In 2022, healthy eating and drinking trends are going to be huge.
Here’s a look at four focal points, along with ideas for how to make them work at your restaurant.
Some predict that this will be the largest and longest-lasting food trend of 2022. Reducetarianism focuses on the reduction of animal product consumption while still allowing practitioners to indulge. The International Food Information Council found that two-thirds of Americans report eating plant-based meat alternatives, while only 6% of Americans identify as vegan. Plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy products will be a big part of the reducetarianism trend.
How to cash in: Consider including a few plant-based alternatives on your menu. Call out the options on your menu and allow guests to customize menu items (for an additional fee) when possible.
The idea here is that lessening our reliance on alcohol can still be fun, social, and satisfying thanks to non-alcoholic beverages and mocktails. Whether guests are committing to Drynuary or simply looking for a small change, including spirit-free drink options on your menu is a great idea.
How to cash in: Check out some of the new alcohol alternatives on the market. Ghia, Kentucky 74, and Amass are making some exciting spiritless products that would be welcome additions to any well-appointed bar. Work with your bar staff to develop non-alcoholic options and present them with your beverage menu. To get the word out, consider hosting a few booze-free happy hours and tasting events.
Chefs are getting more inspired and creative than ever before with mushrooms, using them in everything from schnitzel to bolognese. Wild mushrooms, especially, have seen a huge rise in popularity thanks to foragers (especially TikTok foragers) hitting the mainstream.
How to cash in: Work with growers and suppliers to incorporate mushrooms, from lion’s mane to black trumpets, all over your menu. Many mushrooms dry well, which means you can extend their season indefinitely with some clever preservation. Mushrooms can also make great meat replacements, so consider offering mushroom-based options as an alternative to meat.
According to Whole Foods, conscientiously grown grains will see an uptick in 2022, as soil health continues to be a global concern. Whole Foods cites a grain called kernza, which was developed by The Land Institute, as an up-and-coming option. Meanwhile, ancient grains like quinoa, millet, flax, teff, farro, kamut, and einkorn will continue to increase in popularity as consumers become more aware of their benefits.
How to cash in: Consider adding these grains to your menus as alternatives to rice, pasta, and potatoes, giving guests something new and exciting to try. Be sure to provide information to your staff about their benefits and allow them to taste any new menu items that include them so that they can help sell to guests.