A FOODY 2022

Food and Drink is forever changing and sometimes it can be hard to keep up with the weird, wacky and wonderful goings on. Here are just some of the 2022 predictions, I have found.

If you’re struggling to wrap your head around some of these trends – we don’t blame you – for FREE help and support bringing your food and drink business into the future please get in touch at lletford@stepscotland.co.uk.

Snacking Is Staying

How many of us have returned to the office a few pounds heavier? Well, you are not alone! The last few years have meant takeaways and treats on those lonely evenings in and working from the kitchen where tasty treats were at hand became the norm.

One of the world’s biggest manufacturers of snacks,  Mondelēz International’s annual ‘State of Snacking’ report found that 85% of respondents eat at least one snack for sustenance and one for indulgence every day. 88% of respondents also said that a balanced diet can include some indulgence.

This is a shift from the health mad, no carbs, no sugar diets being adopted pre-pandemic.

With ‘other things being a priority’ and ‘life being too short’ realisation, we have become more forgiving to ourselves and indulgent treats are here to stay, for the time being.

Comforting Cooking

Like indulgences, many of us have spent the past two years getting comfy, swapping little black dresses with cardigans, and heels with slippers. The same goes in the kitchen too. Comfy in the kitchen translates to slow cookers, and stews along with homemade pizza and pasta. This home cooking was only heightened by the opening and closing nature the hospitality world found itself in.

Eateries have adapted so much over the past two years but will need to continue to if they want to entice people back out of their cosy caves.

Plant People

Over the past few years, plant-based foods have skyrocketed into food businesses. A growing interest in better health, sustainability, personal choice and diet variation already led to a 59% increase in new plant-based products in the first half of 2021 and this trend is set to continue in the coming years.

Luxury For Less

Although indulgences will continue, pockets will become tighter as the cost of living increases so consumers will be looking to fill their trolleys for less – without scrimping on quality.

It’s all about local

A trend that is driven by the pandemic and a more ‘WOKE’ culture is the growth in ‘buying local’ and in locally grown produce. This unfortunately has added to supply chain breakdowns seen throughout the world due to the pandemic. 

Robots Ride-In

With staffing shortages continuing, recruitment being every HR adviser’s worst nightmare and a remaining desire to not sit too close to strangers in a far too busy eatery, we’re likely to see more adoption of automation by everyday businesses in the food prep and service world.

There are already so many weird whacky and amazing examples of robots and automation in the industry throughout the world:

· Flippy the robot flipping burgers at 11 White Castle locations.

· SavorEat’s 3D-printing robot that creates and cooks plant-based burgers for Israel’s Burgus Burger Bar.

· The Spyce automated Boston restaurant will use the Spyce robot to cook human-prepped ingredients into the final dishes at a rate of 350 dishes per hour.

· Inamo in London’s Soho uses interactive tabletops to display menus, rotate through a series of tablecloths, play games and even order a taxi.

· Starship Technologies provide a Deliveroo style robotic delivery service in Milton Keynes.

Drinks Galore

Nut based milk will continue to increase in popularity but potato milk will begin to get in on the act. Remaining with a health focused society, the demand for low alcohol and alcohol-free is projected to grow the industry by 31% (IWSR) this year.

Sustainability Savy

Sustainability is an ongoing key trend with government policies and media pushing a Net Zero food and drink industry. From reusable, recyclable packing to zero waste kitchens businesses are flocking to find ways to become more sustainable (and save some money).

Food upcycling, essentially a way of avoiding food waste by creating new products out of surplus food is to become more mainstream with new businesses appearing everywhere using the waste of others.

An increased interest in sustainable food packaging is also on the cards. Options include paper straws, compostable trays, bags, bamboo wrapping and more.

Weird and Wonderful

Some of the more weird Food and Drink trends we may see in 2002:

Upscale potato chips with unusual flavors spicing such as Japanese furikake and Middle Eastern za-atar.

CBD enters the drinks areas with cannabis oil cocktails. However, the law on the use of CBD in food and drink products is complex​ and we will see companies start to navigate it.

Hibiscus may be moving beyond tea and into flavored waters, jams and syrups.

Ice Cream flavours might also get weird, with Kraft making Mac and Cheese flavour and Harlem’s Sugar Hill Creamery’s ramen-flavoured ice cream, who knows what we will see next!

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