As a food service entrepreneur, it can be pretty challenging to keep track of the latest trends in your industry. The sheer unpredictability and volatility of consumer tastes and requirements keep most restaurateurs on their toes. For instance, Covid-19 primarily shaped the new food trends, in addition to other factors.
Wielding data analysis and statistical factoring of the current industry scenario, here are the top 6 trends in the foodservice industry: –
- Single-Serve Takeaways:
Ever since outdoor dining restrictions have been enforced, packaged and ready-to-grab ‘meal for one’ has become extremely popular. It is profitable for restaurants to prepare these custom meals and convenient for customers to take and leave without crowding or waiting. Amongst the new food trends 2022, this one is undoubtedly the most popular.
- Scan and Pay at Food Outlets
Contact-free billing and payments have become a norm across all business establishments in the wake of the pandemic. As far as restaurants and fast-food joints are concerned, displaying the merchant QR code on the table or at the pickup counter has become common. Customers have to scan the code and pay using their smartphones merely.
- Ghost Kitchens or Virtual Kitchens
Businesses have incurred severe losses at the hands of frequent lockdowns and supply chain disruption. Foodservice entrepreneurs are thus looking into relevant cost-cutting measures. Restricting your establishment to only a full-fledged kitchen for online deliveries is a prominent 2022 food trend. It ensures operational efficiency, minimizes investment, and streamlines food delivery services.
- Ready-to-Make Meal Kits
Owing to the outdoor dining restrictions and rampant fear, many restaurants are helping customers recreate the fine dining experience at home. They prepare special gourmet meal kits and hampers with pre-fabricated and partially prepared meals. With just a few simple steps at home, a delicious gourmet meal is ready to be savoured!
- Healthy Cocktails and Mocktails
Another noteworthy 2020 food trend is the rise in demand for healthy alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. The diet-conscious consumer is keen on consuming organic juices, herbal concoctions, soothing beverages, sugar-free drinks, fermented beverages, and low-alcohol cocktails. Food service establishments that have catered to this specific need have witnessed a record spike in sales.
- Meal Subscription Services
Meal subscriptions involve monthly plans wherein customers can select meals from a diverse menu. Based on their choices, the meal-wise ingredients are shipped to them periodically, in the exact proportion as required in the recipe. There are individual, couple, and family plans in these meal subscription services. Usually, multi-cuisine recipes are available for subscribers to choose from. While such provisions were available earlier, their popularity has increased owing to the pandemic.
For any food service business, everything from the footfall to profitability depends on the correct anticipation of consumer needs and food trends. Businesses that can tailor their offerings as per the latest consumer requirements will always remain in vogue, irrespective of how many trends come and go! The pandemic has undoubtedly had its effect, but this will not be a deterrent if the food industry can cope with the changes.