Time To Read: 5 minutes

You’re in the midst of planning your most successful year yet.

We’ve curated the most relevant and up-to-date information for you based on data and trends from the past few years. These past few years haven’t been “regular” to say the least, yet they’ve shaped the industry into where it is today and guided the future of this fast-paced industry.  If your business is up and running, then you’re already aware of the market standards of 2021. Let’s bring them to the forefront to illustrate how exactly they’re going to impact what’s on the rise this coming year. 

Check out the top 10 food industry trends for 2022 that you need to know about:

  1. Seamless Take-Out & Delivery Operations 

This is without question, the number one food industry trend that’ll be crucial for your business’s success in 2022. The vast majority of restaurants have worked out their delivery process throughout the last year and a half and now aim to offer a seamless delivery experience. Here are some noteworthy stats from various reliable sources:

  • Food delivery has become a global market worth more than $150 billion, having more than tripled since 2017
  • In the United States, the market has more than doubled during the pandemic, following a historical growth of approximately 8 percent.
  • 60% of consumers order delivery or pickup at least once a week.
  • Takeout is predicted to rise to 21% of restaurant industry sales by 2025, according to Technomic

After this enormous boost and with technology on the rise, it’s safe to say that food and beverage delivery will remain a permanent fixture in the dining landscape. Need to brush up and build impeccable delivery operations? Check out how the WorkWave Route Manager software solution can increase your profitability and help create an efficient and seamless delivery solution.  

  1. Ghost Kitchens For the Win 

Ghost kitchens have been around for several years, however, it was the pandemic that accelerated them full force. Though they do have their pros and cons, there’s something about ghost kitchens that sound dreamy and mysterious (in a good way). Grab a space on the outskirts of the city, and pay almost nothing for the rent. Set up your kitchen to serve whatever you want, create your brand (or multiple brands) and get yourself a seat in GrubHub, DoorDash, UberEats, etc. Eat-in and take-out options aren’t possible, however, we predict that ghost kitchens will be able to piggyback off of the growing dining delivery market for the next several years. 

Fun fact: National chains like Chili’s and Applebee’s have used ghost kitchens to keep cash flowing and test new menu items using different brand names in case the ideas flopped.

  1. Master the Art of Food Freezing

Despite the common misconception of frozen foods being synonymous with poor quality, they actually have proven to stay strong and continue to grow.  In addition to filling home refrigerators, frozen foods are proliferating restaurants, and restaurants are providing new menu items. If you’re a foodie, then you already know that ​​in some cases, frozen foods have more vitamins and minerals compared to fresh because fresh foods lose vitamins and minerals over time while freezing preserves nutrients. Freezing also saves time and money, so don’t feel bad for chopping up your fruit and veggies and throwing them in the freezer. Just don’t forget about them.   

  1. Create a Comfortable Outdoor Dining Experience 

By popular demand, and understandably so, outdoor dining will stick around for a while, and yes, even in the dead of winter. Maybe it’s time for you to invest in good-quality heaters for a more comfortable experience. We know that even when the pandemic is under control and restrictions on dining have been lifted, the emergency measure that kept more than 10,000 restaurants in New York City up and running will surely remain. Many of us are grateful for that.       

  1. Pivot Into D2C If You Haven’t Already

Direct-to-consumer models have been around in the food and beverage industry for a while now, however, in recent months, they’ve significantly accelerated. Even farmers seem to be participating in this phenomenon and for good reason.  According to Research and Markets, they expect the D2C food and drink market to stabilize and reach US $34.6 billion at a CAGR of 23.4% through 2023. With more people working from home and less excitement towards those crowded Sunday grocery shopping trips, D2C shopping has become the go-to method.   

  1. Get On The Plant and Cell-Based Foods Train

We’ve all heard of plant-based eating, but cell-based eating opens up a whole new category that sparks the interest of vegetarians, plant-based eaters, and even carnivores everywhere. Labs started growing agricultural products directly from animal and plant cell cultures back in 2013, With billions of dollars invested in this endeavor, it seems that the future of food is at a pivotal point. So, what does this mean for you? This industry is still in its infancy, and it has attracted more than $700 million in investments. Food makers should look at this emerging field as an opportunity to collaborate and invest in its development.

  1. Open Your Door to Cannabis and CBD

Derivatives of hemp like cannabinoids or CBD are famous for treating anxiety and intense pain. No longer on the banned narcotics list, manufacturers and consumers are excited to include this ingredient in their food products. Companies have been incorporating CBD in their food items, snacks, and even drinks. Not only does it give their brand a competitive edge, but they can now market certain products to health-conscious consumers. It will not be a surprise when grocery carts eventually become stacked with CBD-containing items. 

  1. Incorporate More Exotic Flavors 

Let’s take a look at flavor and taste since they’ve always been the name of the game in the food industry. Food companies are constantly faced with the challenge of catering to a wide variety of taste buds and preferences. As a result of technology bridging the time and space gap (along with the buzz of wanderlust), people have become more educated and receptive to other cultures. An increase of these new ideas and lifestyles bring with it trending and more exotic flavors. Companies are starting to feel pressured to introduce more complexity and depth into their food offerings in order to cater to this demand for a wider variety. If they don’t, then someone else will.

  1. Sustainability and Hyper-Localization Is On the Rise   

Environmental campaigns are flooding our media platforms, and consumers are now seeking local and more sustainable alternatives. From food gathering and packaging to the production line, shoppers are willing to pay more to feel like they’re helping the environment. Increased desire to go green gives rise to more earth-friendly food processing and packaging. If you want to keep up a competitive edge that’ll earn yourself more loyal clientele and profits, you may want to consider shifting your perspective.

  1. Stay on Top of Your Tech 

Yes, we’re going down the tech road again, as it is understandably growing at a feverish pace. Think about it, within the food and beverage industry alone, some companies are already utilizing autonomous vehicles, drone deliveries, smart refrigerators, robotics, artificial intelligence, just walk-out stores, weed-picking robots, and Blockchain. As more companies become aware of the benefits of these technologies, everyone in the food chain supply will tap into it. From growers, manufacturers, distributors, and more will make smart decisions when it comes to leveraging technology to grow their business forward.

To learn more about how WorkWave Route Manager can help you meet your business’s goals, be sure to explore Route Manger’s features and functionalities.

Author

Malka joined the Marketing Team at WorkWave as a Content Specialist in October 2021. She spends her time researching trending topics and creating engaging content for WorkWave solutions across a variety of digital platforms. With a background in sales copywriting, Malka is dedicated to delivering solution-driven content that hits home for the readers who need it most.