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8 food, drink and hospitality trends to look out for in 2022

As we get stuck into 2022, what can you expect from food and drink producers this year?

Published: January 10, 2022
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Some of Scotland’s top chefs and foodies are predicting smaller menus for 2022 with an increase in hyper-local, as well as “home-grown” and heritage ingredients to circumvent the ongoing supply chain issues.

The popularity of plant-based also shows no signs of abating and diners can expect to see more umami ingredients in their dishes.

When it comes to beverages – if you love your daily flat white, then brace yourself for price hikes due to market conditions.

Coffee experts expect a growth in batch brewed coffee and smaller coffees such cortados and piccolos, which are less labour intensive, to offset this.

Low and no alcohol will be another ongoing trend plus look out for retro food and drinks.

Local ingredients and heritage produce

Tom and Matilda Tsappis, owners of Killiecrankie House said: "As we become increasingly aware of the carbon footprint that comes with importing produce, the idea of ‘local’ has gained traction.

"The next natural step of this idea of ‘local’, is to look to a greater understanding of produce that can only be, or was originally, from the specific area.

"The idea of ‘heritage’ will lead to kitchen gardens being planted with varieties of place (for example at Killiecrankie House, we have planted various heritage apple varieties), it will lead to an investigation into heritage meats, and even in wine, there has been an increased interest in indigenous varieties that are from that area and that aren’t grown elsewhere.

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"It brings a sense of place to the end product, and makes it feel more special; it isn’t something that can be experienced anywhere else."

Plant based

Stuart Ralston of Noto and Aizle in Edinburgh thinks this trend is set to continue and grow.

He said: "Surely also set to grow and continue, especially now with fake meat products in almost every food shop now and Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat in places like Burger King etc."

Rise of umami

Kamil Witek of Aurora Edinburgh said: "Mushrooms are widely available in the UK and an excellent seasonal product. I think that mushrooms will be used more commonly out-with typical recipe inclusion.

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"Drinks, desserts, maybe we’ll see mushroom protein steaks. Also moulds and noble rots: René Redzepi showed the world that not all moulds are bad with his moulded asparagus. I imagine that fine dining professionals and food technicians will explore new ways to use these.

"Finally, to phytoplankton which is something I use regularly in dishes to recreate an authentic taste of the sea.

"Although it is vegan you can combine it with double cream to create a sauce that is similar to a long-cooked bisque from lobster shells.

"Plankton also contains many micro-elements making it very good for you, I think we will see it in all health food stores in the coming years."

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Supply chain impacts

Stuart Ralston thinks there will be smaller menus. He said: "I see us having a lot of problems with supplies, already it’s been a nightmare, with covid reducing the number of drivers, lack of fruit and veg pickers.

"I think this may result in a growth in micro farming and growing your own.

"There’s already a number of restaurants getting into this (we are already looking for our own farm site – see Restaurant Andrew Fairlie and Pentonbridge Inn as examples) as well as hydroponics and aquaponics making the cultivation of mushrooms much easier and cheaper."

Nick Sinclair from The Edinburgh Butter Company agrees, and thinks this will see more local sourcing.

He said: "We continue to see a focus on sourcing local from our trade customers, specifically bakers. With our butter sheets, which are used for pastry lamination, we operate in a market where the only real alternative option is imports from France.

"Over the last year and a half there have been significant logistics and cost increases of importing sheet butter from France, one buyer said that they had 5 price rises this year alone. In some circumstances we have heard of bakers not receiving their butter orders at all.

"This leaves their business open to risk of not having products to sell and as a result have been searching for an alternative option which is produced closer to home to ensure they get the supply they need."

Rise in coffee prices

Lynsey Harley from Modern Standard Coffee think that the price of coffee is set to rise.

She said: "I think the main issues surrounding coffee going into 2022, are around price.

"In the last six months, the coffee market has gone from $1.72 per lb of coffee, to $2.46 per lb of coffee (43% increase), driven in part by speculation in the coffee market, frosts in Brazil which has affected the crop yield, higher labour costs and shipping container shortages.

"This in combination with our own UK based inflation, 2022 might be the year that coffee prices are pushed up above just the normal increases.

"I'd expect coffees served in cafes, to increase by 25p at least to cover this increase.

"So, what we might see to counteract this, is more of a boom in batch brew coffee, as it's less labour intensive and we might see people switching to this as an option to still have their daily coffee but without forking out more.

"Perhaps more smaller coffees, cortados and piccolos instead of flat whites, again for the same reason."

Stuart Ralston thinks that No and low alcohol options will continue to grow in popularity.

"When we were allowed to re-open but without alcohol we did a paired drinks menu with zero alcohol, and it was very popular, so much so we kept it as part of what we do now and sell a lot.

"Younger people are drinking less and less, genuinely good cocktails and kombucha are almost expected in every decent restaurant you go to now.

"With people limiting their use of public transport due to covid, there’s more driving and therefore less drinking. I expect to see more fizzing juices to be like Cremantes and Prosecco but no alcohol."

Kamil Witek added: "At Aurora we often get praised by non-drinkers for our choice to provide a non-alcoholic drink pairing option.

"We know that this is not extremely common in Scotland at the moment, and can see it becoming a trend."

Sustainability and environmental concerns

Nick Sinclair said: "The environment is an ever-present concern for everyone right now and we are seeing trade customers, specifically bakers, looking to source more locally in order to reduce their food miles of raw material inputs.

"This has resulted in an increased interest in our butter sheets, which are used for pastry lamination, which is significant given the fact that the only alternative options are imports from France.

"On an environmental level, while dairy is generally maligned as environmentally detrimental, UK dairy is actually incredibly efficient.

"The greenhouse gas footprint of UK milk is 40% of the global average so in a society that will continue to purchase milk and dairy products the smart choice for any consumer is to ensure that they are using and purchasing milk and dairy products that are farmed and produced here in the UK."

Welfare in the hospitality industry

Tom and Matilda Tsappis think that there will be a continued interest in the welfare of staff.

They said: "For a long time, the upper hand in hospitality was with employers. With a combination of Brexit and Covid, this has been flipped on its head.

"As such employers are now having to put in place decent packages to entice staff; the types of packages that have long been enjoyed in other industries or in other countries, but not in British hospitality.

"Long gone are the days where you could mistreat your staff, and you will absolutely get called out for it and eventually, I hope, people will vote with where they spend their money.

"We believe guests can feel whether a place has happy staff or not, and it rubs off onto the experience, and therefore it is in the interest of employers to ensure that the former is the case.

"People are often shocked when we say that all our staff are salaried year-round, and get 10 weeks paid holiday, and three days off, with free accommodation and staff meals, but what surprises us is that that is not the norm."

Nostalgia

Hospitality provider Keith Prowse thinks that retro foods will make a comeback.

They said: "Retro foods are looking to become a huge trend for 2022 due to the rise of nostalgia trends on social media platforms such as Tik Tok.

"The desire for comfort food such as Knickerbocker Glory rose during the pandemic and retro foods, loved by people during their childhood, provided soothing, familiar and comfort, reminiscent of a safer and easier time.

"On Waitrose’s website, searches of knickerbocker glory were up 171%

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.

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