Every year, even the pandemic years, have their trends in restoration. In 2020, they included hot Nashville-style chicken sandwiches, non-dairy milks, sriracha mayonnaise, and those ubiquitous poke bowls.
In grocery stores, these were non-dairy milks, whether they were made from oats, almonds, soy, coconut or cashews. Some offer better hydration; others have fewer calories.
Another disadvantage is that these milks do not come from cattle emitting methane, which is a definite advantage for climate enthusiasts. They are also great for the lactose intolerant and for the vegans among us. However, they are not always as affordable as cow’s milk.
Just in time for 2022, Restaurants Canada has released its list of food trends to watch for the New Year. The national non-profit association represents establishments with more than 80,000 sites and more than one million employees.
Here are some things that the association expects to gain more favor with consumers.
Spirits without effervescence
Health-conscious consumers are less likely to have their eyes on the bar after work than in the 80s and 90s. Companies like Grüvi and Seedlip are trying to make money by offering non-alcoholic drinks to those who want to date nightlife. friends while remaining lucid the next morning.
Nutrients are king for those who want to boost their immunity. And Restaurants Canada expects it to rise on consumer priority lists over the next year.
Adaptogenic foods and drinks
This sentence is a bit of a mouthful. These are, in fact, products that not only benefit physical health, but also promote mental well-being.
“Beverage brands like Boreal Botanical Brewing speed up the game with adaptogenic drinks, drinks that contain ingredients that work to prevent the effects of stress on the body,” says Restaurants Canada. “Even superfood beets are finally joining the foreground ingredients as a nutritional and circulatory powerhouse in Dairy Farmers of Ontario’s new organic beet and grass-fed beet honey yogurt.
From the farm to the phone
If you can have cannabis, alcohol and a Big Mac McDonald’s delivered to you, how about fresh produce straight from the farm? A Toronto-based company, Bae Greens, promotes the vertical culture of micro-greens in the city. The products are harvested, delivered and tasted the same day.
Robots to the rescue
Earlier this year, the Right reported that an Edmonton company, GreenCo Robots, has created mechanical assistants for busy servers. These robots made their British Columbia debut in Happy Lamb Hot Pot at the Lansdowne Center in Richmond.
Restaurants Canada expects to see more contactless ordering, digital menus and, yes, robots in the restaurant industry over the next year or so. The best thing for servers is that they don’t have to share their tips with a machine.
365 days of alfresco dining
COVID-19 has spurred huge interest in outdoor dining. The highly contagious variant of Omicron is likely to intensify this desire. It is also boosting an industry in the patio creation arena with companies like Unichairs Inc. and Pop Up Street Patios offering solutions to besieged restaurateurs.
Canada, of course, is a cold country. Just see what the residents of British Columbia went through in the days after Christmas. But other companies, like Bum Contract and Mensa Heating, have figured out how to keep decks toasty warm even when the thermometer is dropping.
If we’ve learned anything over the past 22 months, it’s that the restaurant industry has remained resilient in the face of unprecedented adversity.