The Top Street Food Trends for 2022
The Top Street Food Trends for 2022
2022 is shaping up to be a big year for street food! New cuisines are emerging and gaining popularity, led by the Caribbean, Venezuelan, and Japanese styles of cooking. These trends are being driven by the youngest generation of diners, who are looking for new flavours and experiences when they dine. Environmental and health awareness are also playing a role in customer choices, with more people seeking food that is sustainable and guilt-free. We’ll explore these popular street food trends to learn more about the cuisines and flavours stealing the spotlight, and how incorporating street food characteristics could make all the difference to your FMCG business.
Reaching the 18-34 year old consumer
Partnerships between street food vendors and events such as carnivals, bars, and concerts are becoming more common. This is a win-win collaboration for both parties, as street food vendors get more foot traffic, and the events attract more fans. Bars are also participants in this trend, increasingly partnering with specific street food vendors to park outside their venues and attract more customers. There is often an overlap of clientele, given that the 18-34 group is the demographic that most visit street food stalls.
47% of millennials have eaten street food
Millennials and Generation Z form the backbone of the customer base for street food. Keeping your FMCG business relevant to younger people means you need to keep up with the latest trends, including environmental and health awareness.
80% of street food diners call their dining experience “exciting”
Street food is new and exciting, attracting customers that do not want traditional restaurant menu items. Customers are looking to experiment with new cuisines and combinations. Here we explore the types of cuisines trending in 2022, including the range of exciting preparations, sauces and sides to inspire your product development.
Street food trend 1: Increased Vegan Options and Meat-Plant Blends
Beyond Meat, products have taken off and have been added to menus of large fast-food chains. The street food industry can expect this trend to be extended to street food stalls as the demand for meatless protein options grows. Food industry experts have taken note of the success of the Impossible Burger and are moving to meet this new demand. Additionally, meat-plant blends are also becoming popular with omnivores who want healthier options. Food trucks are looking into burgers that include mushrooms, beans, and chickpeas.
Street food trend 2: West African
West African cuisine is set to explode given its novelty and use of superfoods that align with the trend towards healthier street food. One of the most popular dishes is Jollof rice, a one-pot dish made with tomatoes, peppers, and spices. This dish can be veganised by substituting the chicken for tofu or other plant-based proteins. Other popular West African dishes include plantain chips, fritters and red stew chicken. Millet, the ancient grain fonio, and chili peppers are ingredients that are both good for you and new to many customers. Experts can expect the number of West African street food and fusion food trucks to increase in 2022.
Street food trend 3: Venezuelan
Venezuelan street food is exploding in popularity in London. Popular dishes include Venezuelan arepas made with naturally gluten-free white corn, with fillings including teriyaki-style jackfruit, marinated chicken, buffalo beef and more. Yuca fries, served golden and crispy are served alongside Venezuelan rum and cocktails.
Street food trend 4: Japanese Fried Chicken
Called Karaage, this Japanese dish is flavourful skin-on boneless chicken thighs that are marinated, coated in cornflour and deep fried. When served in a street food rice box, the chicken is served with sliced fresh cucumber, pink pickled onions, Japanese “Kewpie” mayo, Togarashi spice, and roasted miso mushroom bites.
Street food trend 5: Churros and sweet snacks
While churros are not necessarily a new development, there are more twists on the traditional cinnamon sugar churro that are making it to street food. They are cost-effective, have low preparation time, and can be personalized to enhance the customer experience. Alongside classic sauces such as dark chocolate, white chocolate and butterscotch, crunchy toppings of pistachio nuts, hazelnuts, candy shards and Oreo are expected to rise in popularity as the popular dessert reaches new demographics.
Gelato is a type of Italian ice cream that is made with milk and sugar and often includes fruit or chocolate. Made using traditional Italian methods, gelato has a lower fat content than other ice creams. This makes it a popular choice for those looking for a healthier option.
Street Food Trend 6: Candy Bacon
A new take on the savoury-sweet combination of salted caramel, this smoked streaky bacon is dipped in maple syrup before frying off into chewy, sweet, smoky strips – perfect on top of burgers, hot dogs and as a topping for mac ‘n’ cheese and jacket potatoes.
Street Food Trend 7: Sourcing, sustainability and sensitivity
Alternative peanut butters
In addition to the recognition of peanut allergies, street food vendors are looking to avoid palm oil-heavy peanut butter due to its large environmental footprint. They are experimenting with substitutes, including pumpkin butter, macadamia butter, and chickpea butter.
Seasonal and local food
If a product cannot be sourced locally, alternative sources meet rigorous sustainability credentials. Take the example from London’s Hausmate, serving Yorkshire Dale lamb ribs from regenerative farms with London honey from Bermondsey Street bees.
The gluten-free trend is expected to continue in 2022 and is leaving it’s mark in street food. Alternatives that are currently being used in the street food industry include banana flour, seed flour, and cauliflower flour. Additionally, more pre-made baked goods such as cookies and bread will be made without gluten.
Keep up to date with street food trends
Street food trends are constantly changing to meet the needs of a younger customer base and as new cuisines are discovered and experimented with every day. These cuisines offer a range of exciting flavours, sauces, and side dishes that will inspire your product development. Keep these trends in mind when planning your products for this year and beyond. The street food industry is one that is built on innovation and change, so be sure to keep up with the latest trends to ensure that your business is successful.
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