The food industry is an ever-shifting landscape that is constantly balancing innovation, trends, politics and consumer demand, whilst still looking to make practices more sustainable and more profitable. So, it goes without saying that with every new year that always arrives after a month of celebrating the ‘how did we manage to do so well this year’, panic sets in as we start to think ‘how are we going to do it again this year?’.
Never fear, because here are 3 of the biggest trends that some of the biggest names in the industry see as the ones to set the year alight, so if you are looking to jump on the bandwagon and ride the trends, your 2022 is likely to be a lot easier than the last couple of years……I mean Covid’s over now……isn’t it?
1. War Of The Chickens – Well Plant-Based Chicken
It’s no surprise that plant-based products are on this list, given the growing popularity over the last couple of years in a flexitarian diet, and this year is no different as more and more big-name chains are adding plant-based options of popular dishes to their menus with big name plant-based brand collaborations to excite and attract flexitarians to their customer base.
Beyond Meat’s plant-based chicken nuggets sold out at 1,00 locations across Canada after only launching in early August of 2021, as did the orange chicken that they tested when they teamed up with Panda express.
It won’t be long before we start seeing all of the big names knocking at the doors of these plant-based creators looking for partnerships of their own.
2. Ghost Kitchens Taking Over
Another trend that we have started to see especially since the pandemic and the lack of ability to go into physical restaurants, are ghost kitchens or Dark kitchens.
These are essentially facilities that are solely there to fulfill orders made through delivery apps like Deliveroo or Just Eat. These kitchens have the potential to be extremely profitable as they are able to lower costs and delivery times, ultimately serving more people for less. According to some reports the industry could hit over $140 billion by 2028!
Wendys have just announced a partnership with Reef technology that is set to see around 700 ghost kitchens being set up across UK, USA and Canada by 2025, after testing 50 ghost kitchens across Canada after seeing an increase of digital sales in the second quarter of 2021 of 10%.
3. Rise Of The Machines – Robot Chefs Are Here to Stay
Ok so let’s start by stating that unfortunately we aren’t talking about some version of the Gordon Ramsey terminator making you scrambled eggs every morning, sorry to disappoint, however give it a few years and you never know. Actually we are talking about the rise of integrated kitchens, and in some cases ok yes robotic appendages that will in fact make and serve you food.
For example here’s Flippy, a robotic fry cook, who actually flips your burgers and fries your….fries, and he even has his own commercial!
Although on the face it does seem like some form of marketing gimmick, it has actually stemmed from a rise in the labor shortages that have risen from workers being fed up with the low wages and poor working conditions….So, when your boss said one day you’ll be replaced by a machine, he wasn’t lying.