The new year is just around the corner, and the food industry is going into it stronger and more resilient than ever. We saw trends shift in food, packaging, and consumer behavior. Brands focused on addressing labor shortages, prioritizing sustainability, and supporting DEI. And manufacturers increasingly turned toward technology to tackle food safety and supply chain challenges. 

As we close out 2021, here’s a look back at our most-read articles of the year.

1. Frozen Food Sales Win in the Pandemic

Consumers spent more in the frozen food aisle during the pandemic, and many expanded their freezer capacity to accommodate more purchases. Retail sales of frozen food soared to $65.1 billion in 2020, a 21% increase from 2019.

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2. Mintel 2021 Food and Drink Trends

To help companies get a head start in 2021, Mintel identified three consumer behavior trends that would shape the year ahead — wellbeing, value, and identity.

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3. How Technology Is Changing Traceability and Safety

Amid supply chain challenges and growing safety concerns, more companies are leaning on technologies to drive opportunities in a new era of food traceability. This guest post looks at some of those technologies and their potential to transform the industry.

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4. 2021/22 Food and Beverage Trends from Culinary Tides

At a time when food trends are ever-evolving, it can be challenging to plan for what’s next. But Culinary Tides did the homework for us, analyzing 224 prediction lists from 179 industry experts and narrowing it down to five food and five beverage trends.

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Supplier Catalog - MM5. 2022 Trends to Watch in the Food Processing Industry

Looking ahead to 2022, there’s one thing we know for certain — uncertainties will continue. But knowing which trends to focus on can help the food industry plan for the coming year. This guest post discusses five challenges that will continue to impact the industry in 2022, as well as opportunities to solve them.    

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6. Food Industry Support for Social Justice, Diversity, and Inclusion in 2020

We started off 2021 with a shoutout to food companies that demonstrated their commitment to diversity, inclusion, and social justice. Their donations, pledges, and DEI goals set the stage for addressing inequalities and injustices and encouraged other brands to follow their lead. 

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7. Strengthening the Food Supply Chain Through Transparency and Traceability: Q&A with Infor’s Marcel Koks

Even before the pandemic, companies were becoming aware of the need for more transparency and traceability to help prevent recalls and keep up with consumer demands. We talked with Marcel Koks of Infor to learn more about the emerging role of food transparency and traceability and the tech available to help companies improve in these areas. 

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8. Trends and Challenges in Pet Food and Treat Packaging

It’s not just what’s inside the package that matters to pet owners. From single-serve sizes to sustainability, we rounded up some of the trends in pet food and treat packaging that owners will be looking for on the shelves.

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9. Equity, Sustainability, Digitization, and Phytonutrients: 2021 F&B Trends from quench

Food and beverage marketing agency quench took a different approach to food trends — instead of looking at changes in consumer eating behaviors, they predicted four big industry practices that would light the way in 2021.

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10. Food Packaging Emerges as PFAS Battleground

PFAS were under the spotlight in 2021, as legislative proposals emerged and fast food restaurants announced plans to phase out packaging containing these potentially dangerous substances. This guest post discusses why the food industry should keep an eye on these developments and how to prepare for future regulations.

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Thank you for joining us for another year of food industry news! We wish you a safe and joyous new year!