It’s *finally* 2022, and January always presents a time for our team to reflect on current culinary trends – what’s in, what’s out, and the holy grail in our world: what’s to come.
An important aspect of our job is keeping our collective finger on the pulse of trends in our industries to serve as a valuable resource for our clients—and to spread the word about trends they’re setting. So, we’ve rounded up our top food and drink trend predictions for the next 365 days—straight from the horses’ (our clients) mouths.
The past two years have rocked the food and beverage industry to its core, and we hope for brighter days ahead in 2022. Read on and join us in our resolution to try each of these trends in the new year!
Eating for the Planet
“I think that a continuing trend in 2022 will be moving towards consuming less commodity meat. I know that it’s not necessarily a new trend, but I think that there will be a continued focus and a stronger movement towards that. What I mean is that we (as a society) will continue to focus on traceable and humanely raised proteins—not only for the health benefits that eating cleaner provides, but also considering the environmental impact of what we consume.”
– Matt Singer, Executive Chef – The Salt Line (Arlington, VA)
“As a modern steakhouse, we’ve seen a steady increase in guests’ attention to where we’re sourcing our meat from, the farm, whether it’s grass-fed, ethically raised, etc. People want to know what they’re eating, and that extends to other parts of the menu like produce and dairy as well.”
– Owen McGlynn, Chef/Owner – Asheville Proper (Asheville, NC)
80s Club Cocktails
The 80s are back, baby! Our work with Agricole Hospitality in Houston and their stylish bar and lounge concept Miss Carousel has shown us that reimagined 80s club cocktails – think Amaretto Sours, Cosmopolitans, and Long Island Iced Teas – are on the rise again. Restaurants and bars around the country are reimaging these beverages for 2022 with high-quality ingredients, expert skill, and precise technique. At Miss Carousel, the menu boasts a (actually enjoyable!) Long Island Iced Tea (Mezcal, orange Curacao, Amara Montenegro, Citron Vodka, Mexican Coke, fresh lemon, Angostura bitters, Fernet, and black tea simple syrup) and their spin on the Cosmopolitan called Cosmetology School (Highway Vodka, Curacao, elderflower cherry, lime, and egg white), among many other 80s favorites. We’ll cheers to that – and it looks The New York Times agrees with us too!
“Let’s talk about avocados. I believe we will start to see the ‘avocado everything’ trend really start to fade out. Some of the more well-known chefs are already starting to substitute items such as fava beans for avocados to make purées and dips as an alternative to guacamole. Since places like Starbucks and other popular QSR operations started adding avocado toast to their menus, the demand has risen so much that sustainability is starting to fall into question. More so, the demand has also increased prices to where avocados are less available to locals in their indigenous regions. With Maya being a Mexican eatery, I must say avocados won’t be disappearing from our menu any time soon. But for other establishments with various cuisines, I think you’ll see them start to phase out.”
– Brett Riley, Executive Chef – Maya (Charleston, SC)
Back to the Classics
“Overall, I think food, service, and hospitality are going back to what makes them great. We’re seeing much more simplicity in food with the “classics” coming back to the forefront and restaurants wanting to create an entire experience around it. Guests, now more than ever, want to go out and feel at home away from home. I couldn’t be happier to be in a city that is known for its hospitality.”
– Jeb Aldrich, Executive Chef – Brasserie la Banque (Charleston, SC)
“One food trend I think we will see a lot in 2022 will be hydroponic vegetables. Recently, I have been seeing more hydroponically grown produce at restaurants and supermarkets. I had an opportunity to talk to the rep from vertical farming company Kalera when they had just opened the original location in Orlando. Vertical farming does not require soil or large spaces, meaning produce can be grown efficiently in a closed and sterile area. Plus, since the pandemic, more people are concerned about food safety; with vertical farming, the chances of cross-contamination is reduced to almost zero.”
– Masatomo “Masa” Hamaya, Executive Chef – O-Ku (Atlanta, GA)
“I see island wines becoming more and more popular in 2022. People drink wine from islands like Sicily all the time—but lately I’ve been loving wines from the Canary Islands, Corsica, Mallorca, and Malta, where there are volcanic soils that produce a really unique coastal minerality.”
– Grayum Vickers, Sommelier – Longoven (Richmond, VA)