2022 Consumer Trends

The ongoing pandemic has played a major role in shaping food and beverage trends. Covid had a significant effect on our approach to health and wellness – to both mind and body.  Inflation, labour shortages and supply chain disruptions all played a role in our choices, expectations and desires going forward.

Product innovation, consumer trends and industry shifts have all contributed to food and beverage macro trends in 2022.  Some of the top themes for this year are in the areas of convenience foods, flexible diets, and indulgence foods.

Pandemic restrictions to stay home caused a lasting impact on some consumers and their eating habits to the point where 53% of US consumers who cooked using convenience foods and followed set meal routines more often due to the pandemic, plan to maintain these habits.[1] These consumers are looking for convenient time-saving products and grab-and-go snacks. Some examples include quality ingredient and chef-inspired frozen meals, meal kits, home delivery meals, and refrigerated appetizers & entrees.

Canadians are in the freezer aisles for a lot of reasons, but the main reason is convenience and younger shoppers are driving this surge.  Millennials and GenZers reported they increased their frozen food purchases by 33% in 2020 compared to 26% of the general Canadian population. [2] Consumer demand is for better-for-you frozen.

During the pandemic, consumers were looking to be more proactive with their health while remaining flexible in their diets. This has led to the trend of picking and choosing from different diets and customizing it to the consumer’s personal need. Shoppers are no longer following strict diets, rather they are cherry-picking what best suits their bodies. For example, choosing to eat more of a flexitarian diet with less meat and more plants rather than committing to becoming a vegan or vegetarian. This holds true for other popular diets like Keto as well, choosing lower carb over low or no carb.

When it comes to indulgence foods, three out of four consumers look for options that are both healthy and taste great, but very few (39%) are willing to sacrifice taste for a healthier option. [3]When choosing a snack to eat, “taste”, “flavor” and “satisfying a craving” out-rank “health,” in terms of importance.

Frozen treats are blurring the line between dessert and snack, and more consumers are looking to frozen treats to satisfy their snack needs. Due to changes in behaviors formed during COVID-19, and more access to the freezer at home, frozen treats are no longer solely confined to the late evening/night-time after-dinner occasion, and in consumer’s minds, have likely evolved from frozen treats to frozen snacks. Consumers are now eating frozen novelties in the early afternoon, late afternoon, as well as the evening. Sixty two percent of consumers snack on frozen yogurt bars and 50% on frozen ice-cream bars, at least a few times a week.[4]


[1] Mintel – Snacking Eating Habits – Canada May 2020

[2] AC Nielsen Topline Report 52wks Jan 2022 Canada National All Channels

[3] Mintel Blog –The Rise of Permissible Indulgence and Frozen Snacking – October 2021

[4] Mintel Blog –The Rise of Permissible Indulgence and Frozen Snacking – October 2021

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