What food trends can we expect to see in 2022?
Le Cordon Bleu is known for helping shape the careers of some of the best chefs, food enthusiasts and hospitality professionals around the world. Recently, more chefs are developing their own brands, setting up businesses and moving from restaurants into retail.
This entrepreneurial route has become a strong motivating factor for students to pursue a career in hospitality. Market research and developing an instinct for the latest trends is part of the journey to become an entrepreneur. Here are a few trends we predict that aspiring food entrepreneurs should bear in mind for 2022:
Informality and engagement
A formal service is no longer as attractive to some consumers and instead they are going for dining experiences that offer a relaxed service and environment for an enjoyable experience. Less is more, and there is an even stronger focus on quality. There is also a notable shift toward greater engagement between staff, guests and food. People have a genuine interest in the menu and provenance has become important. Going forward, a greater number of fine-dining businesses will try to focus on informality and accessibility.
Consumers are aware of the impact food production has on the environment, and their choice of restaurant is often influenced by the sustainable and ethical practices employed. This is not just a fad. The Sustainable Restaurant Association was launched in 2010 with just 50 members; today, it has more than 7,000. We can expect to see growing interest on where restaurants are getting their food from, how they engage with or support local producers and how aspects such as food wastage are handled.
Fast food, fast-casual, casual and grab-and go concepts have become more digital, impacting the way we pay and order, but also how brands engage with customers. Mobile ordering and contactless payments are standard practices; so, what comes next? Companies are exploring innovations that will transform them digitally. Some are investing in big data to help them guide their menu changes, promotions and brand designs, while others are taking on other technologies. For example, McDonald’s has tested AI while scanning license plates, with customers’ permission, to predict orders.
Many restaurants have, out of necessity, toyed with the concept of membership or subscription services. In the UK, M Restaurants offers its members exclusive access to their lounges and benefits, including complimentary breakfast, discounts on food and access to events, such as masterclasses, tastings and talks. In America, Michelin-starred restaurant Quince in San Francisco has created a membership based model with its sister restaurants and its affiliate farm, Quince & Co, offering members a dining credit, quarterly boxes with seasonal produce and pantry products, and educational workshops.
Home delivery/meal kits
The online delivery market was increasing at a significant rate before Covid-19, and during the pandemic it became even bigger and more important for hospitality operators. The pandemic also led to the growth of DIY meal kits. According to the Financial Times, from July to September 2020, Hello Fresh reported sales of EUR 970 million. These meal kits have given hospitality operators the opportunity to diversify their revenue streams. Casual food brands and fine-dining concepts have both been embraced by consumers. Although many believe that the re-opening of the sector will slow down the DIY meal kit market, we believe that more operators will explore this avenue.
What news can you share with us regarding Le Cordon Bleu?
Le Cordon Bleu’s research and development enables it to continuously innovate in its course proposition. New programs are now available, including diplomas in patisserie innovation and wellness, gastronomy, nutrition and food trends and an online certificate in plant-based patisserie.
In France, Le Cordon Bleu was honored to be awarded the title of World’s Best Culinary Training Institution. It was also chosen by the Ministry of Culture to provide culinary experiences and workshops on world cuisines at iconic Hôtel de la Marine in Paris, a palace by the Louvre and the Champs- Elysées. To open next October 2022.
In Lebanon, the Institute is located at the five-star Burj On Bay hotel, overlooking the breathtaking Jounieh Bay. It offers acclaimed culinary programs, such as the Grand Diplôme®, Diplôme de Cuisine, Diplôme de Pâtisserie and short courses for those seeking to upgrade their culinary expertise.
Furthermore, Le Cordon Bleu Lebanon has launched a new short course calendar for all levels under the guidance of French chef Philippe Wavrin, a highly skilled professional with 35 years’ experience.