With just over three weeks until the start of the new year, retailers are looking for the items that are popular with consumers in order to give the people what they want. With that in mind, Yelp has provided a look at the dining trends retailers need to know heading into 2022.
The review platform reports that dining out will look back to find its future by reinventing classic drinks, finding new takes on comfort foods and embracing how a year of work from home has changed diner habits. In order to predict a whole year’s worth of trends, Yelp’s data science team analyzed millions of reviews to find the words and phrases that were rising significantly between 2020 and 2021 across food. Finally, it consulted with Yelp Trend Expert Tara Lewis to zero in on what to watch for the year ahead.
Here's what to look for in food, drink and the industry in 2022, according to Yelp:
- Croffle (up 1,505%) – A croissant-waffle hybrid, the croffle is the latest South Korean treat to hit plates.
- Egg Bread (up 457%) – In 2020, many consumers spent time baking their own bread, but in the year ahead, consumers will return to their local bakeries to pick up loaves of egg bread, like brioche and challah.
- Macadamia Pancakes (up 613%) – Macadamia pancakes bring the flavors of Hawaii, a popular 2021 travel destination, to tables, no matter where in the world you’re dining.
- Malasada (up 130%) – This year, this Portuguese deep fried dessert that is much beloved in Hawaii will shake up the dessert scene.
- Blonde Pizza (up 953%) – In 2021, Detroit-style pizza was king, and in 2022, blonde pizza, often referred to as white pizza, will reign supreme. This tomato-less pizza offers a fresh alternative to traditional pizza choices.
- Pizza Cones (up 51%) – Pizza cones take the typical pizza slice structure and turns it into a delicious hand-held treat, stuffing the inside with fillings of your choice.
- Calic Bread (up 1,269%) – If you love garlic, cheese and sourdough bread then calic bread, this viral Korean culinary trend, is a food fantasy come true.
Negronis (up 49%), beer flights (up 68%) and espresso martinis (up 114%) are all trending.
- Searches for restaurants who allow pets are up 114%. Yelpers are also looking for great patios and sidewalk cafes to dine out with their pups as searches for outdoor seating are up 50%. As cities embrace outdoor dining and move to make it permanent, expect to see diners and restaurants turn to pet-friendly experiences in 2022.
- Consumers continue to embrace work from home and working from their local coffee shop for a change of scenery. Searches for cafes to work in were up 444%, compared to the same period last year.
- Diners are no longer tied to the traditional 9-5 office schedule, which is driving shifts to traditional meal times. Searches for “Good for Brunch” and “Good for Late Night” were up, 73% and 74% respectively. Similarly, searches for “open now” were up 50% as people embrace spontaneity in their dining out plans.
- After a year of takeout and curbside pickup, expect consumers to return to in-restaurant dining with enthusiasm in 2022. Searches for restaurant reservations are up 134% and searches for online waitlists, like Yelp Waitlist, are up 82%, suggesting that consumers are once again making plans to dine out without sacrificing convenience. Digital waitlists and reservations help consumers minimize wait times at restaurants to get to a meal sooner.
- Ghost kitchens (also known as virtual restaurants) have thrived during the pandemic, with food delivery services opening well above pre-pandemic levels. Searches for Ghost Kitchens are up 325%, and Yelp’s new Virtual Kitchens attribute helps consumers discover great local delivery-only concepts.