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Foodservice trends for the new year

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Eggs and functional desserts are on the menu for 2022, but so are the now familiar challenges with staffing and supply chains, according to Technomic report

After two topsy-turvy years of uncertainty and disruption will 2022 finally be the year the foodservice world can start to find some balance again? The global pandemic that hit the world two years ago made it a challenge to make predictions of any kind and while Covid-19 still features prominently today, successful vaccination programmes mean that the sector can hopefully plan with more confidence,

Technomic, the US-based foodservice market insight firm has put forward its suggestions for six global restaurant trends to watch out for this year.

Eggs

A perennial favorite, the egg is set to play a starring role on menus and in dining rooms this year – simple, universal and adaptable, it is the perfect post-pandemic food, says  Technomic and suggests egg sandwiches are on track to take over from the chicken sandwich as the must-have items on restaurant menus.

The great breakfast boom

As the world resumes a more familiar daily routine consumers will be heading back to restaurants to starts their day. Technomic expects chains to roll out subscription deals and multiperson budles while going big on product innovation and marketing to attract new customers.

Pain points persist

Despite progress from the worst days of the pandemic, the industry will have to deal with all too familiar challenges for some time yet. Labor, supply disruption and inflation will be the dominant issues of the year, requiring operators to stake a claim on innovation and evolve with patience.

Delivery kitchen hype gives up the ghost

Likely a controversial prediction – delivery kitchens came into their own during the pandemic when dining rooms were forced to shut. The ascent brought with it considerable hype, similar to that enjoyed by food trucks and food halls previously. Now, says Technomic, the concept will take a back seat and return to pre-pandemic levels as consumers rediscover an appetite for eating in restaurants.

Desserts get to work

The sweet end to a meal is set to receive a makeover this year as functionality comes to the fore, says the report. Immunity boosting, skin care enhanced and mood-boosting qualities will be introduced to dessert menus similar to what has been seen in beverages in recent years.

Regional brands gain clout

This will be the year for emerging local restaurant brands to stake their claim in the market. Independent brands have been hurt in the past two years while global chains have largely remained stable and there is a gap in the market to fill. Local and agile brands with a focus on health, sustainability and technology are well placed to thrive in this new year.

Other trends to watch for the year

Halloumi will take center stage as a vegetarian alternative to meat while mutabal – a dip similar to baba ghanoush – will take a more prominent place on menus. This will also be the year that plant-based eggs will come into their own and, says the report, the Brazilian cheese bread pao de queijo will gain traction beyond its homeland.

Finally, watch out for avocado coffee, which is predicted to move beyond Indonesia and other parts of Asia into the global market.

Tina Nielsen