As part of the recent Global Hospitality Summit organized by the International Hospitality Insititute Cornell Nolan School of Hotel Administration Professor Lilly Jan spoke about upcoming food and beverage trends, which given the ups and downs with COVID, there were a few surprises!
According to Professor Jan, the foodservice industry is expected to recover on a nominal basis (this includes inflation) in 2022, though this data was researched before the Omicron variant of COVID.
The good news is, people who are vaccinated are more likely to eat out more, and consumers who tend to be more frequent diners, such as young professionals, parents, and those with a high income, plan to eat out more next year.
Menu Trends: Shrinkage, Noodles, and Spices
Sixty percent of restaurant menus shrank during COVID and when they did it was by 10 % with the biggest losers appetizers (down 14 %), desserts, and booze with the exception of White Claw and Non-Alcoholic Beers, which had a boost. Other items that saw a decrease––breakfast, and foods that need temperature-specific preparation like steaks or scallops––not surprising as much of 2020 dining was takeout.
What are the big menu winners?
Noodles! Not surprising as historically people want comfort food during stressful times.
Plant-based items, i.e. jackfruit and meat substitutes, and the overall trend in more sustainable eating.
Future menu trends––since 2020 HOT spices are on fire:
Up 70% is Furikake, a dry Japanese condiment that can be sprinkled on top of cooked rice, vegetables, and fish. It typically consists of a mixture of dried fish, sesame seeds, chopped seaweed, sugar, salt, and monosodium glutamate.
Up 42% Tajin, a Mexican spice company founded in 1985 by Horacio Fernandez that produces several varieties of condiments, consisting predominantly of chile peppers, dehydrated lime, and salt.
Up 29% hot mustard
Other spicy items and flavor profiles that continue to grow: hot honey, gochujang, and mapo tofu (a spicy Sichuan preparation of tofu)
Source: Datassentials / Professor Lilly Jan, Cornell Nolan School of Hotel Administration