27 Jul 10 Trends in foodservice for this 2022
The food industry has traditionally evolved slowly but surely. With the advent of the pandemic, the industry underwent dramatic changes that have transformed the landscape of consumers and their preferences for what to eat, when, where and how. In addition, we are now facing historical and social circumstances that add further challenges for companies in the industry, who are facing supply issues, rising costs or staff shortages. Adapting is necessary not only to survive, but also to succeed in the industry, and with this article we hope to be able to predict some future trends that will help services to thrive.
Mobile ordering & in-house delivery
The pandemic revolutionized the industry by having to come up with contactless options. The convenience of ordering food from our phones is here to stay, with many restaurants betting on technology that favors this aspect as it has been observed that:
of consumers order take-away food at least once per week
more than one year ago
For entrepreneurs, this consumer preference allows them to reduce costs by automating otherwise labor-intensive processes. To mention the growth of third-party delivery services, the “grab-and-go” options and the development of takeout containers.
Ghost kitchens & virtual brands
“Ghost kitchens” or “dark kitchens” is an innovative concept that is gaining popularity with the rise of take-out and the convenience it offers to entrepreneurs. Ghost kitchens act as a production center for take-out food and eliminate the available dining space, thus reducing operating costs and dining room expenses. This gives greater flexibility to favor high quality menus at lower prices for customers, at a time when virtual brands are gaining popularity
Outdoor dining is an increasingly popular option in summer, specially now that they are getting warmer and longer. Whether it is on a rooftop, patio, garden or terrace, restaurants are offering dining experiences in outdoor seatings which captivates customers with that casual, refreshing atmosphere. This restaurant trend often increases serving capacity in busy city centers and attract diners that suffers from the heat.
Automation & robotics
Technology is no stranger to foodservice, and many are already expecting artificial intelligence to play a role in this sector with ideas as imaginative as drone delivery and driverless delivery. Digital initiatives were already being introduced in the early days of the pandemic as they facilitated delivery and eased zero-contact interactions. Automation is expected to expand as consumers are showing preference towards in-house delivery, specially among young generations. In fact, from the point of view of businesses, it also improves operational efficiency, enhances customer experience, puts a solutions to labor shortage and it can be a cost-effective measure.
Investing in work culture and putting social responsibility first
Labor shortage is a reality in some markets, stressing the need of employers to invest in work culture. Creating healthy work environment where employees feel comfortable and secure, putting more importance on work/life balance and working on communication will keep employees in their positions. This ultimately align customers with the brand, as businesses can identify their brand with certain social values that consumers might emphasize with.
of consumers agree that when choosing brands they reward values similar to their own.
Social media presence
Being present and active on social media is much more than a mean to advertise: it has become an essential aspect for foodservice businesses in this 21st century and is a very effective way to build brand image. In particular short videos (less than 1 minute in many cases) have gained popularity and have become an easy and effective way to reach many consumers (and hopefully go viral!). However, you must avoid the temptation to upload content without a plan and only share quality content that allows you to build a community. This trend is here to stay, and businesses and industry professionals need to be more vigilant than ever in responding to posts and comments, using relevant hashtags and engaging other local businesses. For chefs and restaurants, we cannot forget the “social-media plating” that allows professionals to showcase their creations, and which serves as inspiration for other creators in the sector. In this sense, we should highlight the new ways of online marketing, through tools such as podcasts.
Canned food is nothing new, in Spain we have a long tradition in the production of delicious canned fish and seafood. The consumption and benefits associated with canned food have not enjoyed the reputation it deserves, although that is recently changing. There is a new preference in retail stores and restaurants for canned food; many relate it to the pandemic as there was a need to store food, and others relate it to the influence of certain Mediterranean countries where canned food consumption is more normalized. According to “marketdataforce.com” the value of the canned food market reached 19.8 million in 2020 and is estimated to grow to almost 25 billion by 2026.
Real food and “comfort food”
Consumers, particularly after the coronavirus pandemic, are more concern with their diet, preferring healthy products with clean labels which specifies product traceability. Natural ingredients, without preservatives or conservatives added, with immune-boosting properties and whose source is local is what customers are looking for. In this line, classic flavors continue to conquer our palates, with a clear trend towards what is known as “comfort food”. We can expect demand for this type of food to grow in 2022, as we associate what we eat with fond memories of our childhood. Consumers are prepared to try new ingredients, but the taste of what we know and love is irreplaceable. Taking a product or recipe we all know and reinventing it to give it an innovative twist is a good option, always focusing on who the target consumer is and aiming to offer them classic but special flavors.
With the pandemic and mobility restrictions, the interest and taste for international cuisine only increased as it was practically the only way to travel (taste-wise) from the comfort of your home. It is now usual for consumers to be familiar with recipes from other countries and even be able to recreate famous dishes from their kitchens. In particular, the use of exotic spices is being spread all over the planet; a trend that is only growing due to the success of certain social platforms such as TikTok and Instagram that show through entertaining videos the way of cooking traditional recipes from various regions of the world.
The concept of the “circular economy” is relatively new but is gaining a reputation in the foodservice industry. This trend is about giving a new life to ingredients that socially would not be consumed because of their deformed, bruised or blemished appearance. This trend is gaining momentum because not only does it help the planet, but it is also a good way to reduce costs. In addition, it allows you to offer competitive prices for food in perfect condition; the competitive advantage of start-up businesses such as TooGoodtoGo.
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