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Food Trends 2022

10 Food Trends To Look Out For In 2022

The food trends that we’re expecting to see in 2022 are still gaining traction in the culinary community. But one thing for certain is that the COVID-19 pandemic will greatly influence the way we eat this year. We have all been looking forward to returning to our fine dining routine on special occasions. However, the COVID-19 variants have thwarted a return to what we’d call normal, despite the widespread availability of vaccines. We are still feeling the effects of the pandemic.

COVID-19 variants have put a damper on many restaurant owners’ plans for the future. The disease has prompted many chefs to change their menus, take drastic cost-cutting measures, and implement innovative ways of increasing revenue. As a result, for the next few years, we can expect to see chefs try to create dishes that are easy to make at home, like take-out. We are also seeing chefs experiment with healthier food options, like quinoa and kale. You can also expect to see more vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free items on menus. These big trends have been emerging for a while, but they are going into full effect in 2022. 

1). Outdoor Private Dining Year Round Will Only Grow In Popularity 

Do you love the idea of enjoying a meal outside when the weather is nice? Well, outdoor dining is here to stay. In fact, the popularity of outdoor dining is at an all-time high. Initially, restaurant owners built outdoor greenhouses and bubbles to keep things ticking over. It provides a sense of seclusion from shared air, which people are looking for in this day and age. 

Outdoor dining also allows families to dine without disturbing other patrons. You can comfortably take your kids to a restaurant even when there is a risk of your young ones raising hell.

2). Ghost Kitchen 

Also known as virtual kitchens, this is a delivery-only-restaurants that partners with local-only food delivery companies to deliver the food items. Some trend reports and market analysts project the ghost kitchen industry to reach a multi-dollar value over the next decade.

Ghost kitchens allow customers to order their favourite meals, whether it’s a simple fast food meal like fried chicken or a three-course meal to enjoy with family. Ghost kitchens offer a fast-market option for restaurant entrepreneurs and are perfect for the in-vogue contact-less dining still in effect today. 

3). Alcohol-Free Cocktails Are Here To Stay 

Alcohol-free cocktails are going mainstream. The demand for these drinks has been on a steady incline for a while now. 2020 saw a spike in alcohol consumption during the onset of lockdowns. However, things have changed as consumers are more interested in mocktails (alcohol-free cocktails).

Bartenders are exploring new ingredients as well as seasonal ingredients such as fresh, unprocessed vegetables and fruits to elevate the experience of alcohol-free drinks. By using fermented ingredients, bartenders can add depth to drinks without the alcohol. The rise in popularity has led to a new wave of creativity and experimentation in the craft of non-alcoholic cocktails, something we expect to grow in 2022.

4). Simplified/Shrinking But Creative Menus 

With supply chain constraints and a shrinking labour force, most restaurants will simplify their menus by removing certain food items. Other factors such as inflation and the price hike of goods have forced chefs to reduce the number of items on their menus. Restaurants will most certainly focus on offering flavourful food using locally-sourced ingredients in lieu of an expansive menu. In the same light, restaurants will continue to cut down on waste as a cost management strategy.

5). Plant-Based Options Will Be More Available 

2022 is the year when veggies move to the centre point. Over the past five years, the rise in veganism has led to increased plant-based diets. This is projected to continue in 2022. More people are shifting away from animal-based foods for ethical and health reasons. Chefs are creating dishes with vegetables at the centre, creatively using seasonal vegetables in new ways. It’s not just about salads anymore. This change in eating habits will make for a healthier population and planet.

Food Trends  2022

6). Menu Prices Will Be More Expensive 

As the pandemic disrupts the global food supply chain, food prices are set to remain high and potentially increase. Even before the pandemic, food prices at restaurants were increasing. The recent logistical challenges in the global and local food supply chain only worsen. High demand and inflation also play a part in the volatile global economy. 

Prices for beef, seafood, and dairy products will certainly rise, even more, followed by produce and grains. As a result, restaurants will have to make difficult choices about what to put on their menus. They will also have to find ways to lower their costs of production.

7). Moving From Nuts To Seeds 

By all accounts, consumers will replace nuts with seeds. The recent trend of consuming flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflowers seeds for their healthy fats will only take hold and grow in 2022 and become a common part of our diet.

8). Experiential Dining To-Go

Eating out has been a luxury in the pandemic. Many restaurants found ways to make experiential dining at home possible as an alternative to traditional restaurant dining. The trend seems to have taken hold and will likely be a mainstay feature of takeaway orders. 

A good example of experimental dining is the packaged cocktails and the addition of complimentary desserts with to-go orders. This is a great way for diners to feel like they are getting the full experience without actually having to leave their homes or cook anything. 

9). Fermented Foods Are Here To Stay 

Fermentation has been around for centuries. Before refrigeration, fermentation was the only way to preserve food. It was an excellent way to preserve extra food or to preserve foods that would go bad too soon without the use of preservation. Nowadays, fermentation is making a comeback as a preservation method for food. 

Fermented food items like yogurt, kimchi, and kefir are increasingly popular owing to potential health benefits and gut health. Chefs are using koji paste, a fermentation starter, to impart flavours of dry-aging on foods, which is just one-way fermentation is making its way into the culinary world.

10). Global Flavours In Our Dishes 

Our dishes have been heavily influenced by the food we were exposed to as children. But now, thanks to the power of social media, diners are willing to explore cuisines from different parts of the world. Platforms like Instagram and TikTok have exposed us to cuisines from different parts of the world. Instagram or TikTok foodies are willing to explore cuisines inspired by African, Asian, Caribbean islands and other regions, and they’re hungry for culinary adventures. With this in mind, restaurants are now catering to this phenomenon by incorporating dishes from different parts of the world into their menus.

Final thoughts

The food trends for 2022 will be greatly influenced by the slow end of the pandemic. However, the pandemic’s influence on food trends will still be apparent in 2022. For instance, plant-based diets will remain popular as people reduce their meat intake and take up healthy eating. 

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