by adding new flavours and trying fruits and veggies you’ve never had before. Experiment with nuts and oils and, even if you can’t get overseas next year, you can always take your tastebuds on a journey by trying cooking techniques from around the globe. To wash it all down, you’d be mad not to try some of the delicious new infused tequilas and gins on the market.

Courtney Roulston's harissa purple cauliflower with macadamia cream

We love purple cauliflower and are excited to see what Aussie farmers have in store for us next.

Cooking trends with Julie Lee, Editor-in-Chief, Coles Magazine

 

What food trends did you see in 2021 that you hope continue into 2022? 

I have really enjoyed the continued rise of “cottagecore” – people rediscovering how to make foods from scratch using traditional methods and becoming more sustainable in their cooking practices. You would have noticed an increase in sourdough and pickles, and people starting herb gardens in your Instagram feed. I think people were moving in this direction pre-Covid, but people spending a lot more time at home during the pandemic has helped accelerate this trend. It’s about putting shortcuts to one side and embracing the satisfaction of learning useful kitchen skills that have stood the test of time. It all comes down to the comfort of nostalgia and the joy of home cooking.

 

Who will be influencing what we eat in 2022?

I think it is more a “what” than a “who”. Some of the biggest influences and trends come from social media – think TikTok and Instagram Reels. The recipe ideas aren’t always new but the way they reach people has changed over the past year. With TikTok, you get a mix of individual influencers – say, a celebrity showing us a favourite weeknight dinner – plus crowd-sourced trends where social media users all jump on one fun thing and make it go viral. Instagram has also been connecting us to interesting home cooking ideas from chefs who, while restaurants were shut down, had more time to experiment in their own kitchens.

 

What is the must-have appliance of 2022?

Convenience is key, so multi-use appliances have more impact than single-use ones. That’s why air fryers are still on the rise – some people may have been waiting to make the investment, but it’s a trend that has spread through word of mouth. Having a smaller second oven is great when you want to cook at two different temperatures or don’t want to heat the whole oven just to cook for one or two people. There are some things air fryers do well that your oven might struggle with – think pork crackling – but they’re handy for all sorts of other things, too. We think there might be a few air fryer pavlovas on the Christmas table this year!

 

Any food trends of 2021 you’ll be happy to say goodbye to? Any new ones you’d like to see in 2022?

Good home-cooking trends – the convenient ones, such as tray bakes and slow cooker recipes – tend to stick around year after year, which is fine with me. But I’m hoping that the growing interest in health and flexitarian lifestyles continues to bring us new and innovative ways to use fresh Aussie produce. Sometimes something as simple as cutting your veggies differently can revolutionise an everyday meal. This was the first year we’ve seen purple cauliflower and rainbow beetroot at Coles, so I’m excited to see what the farmers have in store for us next. 

Golden fruit trifle

Lavender, coloured glassware and bold prints in napery are on trend in homewares.

Table trends with Emma Knowles, stylist

 

What styling trends did you see in 2021 that you hope continue into 2022?

2021 was all about cocooning and bunkering down and this state of mind was reflected in a desire for layers of natural texture. Natural materials such as timber, stone (from marble to travertine to terrazzo) and aged metals, slubby linens and soft-washed cottons, hand-made ceramics and mouth-blown glass, were big. 

An appreciation of earthy hues in interiors has been reflected in tableware. We’ve veered away from stark white to shades with a slightly dusty, dirty undertone. Soft eucalypt and glaucous greens, earthy pinks, powdery blues and warm neutrals all tickle my fancy, and I’m loving the emergence over the past year of lilac and lavender shades.

One of my favourite tabletop trends is coloured glassware – the perfect way to bring a touch of translucent colour to any occasion. There are some excellent Australian brands doing these pieces beautifully, and I love to mix them with vintage glass.

 

How do you think we will we be entertaining our friends and family in 2022?

As we return to a more sociable way of life, there’s no single right way to entertain, and that’s exactly the freedom we need after a significant period of restriction. No matter which way you cut it, it’s all about generosity and hospitality, shared company and a convivial atmosphere, be it for two people or 200 people. One thing that never changes is the need to be as organised as possible so you can spend as much time with guests as you can. The best way to do that is to play to your strengths. If you love to create the ultimate dessert but the idea of preparing a main course leaves you cold, outsource the main event and do what you love.

 

What do you think will be the centrepiece of our dinner parties in 2022?

Generous, family-style platters will continue to be a top trend on our dinner party tables in 2022 – they’ll be layered and tiered on stands, so plenty of food can fit on the table at one time. Nothing creates quite such a convivial atmosphere as the passing of platters and sharing of food. In a similar vein, batch-style cocktails are the perfect no-fuss drink for entertaining.

 

What styling trends of 2021 are you looking forward to saying goodbye to? Any new ones you’d like to see introduced in 2022?

In my work I’m lucky to be constantly exposed to new things, which continue to excite and inspire me. In my real life, I prefer to incorporate considered new pieces with pieces I already own – progressing from standalone micro-trends to an evolving style. So rather than saying goodbye to an old trend, I like to update and refresh, without having to start from scratch. For me, this means less waste, which I’d like to see as an enduring trend in 2022 and beyond. In 2022, I’m looking forward to incorporating brighter pops of colour to the dusty colour palette I love, as well as adding mixed bold prints in mismatched napery in relaxed washed linen for a bit of fun.