2022 is more upbeat for food and drink industry

What trends will likely make a global impact on the F&B industry in 2022? According to Technomic’s 2022 Global Restaurant Trends and Forecast, with the COVID-19 virus continuing to loom large across international F&B sectors, the pandemic will keep influencing operations, planning, decision-making and forecasting for operators and suppliers alike. However, even with the uncertainty, the firm is upbeat that the steady recovery many had expected in 2021 may happen in 2022. Technomic said positive developments such as vaccination rollouts, people returning to offices, schools and global travel bring new optimism and opportunities. However, foundational issues around labour, supply disruption and inflation make it hard to peer into what’s to come next month, let alone next year, the firm’s report revealed.
Indeed, F&B industry players in Asia also feel this uncertainty. Muhammad Kamal, honorary president of the Singapore Halal Culinary Federation, told Tasty Asia that operators should put any expansion plans on hold for now. He said it would be better for them to consolidate their businesses, realign, refocus, and reengineer their operations with greater emphasis on quality deliverables. To better prepare for recovery, they should focus on upskilling staff and continuous technological (digital) automation enhancement.
He added that global health uncertainties might affect the supply chain and consumers’ dining and buying patterns. “More consumers now are concerned about product traceability and the rise of health consciousness,” Kamal said. “Menus now have to be leaner, healthier and friendlier too so they can opt to either dine-in, takeaways, delivered or via a vending machine.”
Meanwhile, Christopher McCuin, managing director of Montgomery Asia, said there are still more challenges ahead for the F&B industry in Asia. He said that food security, supply chains, and open trade remain within the top challenges for the F&B sector in Asia. As an F&B trade show organiser, McCuin noted a growing demand for fine food products. Consumers are more concerned about their well-being and choosing healthier food and drink options. However, stricter regulations imposed for overseas businesses to export their products and longer delivery times due to the logistics industry challenges result in higher costs and lengthier import time. F&B companies are incurring these across the board, he said. (Image from Unsplash)

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