April 26, 2022

Bouncing back: 3 exciting trends influencing food service this summer

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The food service industry faced unprecedented change when the COVID-19 pandemic emerged in early 2020. At first, the hospitality sector fought to stay afloat, before then shifting to succeed in the unexpected environment they found themselves in. Ghost kitchens (takeaway-only establishments) became popular, and consumers craved comforting indulgences and immunity-boosting, healthy products.

Now, two years later, restaurants, bars and cafes are all open once again across Europe, and consumers are ready to eat out this summer. But what trends are we expecting to see across hospitality venues over the warmer months? Here’s our take on the top three trends that will shape the industry in 2022 – and beyond!

1. Sustainability is on the menu!

The growth of the conscious consumer has highlighted the importance of sustainability in the food and drink sector. Indeed, a recent survey found that eco-friendliness was an ‘important consideration’ when ordering food, with 65% of diners concerned about the environment, up from 47% pre-lockdown.[1] As we move into the summer, restaurant-goers will be looking for hospitality options that align with their ethical values and which have minimal environmental impact.

So, how can food service professionals seek to attract more sustainably minded consumers? Sustainable sourcing, natural and organic ingredients and a transparent supply chain are all important considerations to make. At SVZ, for example, our food service customers are guaranteed ethically sourced ingredients, produced close to source and in partnership with local farmers. Check out more about our latest green initiatives here!

2. Virtuous veggies

Gone are the days when vegan or vegetarian menu options consisted of salad – or chips! The entire plant-based segment is making huge innovative strides, with analogue meats and vegan cheeses giving their meat-based counterparts a run for their money. In addition, fruit and vegetables are becoming the star of dishes, with a focus on exciting, innovative flavour combinations and new textures. So, in order to cater for a veggie audience, why not embrace more fruit and vegetable ingredients in your food service options?

Whether it’s to add flavour or colour, introducing fruit purees or vegetable juice concentrates can improve both taste and nutritional value. This year, plant-based seafood is expected to make a splash in the vegan sector, and NPD is already proving that fruit and vegetable ingredients are great additions to these recipes – take Zalmon, for example, a plant-based seafood alternative product that utilises the sweetness and versatility of carrots to create ‘smoked salmon’.

3. Are you sober-curious?

Mocktails and beverages with low alcohol content have been on the rise for the past couple of years (check out the blog we wrote in 2019!) but they’re predicted to keep rising this year. A 2022 report discovered that 58% more consumers are reaching for non-alcoholic and low-ABV drinks than in 2021 – this group aren’t strictly tee-total but enjoy having a flavoursome alternative on occasions.[2] This movement is also tied to the macro trend for improved health and nutrition.

Why not cater to the ‘low or no’ crowd by incorporating delicious fruit and vegetable ingredients in your adult soft drinks – not only do they pack a punch with flavour, but they are also nutrient-rich and naturally low sugar too; perfect for health-conscious consumers!

Looking ahead…

Against all odds, restaurants, bars and cafes are bouncing back from the unprecedented situation in 2020. Now, as the hospitality industry stabilises, how can these venues attract consumers this summer? Whether it’s with exciting low-alcohol drinks, plant-based options or ethically sourced meals, there are a multitude of options for the food service industry to tempt consumers with.

At SVZ, we’re here to support the food service industry with high-quality fruit and vegetable ingredients. Grown sustainably with the local know-how of our partner farmers and the science of agronomy, our broad product range has no compromise on quality. Get in touch to discover the possibilities of our great range!

[1] https://www.djsresearch.co.uk/FoodMarketResearchInsightsAndFindings/article/65percent-of-diners-polled-in-survey-are-concerned-about-the-environment-up-from-47percent-pre-lockdown-reveals-survey-04888

[2] Bacardi’s 2022 Trends Report

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