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Beverage and hospitality industry experts have consulted their proverbial crystal balls and determined the key trends to watch for in 2022. We’ve rounded up their predictions and without further ado, present the key beverage and restaurant trends that Michigan beverage businesses may want to prepare for in 2022. 

Beverage Trends
In beverage news, these trends stand out:

  • Expect ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails to remain popular. A trend that was accelerated by the pandemic is expected to continue to grow, although supply chain concerns about aluminum may prompt alternative packaging to cans. By 2027, the global RTD alcoholic beverages market is expected to reach $19.46 billion.
  • The demand for quality low- and no-alcohol (NoLo) beverages continues to grow. (Beverage Daily offers advice to potential NoLo producers).
  • Beverage makers will go big and bold this year as a way to differentiate from the subtle flavors of seltzers, according to beverage development company Flavorman. The company expects nostalgic flavors like watermelon, cherry, and other fruit tones to be on trend. Also popular: botanical-forward beverages. 
  • Tequila’s market share continues to rise even as vodka’s declines. 
  • In beer news, lagers and low alcohol beers will trend, along with craft malt as a solution to supply chain woes.

Dining Trends
The restaurant industry has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic, which forced business owners and diners to rethink…well, just about everything. Here are some of the trends that industry experts see coming in 2022: 

  • Experiential dining (creative settings, themed menus, classes) will become more popular as diners look to justify the higher cost of eating out.
  • Customers are also looking for unique experiences with take-out, including to-go cocktails. Some restaurants are experimenting with takeout options that families can prepare at home, like a cross between meal prep kits and regular restaurant take-out. 
  • Outdoor dining is likely here to stay.
  • Expect to see a continued and expanded use of technology for online and onsite reservations, ordering, payment, and more.

Staffing Challenges
Hiring will continue to be a challenge as we kick-off 2022. Quit rates in the hospitality and foodservice industry reached a historic high last fall of over 6%. Folks who have left the industry cite higher pay, better benefits, and scheduling flexibility among the factors they’re seeking in a new job. Bottom line:  employee recruitment and retention will be top priorities for most employers. 

Here to Help
While we can’t help you craft the next trendsetting adult beverage or offer expert culinary advice, the team at Michigan Beverage Collective can help you provide employee benefits that improve worker recruitment and retention. Whatever 2022 may bring, we’re here to support the Michigan beverage community. Drop us a line for more information.

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