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South Africa’s biggest food trends for 2022


It comes as no surprise that Covid-19 has played a part in determining the biggest food trends for 2022. Due to the stresses experienced during the pandemic, many have sought ways to take better care of their bodies. There has also been a giant shift in our approach to the environment. In turn, these attitudes have hinted at the following trends for 2022: spicy foods, CBD infused products, reducetarianism, more plant-based options with an even bigger focus on mushrooms, sustainable eating and a lowered alcohol intake.

The spike in spicy foods                                           

With Covid-19 more and more people are paying close attention to their immunity and are opting for yummier ways to enhance it. The tastiest most natural solution? Spicy foods! Not only are traditional Asian spices incredibly delicious, but they are also natural immunity boosters and anti-inflammatories. Gut health experts are also encouraging us to eat 30-plus plant-based sources per week to improve our microbiota. Herbs and spices count 1/4 to this points system. If you are new to the spice game, try your hand at our Cape Herb & Spice Garam Masala Chickpea patties.

So, look out for Asian inspired meals, extra spices and turmeric in your everyday meals.

If you are a chilli connoisseur, looking for your next kick, you definitely need to try Chuck Chilli. It hit shelves in 2021, is a local business and social enterprise. 

The inclination towards cannabidiol

Cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD has become increasingly popular over the last few years since it first appeared on our charts in 2019. We know what you are thinking and NO, CBD is not going to make you high nor is it illegal. Not only does CBD help manage anxiety and stress it is also a great option for pain relief. Many restaurants are popping up and showing their patrons the benefits of this product.

The ‘Reducetarian’ movement  

Many of the environmentally savvy struggle with the idea of giving up meat, dairy and eggs completely but still want to do their bit for the environment. Instead of going vegetarian cold turkey, excuse the pun, Reducetarianism focuses on gradually reducing our meat (and animal product) intake. Reducetarians are different to flexitarians. Flexitarians have a more plant-based diet with the sporadic intake of meat, reducetarians are slowly reducing their intake of these products according to their own dietary needs. Many reducetarians also make a point to choose certain meats based on the farming methods, ie: are they sustainably farmed? Make your life easy and consult Food Lover’s Market easy to follow vegetarian recipes for fresh ideas, and all the fresh ingredients you need for this journey. “We’re all motivated differently, but we share one common goal – a more sustainable, healthy and compassionate world.”

Plant-based everything!

Potato milk, vegan bacon, watermelon tuna, carrot lox, plant-based chicken were foods once sneered at by those, not in the know. Now they are welcomed options for those looking for an alternative to meat. The benefits of plant-based foods are twofold. Not only are they great for our bodies, but they are great for the environment!

Especially potato milk and mushrooms trends:

Potato milk is set to be a top trend in 2022. It seems that using potato milk instead of almonds is even more environmentally friendly. Not yet available in SA, be sure to keep an eye out. It is dairy-free, gluten-free, casein-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free, and soy-free.

In 2022 we can expect an increase in the use of mushrooms in our daily meals. Not only are mushrooms rich in vitamins and minerals, and incredibly versatile, but they also replicate the texture of meat that we sometimes crave. Dishes like pulled “pork”, skewers on the braai and bolognese or even ‘scallops’ using mushrooms as meat. There’s so mush room in our diet for mushrooms.

Mushrooms are packed with rich, low-calorie sources of fibre, protein, antioxidants and many B-vitamins. But this trend isn’t news to Jules Harris of The Real Food Factory, who partly attributes starting off her business with mushrooms because of their health benefits. The current supplier of the Food Lover’s Market pesto range, February 2022 will see the introduction of her mushroom range:  Shiitake Mushroom pesto & Shiitake and Olive Pesto. 

The rise of low-alcohol beverages (a.k.a Buzz-less Spirits and functional fizz)

While most are not cutting out alcohol altogether, the trend of a healthier lifestyle has lowered the alcohol intake of many. Maybe it has to do with the dry months we practised during the lockdown, but more people are opting for lighter options such as kombucha, low-alcohol wine or alcohol-free beer.

Stay ahead of these trends and check out Food Lover’s Market for a range of products! Our buyers keep an eye on the latest in great products to be produced and work on getting them onto the Food Lover’s shelves for you to enjoy.


A few other trends to look out for:

  • Sustainable Grains
  • Moringa (the ‘miracle tree’! – Moringa leaves have plenty of nutrients, and these fast-growing, drought-resistant trees have been used as a source of food to fight malnutrition in certain parts of the world, along with loads of other health and healing benefits)
  • Hibiscus (as an ingredient)
  • Seaweed
  • Waste-free cooking and simplified food preparation
  • Sunflower Seeds – we’re talking sunflower seed butter, pesto and more.
  • Yuzu (a citrus plant, used in Japanese dressings/sauces.)
  • Turmeric



Written for Food Lover’s Market by Nicole Giani.

Sources used


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