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4 Food and Beverage Trends You Can’t Ignore in 2022

As a new year approaches, new trends are taking over the food and beverage industry. Predicting and implementing these trends doesn’t require a crystal ball, but listening to what consumer reports and market potential tell us. At Sestra, we stay on top of these reports for you so all you have to do is implement what works for your venue and continue to offer your customers frictionless service and the perfect pour (oh yeah, we can help with that too). While top notch customer service is always on trend, the demand for transparency, alcohol-alternatives, plant based foods, and functional foods are four food and beverage trends you can’t ignore in 2022.

Transparency

The biggest trend that will continue throughout 2022 and beyond isn’t a product, but transparency. Mike Hughes, head of research at FMCG Gurus, said, “The recent pandemic has meant that consumers have become concerned about a variety of supply chain issues such as the country of origin of products and the safe handling, storage, and distribution of products along the supply chain. As such, consumers want more information on the products that they purchase than ever before.”

Not only do consumers want to know where their products are coming from, they want to know products’ effects on the environment. Did you know that the carbon footprint of a bottle of wine is around 1.28kg CO2; about the same as driving 3 miles in a Honda Accord? Or that the carbon footprint of an average 6-pack is 3,188.8 grams of CO2? To put that into perspective, it would take a single tree 53.46 days to offset the carbon emissions of a single six pack of beer. Kegged beverages on tap can drastically reduce your carbon footprint, cut down on waste, and provide your guests with the perfect pour, every time.

Zero-Proof Beverages

Along with effects on the environment, consumers are more aware and concerned with how the food and beverages they’re consuming affect their health and wellbeing. Whether the choice is for the evening or for life, more and more consumers are reaching for zero-proof beer, wine, and mocktails over traditional alcoholic beverages. According to The IWSR, “Consumption of these products is expected to increase 31% by 2024 across 10 markets: Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, South Africa, Spain, the UK and the U.S.”

Offering alcohol-free beverages at your venue promotes inclusivity and has positive effects on your guests and your bottom line.

Zero Proof Cocktail from Columbia Room- food and beverage trends you can't ignore in 2022

Photo by Columbia Room

Plant Based Foods

Plant based foods have always had their audience and the $4.51 billion dollar global meat substitute market is estimated to hit $8.82 billion by 2027. Not only are vegetarians and vegans growing in number, reducetarianism, the commitment to eating less meat and dairy and fewer eggs, is becoming more commonplace. From health reasons, to environmental impact, to animal cruelty concerns, each reducetarian eats in accordance to their own individual motivations and is contributing to the meat-alternative market.

Additionally, according to Grand View Research, “The global dairy alternatives market size was valued at USD 20.50 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.5% from 2021 to 2028. The market is gaining momentum and witnessing a high demand owing to the shift in consumer eating patterns and change in diet trends.” This shift in consumer eating patterns is resulting in a demand for dairy alternatives beyond traditional soymilk, including non-dairy ice cream, yogurt, butter, and more. 

How can your venue keep up with meat and dairy free lifestyles? Provide your customers with choice. While you don’t have to eliminate meat and dairy from the menu, offer alternatives like almond milk, oat milk, and coconut milk products. And, while meat alternatives can include products such as Beyond Meat, it can also mean serving more whole plant dishes and getting creative.

Functional Foods

While functional foods fit within a plant based diet, the reasons consumers reach for them differ. Functional foods offer benefits above and beyond basic nutrition, such as reducing the risk of disease, alleviating anxiety and depression, and offering natural pain relief. CBD, for example, claims to offer all of these benefits and big hitters including Nestle and Kraft are even entering the market. From CBD infused seltzers and sodas to cold brew and sparkling water, there are several CBD beverages your venue can serve.

Adaptogens are herbs that, like CBD, aid in reducing anxiety. They can also boost immunity and overall well-being, combat fatigue, and enhance mental performance. According to Spoonshot, the increase in stress and anxiety, as a result of the pandemic, is driving heightened awareness of adaptogens, with consumer interest in adaptogens growing 55% in 2020. This trend is expected to increase with brands meeting the demand through matcha gelato, popsicles with a punch, wellness chocolate, and more. 

The spice known as turmeric takes the cake, in terms of health benefits and popularity (as well as literally being used in cakes, cookies, and ice cream). Turmeric is anti-inflammatory, increases antioxidants in the body, boosts brain function, and is believed to prevent cancer, help Alzheimer’s patients, slow aging, and more. Wellness shots, turmeric lattes, and turmeric granola are just a few of the menu items consumers are lining up for.

Staying on top of food and beverage trends does not mean guessing the next big thing and revamping your entire menu or gutting your venue. It means listening to what consumers are telling you through market growth trends and evolving your offerings to meet those needs. These 2022 food and beverage trends tell us that consumers care more about the environment, global impact, and their own health than ever before. Your venue can support those needs through offering transparency, choice, and more plant-based menu options.

If you’re interested in learning how Sestra can help your venue serve the latest food and beverage trends in 2022 and beyond, contact us today.

Promote Inclusivity and Loyalty with Non-Alcoholic Beverages

Everyone has their reasons when reaching for non-alcoholic beverages. Whether the choice is for the evening or for life, more and more people are embracing the sober curious lifestyle. Venues like Listen Bar in Brooklyn, NY cater to the sober socialite, serving only non-alcoholic beverages. It won’t be long before more and more venues follow suit. Non-alcoholic menu additions can help your bar or restaurant and you don’t have to start from scratch to cater to all types of guests.

 

Not only do non-alcoholic beverages make your venue more inclusive, they open up an additional revenue stream. Forbes’ “Make Mine a Mocktail” illustrates bartenders’ beliefs that no-proof drinking is a growing trend. It also refutes the idea that non-alcoholic menu items will reduce profit, 

“if you add a non-alc drink, you may get someone who would normally order a Pellegrino, who’s now ordering a sophisticated drink. There’s incremental sales that come from that.” On the West Coast, non-alcoholic drinks ring in $13,000 on average per year compared to $10,500 average in New York, according to Distill’s research.

“The movement is happening, it’s here,” Otto says. “We’ve seen it in data, now we’re seeing it in the press and online searches. The idea of [having more choices] is key to consumers.”

 

Non-Alcoholic Beverages

Coffee

Let’s start with the obvious morning pick-me-up: coffee. 64% of Americans consume coffee everyday so if you’re looking to incorporate non-alcoholic options, coffee on tap is a great bet.

Sestra can set up your venue with both hot and cold coffee on tap, allowing your business to track inventory, prevent over pouring, and increase efficiency. 

Kombucha

Kombucha is a fermented tea, rich in probiotics and antioxidants. The bubbly beverage is believed to reduce risk of heart disease and protect against cancer. That’s a lot of pressure to put on a beverage but kombucha gets the job done with refreshing flavors. 

Mocktails 

Mocktails are alcohol-free mixed drinks that are a tasty alternative in both flavor and appearance to the typical cocktail. Cocktail connoisseurs as well as beverage beginners can enjoy the fruits, bitters, sodas, and even non-alcoholic liquor that may be incorporated into mocktails.

In venues where alcohol is expected, mocktails, kombucha, and other bubble beverages are great additions that promote inclusivity. But what about situations that typically wouldn’t serve alcohol to begin with? Non-alcoholic beverages can also be used as a perk to promote loyalty and create a memorable experience for employees and guests.

 

Non-Alcoholic Beverages as a Perk

Workplace

Health insurance, retirement plans, and paid vacation are all common workplace benefits that are great for employee attraction and retention. Keep in mind that the little things also add up. Team culture and in-office perks (like beverages on tap) are great benefits that keep your employees happy and promote loyalty. Whether offered in addition to traditional office happy hour beverages or as a workplace-friendly alternative, easy access to coffee and kombucha are becoming more commonplace and appreciated. 

Lobbies

While Sestra has hotel partners who offer free wine on tap at check-in and complimentary happy hours, coffee and kombucha on tap are a great pick-me-up for any time of day. Whether guests are checking in, checking out, or leaving for the day, non-alcoholic beverages on tap can help improve the guest experience. 

Conferences and Events

For the same reasons why alcohol isn’t the only option for the workplace or venue lobbies, conferences and other events can offer non-alcoholic beverages for an inclusive experience.

 

The options for incorporating non-alcoholic beverages are as numerous as the reasons for offering them and accommodating the many reasons why someone may choose a zero-proof beverage is more than just a trend. 

Are you considering adding alcoholic alternatives to your venue? Contact Sestra to learn how our TapWise dispensers and on-going service can help your venue promote inclusivity and  increase customer loyalty.