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Big food trends of 2022

Oli Fenton Consultant 17 February 2022

There is lots to be optimistic about going in to 2022, it looks to be a year where normality has almost returned. We at Savanta have looked at the five biggest food and drink trends we expect next year.

As the pandemic subsides climate change seems to be moving into the forefront of everyone’s vision, bleeding into consumer decision making

The return to normality

Of course, the biggest trend is the return to normality for hospitality. There is an optimistic buzz around 2022 that it will finally be the year in which COVID, and the pandemic is finally behind us. Savanta’s research has also found this sentiment. Consumers are also ready to eat out again in 2022 with almost twice as many consumers thinking they would eat out this coming winter than versus last year. This is shared across the industry with even Waitrose stating, “There is a lot of pent-up need to reconnect with friends and family, and a desire to socialise,”. As consumers become less cautious and COVID subsides it looks like 2022 should be a bright year for the Hospitality industry

Restaurant delivery is king

The pandemic forced us all online in 2020 through to 2021, including the eating out industry with the rise of food delivery services. One startling statistic we found using our BrandVue data engine was that pre-pandemic restaurant delivery accounted for less than 10% of eating out occasions. In 2021 this has reached 50% of eating out occasions. Whilst we expect consumers to return to slowly eating out in restaurants food delivery services like uber eats have forever changed consumer habits and expectations. We expect this trend to online to continue to grow in 2022.

The rise of ‘meatless’ meat

As the pandemic subsides climate change seems to be moving into the forefront of everyone’s vision, bleeding into consumer decision making. Brands and businesses will look to capitalise on the trend as well as make meaningful changes to improve sustainability. A prime example of this is the release of “meatless” alternatives from eating out establishments, with premium burger outlets such as Honest Burger adopting beyond meat’s plant-based patty. A recent survey we conducted showed that half of eating out purchasing decisions were influenced by the desire to be sustainable, with this being understandably highest among the younger age demographics. It is a matter of time before further sustainability requirements hit the hospitality sector so getting ahead (and tracing products to their origin) will be key for a type of establishment.

The power of social media, especially Tik-Tok

As we moved our lives even more online through the pandemic, we witnessed how prevalent social media has become in our life. Nothing epitomised this more than the explosion of Tik Tok, resulting in the fasted social media app to 1 billion users. Like it or not Tik Tok has become the birthplace of “trends” and we think brands will start to leverage this platform more, as one viral video can generate millions of impressions. The way has been paved by Dunkin’ Donuts who through partnerships with Tik Tok stars and “woke” posts have amassed 3 million followers. The impact was seen clearly with a 45% rise in cold brew sales following their strategic partnerships.

Draught cocktails

This year we have seen the introduction of draught cocktails into the nation’s pubs and bars. They proved to be a massive hit with consumers due to providing a similar tasting experience combined with a lower price and speedy service. As major players like Diageo step into the draught cocktail space it is clear there is huge potential in this market going into 2022.

Although the pandemic does look to be over, the habits we have developed during it, like food delivery, appear to be here to stay.