The Top 4 Food & Beverage Trends Shaping 2022

The Top 4 Food & Beverage Trends Shaping 2022

Food & Beverage that Goes Beyond Just Food and Drinks

What does this actually mean? Well, surprisingly, many of the trends that are shaping up to change the restaurant industry in 2022 are not directly related to food and beverages, specifically. There are deeper market shifts that have a ripple effect, which, in turn, affects the types of food & beverages we offer to customers. With this in mind, let’s take a deeper look at what trends are likely to change the way we enjoy food and drinks in 2022!

The Inevitable Rise of Gen-Z

When discussing the trends that will shape what food & beverages will sell best in 2022, we can’t ignore the rise in spending power that gen-Z has. It may be weird to think about it, but millennials are now in their thirties and people born between 1997 and 2012 are actually starting to turn into adults. The biggest indicator of this fact is gen-Z’s spending power, which falls in the range of $29-143 billion This means that while trends set by millennials will still be important, it’s also time for restaurants to take a look at what is important to gen-Z. a few of the prevalent points of importance to this growing segment of the F&B market include:

1. More plant-based, less meat

2. Local supply for food

3. New technology

Trend 1: Food & Beverages with Benefits

In 2022, people are looking to totally redefine their relationship with food. Now, we know that food’s already great. It nourishes us and brings us joy, but in the vein of efficiency, people – especially Gen-Zers – are looking for food to do more. Instead of just consuming food for calories and sustenance, food & beverages should provide something extra – an additional benefit! 

What sort of benefits are we talking about? Well, below you can find 5 such perks that food & beverages should offer if they want to be part of the trends that will drive food & beverages in 2022:

1. Improve one’s mood

2. Improve one’s gut health

3. Improve one’s energy

4. Improve one’s nutrition

5. Improve one’s overall health

Restaurants that offer people foods with benefits will certainly be able to cash in on a unique opportunity, while improving their customers’ health in the process!

Trend 2: Plant-Based Meat, but Better!

You know the old sales adage: “But wait, there’s more!” Well, this certainly applies to the world of plant-based meat alternatives. Aside from the large companies like Impossible and Beyond Meat, there are loads of smaller initiatives that are doing amazing things with plants that will help us live more sustainably. It’s inevitable with the mindset of Gen-Zers and millennials, that these types of new meat substitutes will hit the market with force. So, what can you expect  to drive 2022’s new plant-based revolution? 

Well, it seems that whole cuts is what’s really going to be driving the plant-based meat industry to all-new heights in 2022. While basic things like burgers and nuggets have been the focus for a long time now, infiltrating many a food and beverage establishment, the new hot thing is going to make whole cuts so realistic that even staunch meat eaters will have to give it a go. 

In favor of most traditional plant-based meat supplement ingredients like soy, wheat and pea proteins, new options like fava bean proteins, chick peas and lupini beans are being explored. The increase in usage of mycelia and fungus in meat alternatives is also starting to have a big impact on how accurately the taste and flavor of meat can be reproduced by alternative ingredients. 

Restaurants that feature meat-based alternatives will almost certainly drive in a greater number of customers since those looking for a restaurants in pairs or groups will go to places that cater to everyone, which means accommodating people millennials and Gen-Zers with strong lifestyle choices like vegetarianism, veganism and flexitarianism. 

Trend 3: Branded Greens

Just like how we have branded milk, branded fruits (think Chiquita bananas, Dole pineapples and Driscoll’s berries), branded meat substitutes and more, it’s possible that 2022 could be the year of branded greens. Just how might these greens stand out in value for food & beverage businesses, you might ask? Well, they’ll tie inseparably from what is important to Gen-Z and milenials. Namely, they will provide a brand image that people can get behind and they will also be indicators of quality. 

It is already an established trend that brands are important to people. A study conducted by Foodmix Marketing Communications found that “68% of shoppers will pay more for produce that is branded over private label or unbranded options.”

Just as restaurants proudly tout their use of Beyond Meat or Impossible Meat, they might soon start labelling salads and other dishes with the brand names of new greens. Just some of the ways branded greens will win brand loyalty and attract customers to restaurants is by highlighting the following things:

1. Freshness

2. Supply chain ethics

3. Use of green energy for production

4. Charitable or positive global impacts

5. Support for farmers

Eating meat ethically has become a huge driving factor in the restaurant industry, and now we might see the trend moving toward branded greens that let customers make more informed decisions about what greens they consume based on brands and their policies.

Trend 4: New Tech for Convenient Food & Beverage Ordering

New tech is a large, umbrella term that’s often hard to define. But, we’ve identified 3 key types of tech that really help improve the experience for customers, and will therefore be expected of restaurants in 2022. These 3 technologies are:

1. True cloud tech

True cloud tech enables restauranteurs to have incredible freedom and flexibility when running their businesses. Not only is their data not stored on physical pieces of on-site hardware, but they can also have access to a large ecosystem of products and features that work seamlessly together. Why, though, will this be beneficial to consumers? Well, cloud tech has a few key benefits that drastically reduces the budgets that restaurants require to operate. First, cloud tech leads to automation of basic tasks that would have otherwise required a member of staff to handle. For example, taking orders, logging those orders into the POS system and then sending the same order to the kitchen. With the cloud, it’s all automated and the cost saving of not having to hire additional staff can be passed on to customers. Restaurants can also enjoy multiple restaurant management features all under the same system, thereby saving them from investing tons of cash in separate systems that would cost them more. Again, the savings are passed on to the customers, not to mention the increased efficiency would boost the overall customer experience!

2. BYOD Ordering and Payments

Everyone has a mobile device, why not turn those into a new touchpoint for customers to reach your restaurant and interact with it in new ways? BYOD (bring your own device) lets customers place orders online through their mobile devices, or even just order on their phones when dining in, to save time, money and effort. Again, this helps cut down on required staff and really speeds up the service that customers can expect. 

3. Online Presence

Offering an online presence in the form of a branded website, listing on a restaurant marketplace, or simply offering online pickup and delivery is a key way in creating additional ways for customers to order from your business without the need to dine in. Given that so many more people are utilizing their phones and smart devices these days, it’s an absolute must for restaurants to offer online services to customers. 

These 2022 Food & Beverage Trends Will Boost Your Business

Following the above 4 trends will not only help your food & beverage business gain traction with new customers, but will also do so before the competition starts catching on. In the uncertain environment that surrounds F&B businesses these days, it’s important to seize every advantage and use it to give yourself the best chance for success. The good thing is, even when things settle down, adopting these 4 trends into your overall business model will still create a positive impact that will only compound over time. 

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