Market insight: What’s new for ’22?

Bidfood’s new report predicts the food and drink trends that it says are set to dominate 2022 and beyond...

Bidfood has revealed what it thinks the hottest dining and social trends set to shape the industry as we enter into a very different world in 2022 will be. Through exploring the impact of the pandemic and consumers’ ever-changing habits, the company’s latest report is designed to help operators navigate the changing market, adapt their menus and delve deep into the latest flavours and cuisines dominating the industry. The trends are:

The wow factor: The main reasons people are going out for food and drink are all social or celebratory. This trend is all about how people are treating themselves and what it takes to make occasions that little bit more special -– from decadent desserts, to experiential style dining and activities.

The Greta effect: A focus on sustainability is continuing to grow – in fact, three out of four people now actively try to lead an environmentally friendly lifestyle, as well as consumers’ continued desire for more ethical consumption.

Health is wealth: The health trend continues to rise in popularity, but not in the ways previously talked about. Seven out of 10 adults are proactively trying to lead a healthier lifestyle in new, unique ways, while eight out of 10 are consciously looking for menus with healthy options when eating out. As ‘healthy’ food is subjective, operators need to look at all aspects, from the classic less sugar or calories, to those one in three who are looking to reduce alcohol.

Celebrating British: Consumers are more eager than ever to support the British economy, which is not surprising given the impact of the pandemic and Brexit. Some 56% of UK adults are actually making decisions on where to eat out based on the venue’s policy of sourcing British products and 86% are choosing British cuisine more often than they did in 2019.

Flavours less travelled: Over the last year, the ongoing travel restrictions drove many of us to seek adventure through different means, like food. This has resulted in consumers becoming more experimental with their choices. In fact, six in 10 people are now opting for venues that offer new and interesting cuisines, meaning it’s the perfect time for operators to tap into those ‘off the beaten track’ cuisines that are gaining traction:

Peruvian – with a vibrant mix of exotic flavours built from Japanese, Spanish and Arabic influences.

Scandinavian – well-loved for its simplicity and fresh ingredients, focusing on ancient cooking methods such as preserving, smoking, pickling and salting.

Burmese – the most niche of the trends, boasting unique tastes with familiar formats such as noodles and curries.

Pacific Rim – this highlights key dishes associated with health, such as fresh poke bowls.

Filipino – these cuisines are the perfect combination of sweet, sour and salty flavours, appealing to all variety of consumer palates.

Catherine Hinchcliff, head of corporate marketing and insight for Bidfood, said: “We’re excited to see that the food and drink trends surfacing are all about adventure and experience, giving chef’s lots of scope for creativity. Unsurprisingly, consumers are looking for something a bit special on menus to look forward to, balanced against a clear desire to live a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle.

“For our 2022 trends, we’ve worked with CGA to run our own exclusive research, which not only surveys consumers, but also draws from the opinions of food influencers, as well as a futurist. This means that we can help customers look further ahead and futureproof their menus.”

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