Healthy foods are predicted to occupy the most prominent places on restaurant menus in 2022.
After comfort food surged in demand during the peak days of the pandemic, diners will once again turn their focus onto choosing options that are better for them, the National Restaurant Association says in its forecast of what will be hot on culinary menus in 2022.Read More »
Their conclusions on the top items that will dominate menus include:
• Foods that are seen as having qualities that boost your immunity, such as seeds, tomatoes and berries, as well as dark chocolate and olive oil. These foods are said to fight dementia, cancer, and viruses, as well as having other beneficial properties.
• Plant-based foods will continue to grow in popularity and will feature more often on menus. Among the hot trends will be burgers, general sandwiches, and particularly breakfast sandwiches.
Plant-based choices will occur more often on menus as a result of shortages in supply of animal protein. They will also impart a sense of healthiness and eco-friendliness.
• Less expensive cuts of protein—such as thighs in the place of wings, chuck as against loin cuts—will continue to grow more and more popular on menus as prices rise.
• Among other growing trends that will find spots on the menus will be desserts that are infused with alcohol and will consist of alternative sweeteners, meals that are inspired by foods from other countries, and even potato chips that come in unexpected flavors and so are regarded as upscale.
In addition to these trends, the association expects food operators to find opportunities in their menus that are transformative, says Hudson Riehle, senior vice President of research for the National Restaurant Association. These trends will blend meals served at specific times of the day, such as having a traditional breakfast meal at lunchtime. Snacking and similar items will become increasingly popular.
Restaurants will also expand their alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage options. Alternative sweeteners, such as maple sugar and coconut sugar, will also be used more often. Generally, menus are likely to become more streamlined and more refined, the association says.
Menu choices will again be heavily influenced by foods from around the world, the restaurant association says.
The major five regions that will influence menus in 2022 are:
• Southeast Asian (Philippines, Vietnamese, Singaporean)
• South American (Brazilian, Chilean, Argentinian)
• Caribbean (Cuban, Dominican, Puerto Rican)
• North African (Algerian, Libyan, Moroccan)
• West African (Ghanian, Nigerian, Western Saharan)
Here is a look at what the National Restaurant Association predicts will be the top three trends in meals at specific times of the day.
• Breakfast proteins that are non-traditional, such as vegan bacon and chorizo;
• Breakfast sandwiches that are plant-based;
• Breakfast bowls that are egg-based.
• Sandwiches that are plant-based;
• Salads inspired by global influences;
• Bowls that are grain-based.
• Chicken cuts that are less expensive, such as thighs as against wings;
• Burgers that are plant-based;
• Beef cuts that are less expensive, such as beef chuck as against loin.
As the trend toward more take-out food continues, sustainability will influence the way in which restaurants will provide packaging, the restaurant association says. Restaurants will provide packaging that retains the quality of the food and its temperature while also enabling the food to travel intact. It also will be tamper-proof.
The choices for take-out food will include recyclable and reusable packaging as well as options that are zero-waste.
Foods and beverages that the association predicts will be on their way out during 2022 are:
Cocktails that are milk based;
Coffee and other beverages flavored with mushrooms;
Cocktails that include meat stock or bone broth;
A Peruvian food that is purple and corn-based called Chicha mirada;
Coffee that is carbonated;
Meatballs made from fish or other seafood;
Cookies for breakfast;
Green juices that are spiked; and
Wine that is canned.