A look at food and drink trends expected for 2022

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- "If you're thinking hot coffee is "so last season," don't toss your tumbler just yet.

"On the decline may be more accurate," says Lyons Magnus National Accounts Vice President John Koch. "Some chains are already reporting up to 75% of their coffee sales are cold. "

Koch says younger consumers are opting for cold beverages -- likely because a lot of flavors play better in cold drinks.

Specializing in creating beverage and ingredient solutions for foodservice customers, his team spent the year identifying food trends.

Cold beverages and the rise of comfort food are just two of the major themes we'll see in 2022.

"It used to be nostalgia was limited to just things that reminded you of your childhood but since the pandemic, people are just looking for things that make them kinda feel same and familiar," Koch said.

This year, we'll also start to see more people leaning toward plant-based options and companies offering a wider variety.

"It used to be everyone had a plant-based burger but now, you'll see chicken nuggets, pepperoni sausage for breakfast sandwiches, etc.," Koch said.

That goes for milk as well.

Immunity boosters and antioxidant-rich menu options will either be added or emphasized -- an already existing trend that's accelerated because of the pandemic.

"What's popular for restaurant customers are things they can easily identify as good for them," Koch said.

With more people experimenting in the kitchen and the globalization of flavors, spicing up a dish is something we'll see more restaurants do.

"Americans have gotten more educated on peppers and varietal peppers," Koch said. "Before, marketers would advertise spicy -- now, they'll say ghost pepper or scorpion pepper because people understand that those are really hot, they're craving those and looking for some excitement. "

Don't expect to see all of these trends take over our dining out options. Koch says with supply chain issues and staffing shortages, they'll have to be selective, catering to their core clientele.
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