With the industry slowly getting back to some sense of normality, Bidfood, one of the UK’s leading foodservice providers, has revealed the hottest dining and social trends set to shape the industry as we enter into a very different world in 2022.
Through exploring the impact of the pandemic and consumers’ ever-changing habits, Bidfood’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 hottest food and drink dining trends
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, 3-out-of-4 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. 7-out-of-10 adults are proactively trying to lead a healthier lifestyle in new, unique ways and 8-out-of-10 people 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 1-in-3 looking to reduce alcohol.
Consumers are more eager than ever to support the British economy – which is not surprising given the impact of the pandemic and Brexit. 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% of adults 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, 6-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 at Bidfood, said, “This year 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 future proof their menus.”
Macro social trends
Alongside the food and drink dining trends shaping the industry for 2022, there are a range of wider macro social trends that have also become increasingly apparent.
These trends continue to reveal shifts in consumer attitudes, behaviours and lifestyles, as well as showing that economic, social and sustainable influences are changing how we think, make decisions and act.
These social trends explore:
• Kind and caring – looking at community and ethics
• Experiences matter – fun immersive social experiences and activities
• Third space and a changing pace – flexible working and changing lifestyles
• Going digital – the rise in technology across the industry, from Deliveroo to digital dining-in.