The food industry is constantly changing and evolving. And you know why! Food trends are changing as consumers seek out new and healthier options. We can expect to see a few significant changes in the restaurant industry and food production in the coming years.
In the food world, the biggest trend of 2022 will be sustainability. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of their environmental impact and are looking for restaurants and food companies that take sustainable practices seriously.
We can also expect to see more vegetarian, vegan, and plant-based options as consumers seek healthier choices such as potato milk, mushroom protein, and lab-grown meat.
As the old saying goes, “the only constant is change.” The restaurant industry is no exception to this rule, with new food trends emerging every year. If you’re wondering what’s hot in the world of food, here are five big trends to watch out for in 2022:
1. Plant-based diets will continue to grow in popularity.
One of the biggest food trends to watch in 2022 is the increasing popularity of plant-based proteins. As consumers become more concerned with their health and the environment, we expect to see vegan eating and vegetarian diets become even more common.
Plant-based foods are healthier and more sustainable, but they are also becoming more delicious as food companies invest in developing better plant-based meat alternatives.
For this reason, we can expect to see a rise in the popularity of so-called ‘flexitarian’ diets, which are plant-based diets with the occasional inclusion of meat. This trend is being driven by consumers looking for healthier and more sustainable food to try.
With more consumers seeking out, these options, restaurants and food companies respond by developing more plant-based menu items. For example, we can look to Chipotle, which has recently announced a major expansion of its vegan options.
In addition to plant-based proteins, consumers will also be looking for local produce and food items that have been produced sustainably.
That means that we can expect to see a rise in the popularity of farmer’s markets and an increase in the number of restaurants sourcing their ingredients from local producers.
Here are examples of plant-based snacks and meals you can try today:
- Veggie burgers or veggie hot dogs from your local farmer’s market
- A quinoa bowl topped with locally grown vegetables
- Smoothies made from fresh fruit, veggies, and plant-based milk, such as almond milk
- Wrap filled with avocado, tomato, and other vegetables
- Sushi made with avocado, cucumber, and other vegetables
- A variety of plant-based snacks, such as kale chips or roasted chickpeas
2. More people will start growing their own food.
As the world becomes more connected, we see a trend toward people wanting to know where their food comes from. In the coming years, we can expect to see more people growing their own food as they seek greater control over what they eat.
This trend is being driven by some factors, including concerns about the environment, the safety of food, and the rising cost of food.
Additionally, as people become more interested in cooking and gardening, they are more likely to want to grow their own food.
With this option becoming more popular, we can expect to see a rise in the number of people interested in starting their garden. Many companies are already offering kits that make it easy for anyone to grow their food.
One of the biggest advantages of growing your own food is knowing exactly what goes into it. This is a major concern for many people who worry about the impact of chemicals and GMOs on their health and the environment.
And, of course, growing your food can be a very satisfying experience. Whether you start small with a few pot plants on the balcony or grow an entire garden, there is something gratifying about seeing your hard work produce delicious fruits and vegetables that you can enjoy.
3. Ghost kitchens as a growing trend in restaurant delivery.
Ghost kitchens are a new trend in the restaurant industry, and they are likely to become even more popular in the coming years.
These remote kitchens exist primarily to fulfill online orders and may be located in a different city or state than where the restaurant itself is based.
A ghost kitchen is a space where food is prepared specifically for delivery. These kitchens are often located in industrial areas or warehouses, and a single restaurant or multiple restaurants may operate them.
This trend has been driven by changes in consumer behavior, as many people have shifted to ordering food online rather than dining out. Additionally, ghost kitchens can be a more cost-effective option for restaurants, as they eliminate the need for a physical space.
As the popularity of restaurant delivery continues to grow, we can expect to see more ghost kitchens popping up around the country.
This trend is likely to benefit both consumers and restaurants, as it will make it easier for people to get the food they want and help restaurants cut costs and reach more customers.
One of the best benefits of ghost kitchens is that they can help restaurants reach more customers. For example, if a restaurant is based in New York City but has a ghost kitchen in Los Angeles, they can now get customers in both cities.
Additionally, as delivery becomes more popular, ghost kitchens will become more necessary to meet the demand.
Here are some tips for navigating the world of ghost kitchens:
- Research the different options and find a ghost kitchen that meets your needs.
- Be sure to understand all costs involved, including rent and food costs.
- Look for a ghost kitchen in an area with plenty of foot traffic or easily accessible via public transportation.
- Make sure the kitchen is clean and well-organized to be efficient in your cooking.
- Be sure to promote your ghost kitchen online so that customers can find you.
4. Regional cuisine will become more popular.
There are many exciting trends in the world of food and cooking, but one that we think is particularly interesting is the rise of regional cuisine.
As people become more interested in exploring new culinary experiences and are open to diverse cultural influences, it makes sense that they would begin to explore the many amazing flavors found all across the world.
Regional cuisine is characterized by unique culinary traditions, ingredients, and cooking methods specific to a particular region.
This can include anything from traditional dishes to local specialties. For example, regional cuisines in the United States might include Japanese and Italian cuisines, Tex-Mex, Cajun, or New England fare. Or it can be a mix of two different cultures, like crispy rice cake lasagna or curry gumbo.
One of the reasons regional cuisine is becoming more popular is because it allows people to connect with their heritage and culture through food and global flavors. Additionally, as global influences of travel become more accessible, people are exposed to new and different flavors, eager to try them at home.
For the restaurant industry, this trend presents both opportunities and challenges. On the one hand, there is a growing demand for regional cuisine, which gives restaurants the chance to attract new customers.
However, it can also be challenging to stand out in a crowded market, and businesses need to be sure they are offering something unique and authentic.
If you are a restaurant owner and want to capitalize on regional cuisine trends, here are some tips:
- Seek out unique and local ingredients, and use them in your recipes.
- Develop signature dishes that reflect the region you are serving, such as a New England clam bake or an Italian pasta dish.
- Consider hosting events focused on regional cuisine to help educate customers about your offerings.
- Try to create a dining experience that transports customers to the region you represent.
- Make sure that you have a solid social media presence and use it to engage with customers interested in regional cuisine.
5. Increased use of technology and automation in food production.
As the food industry evolves, we will see increased technology and automation in food production. This trend is already underway, as many large manufacturers use robotics to increase efficiency and reduce costs.
While this may seem like a controversial change for some people, there are many benefits to automation in food production.
First and foremost, it can help reduce food waste by ensuring that only high-quality ingredients are used in the production process. Additionally, automation can help increase productivity and speed up the manufacturing process, which means more food is available to consumers.
Automation may play a key role in ensuring food safety. Many companies have been slow to adopt new technologies such as blockchain and sensors, but these tools are powerful in detecting food contamination.
Additionally, they can help reduce the risk of human error related to monitoring and record keeping.
If you are a food producer looking to adopt automation, here are some steps to consider:
- Complement your workers with advanced manufacturing technology like robotics or digital tracking software.
- Remember that automation may require investment, so carefully assess the costs and benefits before making any changes.
- Be prepared to adapt your processes as technology evolves in the coming years.
- Look for new ways to engage with customers about this change, such as through social media or online forums.
As you can see, many exciting trends are emerging in the food and beverage industry, and they are changing the way we eat and interact with our food. Whether you are a restaurant owner or a manufacturer, it is important to stay up-to-date on these trends to take advantage of them in your business.
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So there you have it – five big food trends to watch in 2022! Which one are you most excited about?