Operators must balance niche cuisines with British food and produce to entice customers in 2022 and beyond, according to Bidfood.
Bidfood has unveiled its food and drink predictions for 2022 and beyond, with consumers craving global flavours and cuisines alongside comforting British classics and local produce in a bid to be more sustainable.
Niche cuisines including Peruvian, Burmese, Filipino and Scandinavian were tipped to pique consumer tastebuds over the next year, with research from Bidfood and CGA suggestion 60% of customers are opting for venues offering new and interesting cuisines, while 53% of guests will choose new cuisines on menus.
At the same, customers are keen to support the British economy after the impact of the pandemic and Brexit, with 56% of UK adults deciding where to eat based on whether a venue sources British products, while 86% of consumers are choosing British cuisines more often than they did in 2019.
This mix of exotic dishes and British produce may seem like an oxymoron, but can be done well, as demonstrated at the Peruvian restaurant Pachamama Bar & Kitchen in London, where Bidfood revealed its 2022 trends report. Pachamama matches its Peruvian flavours with British ingredients taking pride of place, such as gamba roja with Granny Smith and amaranth, or miso-cured carrot with red quinoa and Peruvian kimchi.
With the trend of eating local and British continuing to dominate, this leads seamlessly into a focus on sustainability and health, which is also rising in popularity. Three-quarters of consumers now actively try to lead an environmentally friendly lifestyle, according to Bidfood, while 80% of adults consciously look for menus with healthy options when eating out.
When consumers do decide to treat themselves, desserts must be decadent as well as indulgent and highly visual to lend themselves to photographs to post on Instagram. Bidfood also noted that consumers are leaning towards desserts as opposed to alcohol, with a low-ABV trend also continuing to gain momentum.
"This year we're excited to see that the food and drink trends surfacing are all about adventure and experience, giving chefs 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," said Catherine Hinchcliff, head of corporate marketing and insight at Bidfood.
In addition to food trends, Bidfood also highlighted a number of wider macro trends operators should be aware of, including: a need to be kind and caring in the community; developing immersive social experiences; flexible working and changing lifestyles; and the rise of digital technology impacting the industry.
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