Top Food Trends of 2022 & 2023

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Croffle

36K
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+1479%
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A Croffle is a combination of a waffle and aaffle. The waffle is made with croissant dough, which is folded over to create a grid pattern. The aaffle is made with pancake batter, which is poured over the waffle and then cooked.

Bento Cake

176K
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+1462%
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A Bento Cake is a mini cake that is made to be eaten in small bites and is packed in a takeout box. The cake is typically made with a variety of flavors and textures and is often decorated with colorful frosting or fruit.

Exotic Snacks

8.9K
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+151%
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Exotic snacks are snacks that are made with ingredients that are not typically found in mainstream snacks. The snacks can be made from a variety of different ingredients, including but not limited to, spices, fruits, and vegetables.

Gopchang

8.2K
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+96%
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Gopchang is a type of Korean sausage that is made from beef intestines. The sausage is usually grilled or boiled and is a popular dish in Korea.

Korean Hot Pot

24K
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+80%
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A Korean Hot Pot is a pot that is used to cook a variety of foods in a broth at the table. The pot is typically filled with a spicy broth and a variety of meats, vegetables, and noodles are added to the pot to cook.

Mochi Donut

20K
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+49%
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Mochi Donuts are a Japanese-inspired pastry that is made from a soft, doughy mochi rice cake that is deep-fried and coated in a sweet glaze. The donuts are then topped with various flavors and textures, such as sprinkles, nuts, and chocolate.

Oat Milk Creamer

15K
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+45%
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Oat milk creamer is a dairy-free creamer that is made from oats. The creamer is said to be creamier and richer than other dairy-free creamers, and it has a slightly sweet flavor.

Mazesoba

13K
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+42%
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Mazesoba is a dish that combines elements of ramen and soba noodles. The dish is made by cooking the noodles in a broth and then adding in various toppings such as pork, vegetables, and eggs.

Quesabirria Tacos

15K
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+41%
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Quesabirria tacos are a type of taco that is made from a grilled quesadilla. The quesadilla is filled with cheese, meats, and vegetables, and is then grilled until the cheese is melted and the tortilla is crispy.

Picanha Steak

21K
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+37%
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Picanha steak is a type of steak that is cut from the top sirloin cap of the cow. The steak is known for its intense flavor and tenderness. It is best cooked over high heat on a grill or in a pan.

Malatang

15K
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+35%
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Malatang is a Chinese soup that is made with spicy broth and various types of meat and vegetables. The soup is meant to be eaten as a meal or as a snack.

Waffle Fries

46K
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+21%
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Waffle fries are a type of french fry that is made by cutting potatoes into thin waffle-like strips. The fries are then deep-fried and typically served with a variety of dipping sauces.

Tteokbokki

171K
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+19%
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Tteokbokki is a popular Korean dish made of rice cakes and a spicy sauce. The dish is typically cooked in a pot on the stove, but can also be made in a microwave.

Air Fryer Ribs

34K
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+17%
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Air fryer ribs are a popular dish that can be made in an air fryer - a device that uses hot air to cook food. Ribs can be cooked in an air fryer by wrapping them in foil and spraying them with oil.

Pork Belly Burnt Ends

13K
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+15%
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Pork belly burnt ends are a dish made from the fatty and crispy ends of a pork belly. The dish is popular in barbecue cuisine and is often served with a sauce or dip.

Bao Bun

46K
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+13%
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Bao buns are a type of steamed bun that is popular in East Asia. The bun is made of flour, yeast, sugar, and water and is often filled with pork, beef, or vegetables.

Pinsa Romana

20K
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+13%
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Pinsa Romana is an Italian flatbread that is made with a unique dough that is a combination of wheat and rice flour. The dough is said to be more digestible than usual pizza dough and has a slightly sweet flavor.

Street Corn

79K
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+11%
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Street Corn is a dish that is made of grilled corn that is slathered in a creamy sauce and topped with cheese, chili powder, and lime juice. The dish is popular in Mexico and is often sold by street vendors.

Taquitos

143K
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+10%
Past Year Change

Taquitos are a Mexican dish made of corn tortillas filled with meat or cheese. The tortillas are then rolled and fried, resulting in a crispy, crunchy shell. Taquitos are a popular appetizer or snack food.

Healthy Snacking is on the Rise

As screen time grows, and consumers increasingly watch with a phone in hand (one 2019 survey put the share of TV watchers who do this at 55%), there's a battle for the last hand, and healthy snacking options are aiming to win it by becoming one-hand-eating friendly.

Protein powder has been growing in popularity for years, and while it's a good way to add protein to shakes and smoothies, it's not very compatible with preexisting meal habits. Quest Chips is a growing brand of protein chips that’s at the center of these trends.

One feature of chips, compared to bars, is that consumption is more continuous rather than discrete. If you planned on eating a single bar, it's hard to accidentally eat a bar and a half. But with chips, it's easy to passively consume them. That's especially possible while doing something else; there's a whole category of listicles that recommend the right snack for binge-viewing Netflix, and even an abundance of articles on content pairings for particular shows.

Rather than a traditional meal that could require a fork, knife, and plate, TV-focused snackers are increasingly seeking out hand-held snacks. A snack for gaming, a snack for texting, or a snack for watching TV. Food companies noticed and started pushing to create snacks that are utensil-free and clean-up-free.

Snacking has been growing too and, as this happens, the line between snacks and meals is blurring. Research shows that consumers are eating more meals at non-standard times and that snacks now account for over half the times younger generations eat. It’s a function of a more fragmented day that's less likely to be bookended by a context-setting commute.

The Rise of Wagyu Beef

When Instagram first started influencing restaurant traffic, some restaurants switched from round plates to square ones to fit in with the social media company’s image format, which was square-only until mid-2015. The rectangular shape maximizes the amount of food in the frame and helped restaurants stand out in the feed.

In similar ways, restaurants are increasingly putting more effort into eye-catching interior decoration rather than exterior design; if more customers are choosing dinner based on their social media feeds, rather than by walking down the street, it's what's on the inside of the restaurant that counts.

And as TikTok and YouTube usage continues to rise, the popularity of aspirational dining grows too. Wagyu beef, a type of meat prized for its marbling, is a luxury food with strong visual appeal, making it popular for this type of content. Millions of consumers watch videos of wagyu being cooked and eaten even though most can’t afford it on a regular or even semi-regular basis.

Its aspirational nature is also clear when looking at the numbers. The "Wagyu" tag has almost 700 million views on TikTok, compared to 1/5th that volume for “Barbacoa”, another type of meat, despite Barbacoa having higher consumption.

This widespread appeal creates buzz and the increased buzz eventually helps get the product in front of the consumers who can afford it, driving up sales in the long run. It’s a marketing strategy many companies use: Lean into the features of a product that appeal to a less relevant but wider audience as a way to create a buzz that draws in the ultimate target audience.

There has been pushback on marketing non-Japanese beef as Wagyu, especially from 1997 to 2003, when the Japanese government banned the export of Wagyu cows. Since then, different varieties like American Wagyu and Australian Wagyu have grown in popularity.

Expensive foods, more broadly, are an important export for Japan. Consumer behavior studies have shown that gift recipients put more value on an expensive version of a typically cheap item than on an average-priced version of something usually more expensive, even if the price tag of the latter is higher. This means that a $300 bottle of wine would be received more favorably than a $1,000 computer.

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