Six months into the year is a good time to review forecasts and get a good measure of their accuracy. Earlier this year, Technomic, a management consulting company, made predictions for the standout food trends in 2022. Let’s review them, and then, dear reader, I would like you to comment below. Let us know what you’re seeing out there and whether or not you agree.
Technomic highlighted six topics that they thought to be the main focus of the food industry in 2022. First is the egg, a product they considered perfectly poised to take over sandwich duty in place of more expensive proteins, as well as one that is infinitely usable. The question is whether or not the recent high cost of eggs has dampened those hopes enough to hurt its chances of achieving “hot trend” status.
Next up, and keeping with eggs a bit, is breakfast. Technomic predicted that kids returning to in-person schooling and those going back to offices would need to outsource breakfast as they hustle through the morning. Only now they will be bombarded with subscription deals and loyalty programs. Whether or not fantastical breakfast sides will accompany those orders, as Technomic predicted, is another story. We think people are simply happy to just be able to get back into their routines again and they won’t necessarily need the gimmicks.
The third prediction was a no-brainer in our opinion. It stated that “pain points” would persist throughout the year in the form of labor shortages and supply chain issues. This will certainly be true. The onset of war led by the invasion of Ukraine has re-snarled the supply chain, and inflation has tied the hands of many consumers. As a result, businesses continue to fight off attacks from all sides just as they did in 2020. It seems not much has changed, and so this prediction seems accurate.
Fourth on the list is the ghost kitchen. Ghost kitchens and dark kitchens were around in small amounts before the pandemic, but it was the lockdown that injected them with steroids. Now, nearly every QSR is looking at some variation of the model. What was thought to be a “lockdown-only” solution to foodservice has proven to have staying power. This one seems to be very accurate, but then again, it wasn’t that much of a surprise.
Number five are desserts. Technomic claims that functional desserts will be all the rage this year. They’re thinking of things like, “skin care-enhanced ice creams, immunity-boosting hand pies, mood-modifying macarons and so on.”. Technomic, we don’t know what the hell you’re even talking about. But, perhaps our readers can weigh in on whether or not they’ve seen ice cream that can improve your skin rather than increase your waist.
Lastly, we have the rise of local and regional brands to focus on this year. The report posits that local restaurant brands will give national and global restaurant chains a run for their money. This may prove to be true. The pandemic-led supply chain snafu forced many to source products and ingredients locally. That was combined with an already growing awareness of a food’s origin before the pandemic. But two years of habitually doing it cemented it into many households. Now, as to whether or not local restaurant brands will end up taking on the national chains, and win, well, not so fast. The big chains are coming back strong. Of course, you have the opportunity to tell us otherwise, dear reader.
Well, that’s it. Those are the six predictions. What do you think? Are you seeing some of this happening in your lives? One thing is for sure, the food industry has been deeply shaken by the last two years. It’s really anybody’s guess what will happen between now and December, 31st. At the time that report was written, gas prices were not eviscerating households and businesses. We’re not even sure Russia had invaded Ukraine yet. Things are moving real fast, and today’s hot trend could be tomorrow’s cold memory.
Also, Technomic, we love you. Your insights and research help the food industry tremendously. Keep up the good work.