In 2022, restaurant menus will place more emphasis on a healthy lifestyle, according to the National Restaurant Association’s annual culinary forecast. The survey examines key foodservice industry trends across categories, including menu offerings, beverages, flavors, global inspirations, packaging / offsite trends, and macro- industry trends.
Results from this year’s survey signal an increased focus on sustainability, healthier menu options, and increased demand for plant-based meals in 2022, as consumers put a new emphasis on their health after. the pandemic.
The main results of the survey also include:
- Immunity-boosting foods and plant-based sandwiches are three of the top 10 trends for 2022, as consumers balance the comfort foods they demanded during the pandemic to refocus on better-health options.
- Offsite traffic will remain high over the coming year as operators try new options to deliver the best offsite experience to their customers and deliver it on a sustainable basis.
- CBD infused snacks, drinks and desserts continue to gain popularity.
After demand for comfort food increased during the height of the pandemic, consumers are refocusing on healthier options, with foods believed to have immune qualities and plant-based sandwiches making up three of the top 10 trends for 2022 Plant-based protein is increasingly popular on menus, and cheaper protein cuts, like thighs instead of wings, will be more prominent in the coming year.
Sustainability will continue to influence menus and the way restaurants make decisions at all levels. From reusable and recyclable packaging to zero waste options, restaurants continue to prioritize sustainable initiatives. As consumers continue to use off-site options at all hours of the day, restaurants are looking to translate their dining experience outside of the restaurant’s four walls with thoughtful packaging that maintains food quality, preserves quality. temperature and is tamper-proof.
“In addition to a return to health-focused menu offerings and improved, more eco-friendly offsite packaging, all of which are top trending, we expect operators to review their menus for transformative opportunities, ”said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of research for the Association. “Look for trends that merge the elements of the traditional meal day with other times of the day and a growing popularity of snacks and its related elements. Additionally, with the popularity of take-out cocktails during the pandemic, restaurants will look to expand alcoholic and non-alcoholic craft drink options. “
Menus will become more refined and streamlined over the coming year, as chefs anticipate alcohol-infused desserts, world-inspired items, and even premium potato chips to find seats on the menu.
The What’s Hot survey was conducted in October 2021. More than 350 professional chefs from the American Culinary Federation have reviewed 109 food products and culinary concepts compiled by Association experts and Technomic’s Menu Research & Insights division. To download the full report, click here.