Abba Napa, Cheryl Tiu-Snyder, Avin Ong, and other industry leaders share their trend predictions for 2022 and what they hope to see popularise in the coming year
Everyone's abuzz with excitement for 2022, foodies and industry experts included. In celebration of the new year, we asked restaurateurs, chefs, and others in the field two questions:
- What trend do you predict will catch on?
- What trend do you want and hope to see this year?
Stay in the know and read their responses, below:
Cheryl Tiu-Snyder, journalist and food enthusiast
Transitions from a plant-based diet to a plant-based lifestyle will surely grow. The alt-meat/alt-protein space has grown so rapidly globally—and whereas before, it was necessary to import from overseas, most countries now have their own homegrown meat alternative brands (the Philippines included). The onslaught of COVID-19, growing concerns over the environment, animal welfare, health, and immunity have also prompted many to re-think their food choices.
I believe we’ll become more hyper-local than ever, too. “Support local” was already a growing movement, and with the COVID-19 pandemic shutting borders and disrupting supply chains globally, chefs and restaurants have had to source from what's closest to them.
I hope to see more root-to-stalk cooking in 2022. With the rise of vegetable-forward cooking, I would love to see more kitchens using vegetable "scraps"—everything from the cores, stems, stock, etc.—in cooking or in dishes, to reduce kitchen waste.
Mikel Zaguirre, chef and F&B consultant
I think people will learn a lot more about ghost/cloud kitchens and how they will integrate into their new normal. People will be surprised by the quality of food delivery these concepts provide. I also think we’ll see a lot of new, unique coffee concepts.
I’m looking forward to more hyper-focused menus from chefs, I’m always a fan of chefs pushing our food industry forward. On the flip side, what I don’t want to see are price increases, cost hikes, and continued scarcity of supplies, which has been occurring for two years and counting.
Abba Napa, co-founder and creative director of The Moment Group
There is a new generation of young people who care about certain things that also matter to us personally, and as a company: quality and value, sustainability and, importantly, ethics. These are traits that have always been important to us, and they will become even more so in the years to come.
This means a number of things, like the continuing evolution of plant-based foods. As development in product quality improves in this segment, we see it embraced more in the restaurant world and it is something we would look at ourselves. There will also be a continuous and growing effort to work with quality, locally sourced ingredients. This is a win-win for freshness for the diner, as well as for the fight against climate change, and for the planet as a whole. It requires a massive effort, not just in the world of F&B but also with the agricultural and logistics sectors of our country which, of course, needs solid government support.
Another trend that is swiftly gaining ground is the area of branded and urban farmed greens. We are regularly approached by many players in this sector today, more than those in the plant-based food sector. This opens up the door for us to make R&D more exciting, more sustainable, and also create more functional dishes for our diners.
All in all, a lot of positives to look forward to, especially as we hope 2022 will be the start of the recovery from the impacts of COVID.
Chichi Tullao, food and props stylist (Happy Tummy Travels)
Plant-based everything will grow, from fast-food to groceries. I really think 2022 is the year of eating healthy. We’ll likely see more well-thought-out ghost/cloud kitchens, too. Finally, there will be more efficient or streamlined online grocery app options, or perhaps the existing ones will be more customer-focused, providing a variety of options to online customers.
I hope that there will be a delivery app that connects customers to restaurants without putting a big dent in the profits of restaurateurs. Globally, white table cloth dining is booming again, so maybe our country will take part in that, too. I’d also like to see experiential dining translate within the comforts of one’s own home—I think bringing the restaurant experience to customers’ homes will strengthen takeaway orders. Anything Japanese is also in, maybe because of the number of restaurants opening with solid foundations for Japanese food.
Avin Ong, founder of Fredley Group of Companies
In the past couple of years, we’ve seen how the online food scene, takeout and deliveries, and home-based businesses have grown in response to the [pandemic] situation. I believe that those trends will continue to thrive in 2022. However, I think that people also are starting to look not only for brands that serve good food but for those that pay special attention to safer, more creative packaging and healthier food options. Even over the past year, a lot of businesses have been adding plant-based items to their menu. The uncertainties brought about by the pandemic are encouraging people to eat healthier, so I think this is one trend that will really take off.
I’m hoping that dine-in services can be more stable this year. Honestly, it’s really more that I hope to get back at least a smidge of normalcy, rather than a trend. As a restaurateur, I hope that the F&B industry can bounce back sooner. We’re hoping to go back to at least 80% of how operations used to be in order for us to fully showcase our products and services. After all, our business is still very experiential. Even if there are alternatives now, the full dining experience offered by our brands still cannot be replicated.
Andie Cruz, Keisha Lao, and Mikee Villareal, co-founders of MadEats
We think anything plant-based will probably trend, and probably more options for it too: DIY kits and ready-to-cook meals, and immunity-boosting food and drinks because everyone's getting more and more conscious about boosting their immune system!
Hopefully, reusable and/or eco-friendly packaging grows popular, too. We've observed that because of the pandemic, the use of single-use packaging for food items has been increasing. We, too, are working on more sustainable packaging in the long run.
Jenny Yrasuegui, CEO of Square One Hospitality
Ever since the pandemic started, we've been more and more intentional with everything that we do in Square One Hospitality Concepts. Because of challenges brought about by the pandemic, we are faced with limited supply, and with that, we expect to see more and more restaurants adapt by having shorter, but still creative menus. We also believe that people will be more intentional with regard to socialising. Since we've been so cautious the past two years, it's important for people to gather together. But when they do, they will think about who they want to see, what they want to eat and experience—the meals, the people, the conversations, and the spaces.
That said, we hope to see smaller venues, and more experiential and sensory dining experiences—those we cannot order for delivery at home. We also hope to see a balance between humanity and technology. Technology has definitely improved the past few years and made systems more efficient in our country, but we're looking to balance this newfound fast-paced, digital lifestyle, with that of a mindful, deeper, and purposeful journey in life.