What PR Professionals Want To Know About Meals & Beverage Traits

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In some ways, the meals and beverage trade is a microcosm of the higher economic system. As we dive into 2022, I wished to analysis and write about a few of the developments we’re seeing. With all that’s happening around the globe, and on this nation, the PR, advertising, and comms industries are uniquely certified to assist their meals and beverage shoppers navigate the nice, the dangerous, and the ugly of what’s occurring of their respective industries.

How inflation, provide chain points & COVID-19 proceed to dominate

You may’t have a dialogue on developments inside the meals and beverage trade with out diving into the inflation and provide chain points that proceed to impression most sides of our economic system and the way the pandemic casts a darkish cloud over all of it. As we’ve seen for the reason that starting of the pandemic, the unfold of the virus has had (and continues to have) a ripple impact throughout the worldwide economic system.

Relating to inflation, there are extra questions than there are solutions. Meals has change into costlier than it has been in a long time and enterprise homeowners and customers alike are anxious concerning the outlook. Tens of millions are questioning how excessive costs can go and when this excessive inflation will begin to fade. In a few of the greatest meals producers, it’s clear that inflation is one thing we’ll all be coping with deep into 2022 and presumably past. Just a few examples:

  • Basic Mills: plans to increase costs this month for dozens of manufacturers, together with Annie’s, Progresso, Yoplait, Fruit Roll-Ups, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Cheerios, Wheaties, Reese’s, Trix and extra. For some gadgets, costs will go up by round 20% starting subsequent 12 months.
  • Mondelez: plans to lift costs by 7% in Q1, CEO Dirk Van de Put stated just lately, citing increased commodity costs and transportation shortages. Kraft Heinz can also be planning to hike costs in early 2022.

We’re additionally seeing this kind of response within the foodservice sector.

  • McDonald’s: was among the many first main fast-food corporations to announce menu value hikes. The common menu value elevated by 6% in 2021 and will proceed in 2022. “Our franchisees are rising wages, we’re up over 15% on wages,” CEO Chris Kempczinski advised traders. McDonald’s additionally expects its commodity prices to rise by 3.5% to 4%.

The subsequent ripple I wish to tackle are the issues revolving across the provide chain disaster. This concern acquired on the radars of most Individuals when the information confirmed the large cargo ships in site visitors jams at varied ports across the U.S. Whereas it is a good visible illustration of the issue, there are such a lot of layers to this concern.

Supply ChainProvide chain disruptions historically happen attributable to pure calamities and crises. COVID-19 has resulted not solely in widescale well being points, hospitalizations, and deaths nevertheless it additionally touches the financial sectors and actions, together with manufacturing, provide chain logistic, and many others. These disruptions are an enormous problem for meals corporations in 2021, as a lot of our meals system depends on the manufacturing and/or uncooked supplies from areas everywhere in the globe. Sadly, this drawback will proceed into 2022 as logistics change into extra pricey and labor scarcity points proceed.

Meals developments

Now that I’ve acquired the dangerous information about inflation and provide chain points out of the way in which, how about we take a look at some meals developments for 2022? And whereas it’s exhausting to flee the impression from COVID-19 , the meals trade has tailored, and lots of the results and optimistic developments which have come out of that will outlast the pandemic.

  • Direct–to-consumer will proceed to outpace all different distribution channels. Everybody appears to be participating on this phenomenon, with most customers having purchased groceries on-line within the final two years. Meals shops and eating places are persevering with to regulate. Throughout the pandemic, retailers and eating places grew on-line gross sales by way of curbside pick-up and supply.
  • Non-public label has outpaced title manufacturers 4 years in a row and continues to take action. For retailers, if there’s a silver lining (past inflation’s favorable impact on greenback gross sales), it could be a compelling alternative to extend non-public labels’ penetration as customers search methods to maintain their grocery spending in examine.
  • Plant-based meat alternate options for hamburgers proceed to blow up in reputation. Anticipate it to develop into different meals classes resembling breaded, fried appetizers which are additionally becoming a member of the plant-based merchandise occasion. ​​ Whereas soy, wheat and pea proteins have been a few of the staples of plant-based meat, many different components are getting a brand new look. Shoppers say they’re interested by a wide range of tastes, features and totally different sorts of plant protein of their meals, so search for extra of this in 2022.
  • Having a sustainability-driven objective will likely be essential for attracting new prospects and also can assist recruit high expertise to hitch your group. A rising variety of customers wish to know the place their meals comes from and guarantee its supply. Consequently, all sustainability features are crucial, from uncooked supplies sourcing, packaging, and minimizing the CO2 footprint in your manufacturing, this matter is bound to be related all year long.

Beverage Traits

The beverage trade is one other one which has been pressured to adapt and get artistic to outlive. Among the many developments we’re seeing for 2022:

  • Pre-packaged cocktails will change into much more common this 12 months. And why not? They’re handy, scrumptious, and really easy to make. Whether or not bought in ready-to-drink cans or greater bottles, pre-mixed cocktails have gotten a preferred alternative for customers in search of comfort. And eating places will proceed to get in on this strategy. A few of my private favorites (that I usually get carryout from) provide pre-made or different drink kits to take pleasure in wonderful drinks at dwelling.
  • For the wine lovers amongst us, trade specialists predict that wine from lesser-known areas like Japanese Europe and even Australia will get extra consideration this 12 months. If you happen to haven’t tried any but, examine them out and rejoice some new choices.
  • Tequila will proceed its massive rise: “Tequila and its reputation continues to develop. One of many extra enjoyable outcomes of its reputation and our latest provide challenges, is that individuals are starting to be extra adventurous with the tequila that they choose,” says Liz Martinez, Daxton Lodge Director of Beverage Service.

Restaurant developments

It has been fascinating to see how a few of the eating places in my group are altering how they do enterprise to remain afloat. A few of what I’m seeing and studying about for 2022 embody:

  • Out of doors eating will proceed to be a part of many eating places plans as customers stay involved concerning the unfold of the virus. Not at all times possible for some institutions, for individuals who could make it work, it has given them the power to proceed to remain open and preserve their staff working. And lots of have realized that out of doors eating is perhaps right here for the lengthy haul, whatever the pandemic.
  • Supply improvements will proceed to realize reputation, with many manufacturers getting concerned for the primary time. McDonald’s has a partnership with Uber Eats and DoorDash, and KFC launched a Seize and Go initiative for customers and supply drivers. These days, meals supply has change into a international market price greater than $150 billion, having greater than tripled since 2017. In the USA, the market has greater than doubled throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, following wholesome historic progress of 8 %.
  • Ghost kitchens gained in reputation throughout the early elements of the pandemic. And whereas ghost kitchens lose a few of their want as diners really feel extra snug returning to eating places, some companies have seen this phenomenon to promote manufactured kits or perform orders as a option to additional improve income.


Given the problems I highlighted with the pandemic, inflation, and provide chain points, it may be exhausting to make educated predictions about 2022. In any case, did anybody actually assume we’d be within the place we’re now in a single 12 months in the past? However one factor I’ve discovered over this extraordinarily making an attempt interval for our nation is simply how resilient these industries actually are. They’ve innovated, thought outdoors the field, pivoted, and finished no matter was essential to survive. So, for that, I increase a glass and toast these hard-working folks and organizations and hope that the toughest half is behind us. I feel we will all say “cheers” to that!


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