Welcome to our series, Tracking the 2022 Trends. For the next month, we’ll be taking a look at what will be trending in flavors, cocktails, bar design, on-premise service, and more in the coming year.
We start with Monin’s annual flavor trends report. Monin’s flavor experts—comprised of its R&D team plus Beverage Innovation Directors—have identified five flavor trends we will see in food and beverage concepts in 2022 and beyond.
1. Just Outside the Ordinary
Although comforting and familiar foods and beverages continue to have broad appeal, consumers are looking for ways to step outside of their comfort zone. Familiar can be boring, but familiar sells as consumers don’t want to “gamble” on something too extreme that they may not like.
To satisfy a consumer’s desire for “familiar with a twist,” mashups, fusions, and hybridization will take center stage with combinations like tea and kombucha, sweet + heat, international flavors with a mainstay base, fruits and florals, tea lattes, coffee-tea blends, and more. Additionally,
These hybrid and mashup creations will elicit excitement around the unknown, with a comfort in knowing that risk is all but neutralized by the familiar flavor or ingredient.
In fact, according to Datassential Menu Trends, two out of three cocktail consumers are interested in trying unique combinations like tea cocktails and 42% are interested in trying recipes like kombucha cocktails. And according to Robertet Consumer Insights, 79% of consumers are craving something new.
Monin gives the example of beverages that pair the mysterious and exotic with a popular and common flavor, such as a Ghost Pepper Margarita or a Yuzu & Honey Arnold Palmer. Or beverages that pair two very different applications blended together for one unique mash-up, such as a tea latte or a cold brew old fashioned.
Try out the recipe below.
Smoked Cocoa Old Fashioned
½ oz Monin® Roasted Hazelnut Syrup
3 dashes Angostura® Cocoa Bitters
½ oz Mezcal
1 ½ oz Premium bourbon
Pour ingredients into rocks glass brushed with Monin® Dark Chocolate Sauce in order listed. Stir gently to mix. Add toasted cinnamon stick garnish and serve.
2. The Functional Evolution
From immunity, cognitive, and energy properties to gut health, skin health and stress relief, there continues to be an overwhelming desire from customers to enjoy what they consume and realize a benefit from it. According to Datassential Menu Trends, 80% of consumers are interested in functional beverages, with 2/3 more likely to consider drinking functional beverages after the pandemic.
Functional can have many meanings, and it also includes elements such as botanicals and natural herbs (immune, therapeutic benefits); milk alternatives (gut health & cellular benefits); and plant-based ingredients (inflammation & antioxidants).
Consumers are also craving a compelling story crafted with clean (non-artificial) ingredients. As such, claims of sustainability and traceability will help further elevate these unique, functional-focused food and beverage creations.
As bar operators craft their menus, a key will be to ensure that any functional-benefit offering makes sense for their guests and their bottom line. Ask yourself:
- Are the benefits something consumers actually desire, delivered in an understandable format that tastes great?
- Does the finished product optimize cost and complexity for the business operator?
- Are the functional benefits from a trusted source?
Try adding this functional recipe to next year’s menu.
½ oz Monin® Golden Turmeric Syrup
¼ oz Monin® Honey Organic Sweetener
½ oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1 ½ oz Vanilla vodka
4 oz Hot water
Fill 8.5 oz Toddy/Irish Coffee Glass glass full of hot water to warm glass. Discard hot water and pour ingredients into serving glass in order listed. Stir gently to mix. Add whipped cream, turmeric powder, and goseberry garnishes and serve.
3. Enchanting Experiences
As consumers begin to dine out more, they are energized by anything that can whisk them away, helping them to escape the everyday and invigorate their senses. It’s all about the experience your bar serves up along with food and drink.
To continue to “wow” guests, bar owners should turn to full-sensory and elevated experiences that evoke a spirit of optimism, excitement, and escapism. Bright colors, aromatic flavors, charming glassware, innovative ice cubes, unexpected garnishes, and smoked cocktails can all help to bring a bit of theater to the table and create a memorable moment for the guest.
As we emerge from the pandemic, this creativity will continue to get pushed to new heights as consumers find immense value in unforgettable moments. The key is to deliver these experiences with a premiumness and consistency that satisfies the guests and gives them reason to come back for a repeat of their enchanting experience.
Mix up one of the eye-catching recipes below!
½ oz Monin® Desert Pear® Syrup
½ oz Fresh Lime Juice
2 oz Aloe Vera Water
1 ½ oz Premium Silver Tequila
2 oz Topo Chico® Mineral Water
Pour ingredients (sans Topo Chico) into mixing glass with 2/3 ice in order listed. Cap, shake, and strain simultaneously with Topo Chico over fresh ice into a 16 oz mason jar. Garnish with a cactus paddle, lime twist, lime wheel, cactus cut pineapple leaves, and serve.
½ oz Monin® Exotic Citrus Syrup
½ oz Fresh Lime Juice
1 oz Multi Green Kombucha
2 oz Premium Dry Gin
2 oz Premium Indian Tonic Water
Pour ingredients (sans Tonic) into mixing glass with 2/3 ice in order listed. Cap, shake, and strain simultaneously with Tonic over fresh ice into a 12 oz Collins glass. Garnish with roasted seaweed, Kaffir Lime leaf, lime slice, and serve.
4. Beyond the Bean
Coffee culture has taken on a whole new look, and consumers are looking for more than house brews and lattes to satisfy their coffee cravings.
A focus on items such as iced beverages (mocktails, teas, cold brews. etc.); functional beverages, including energy-boosting alternatives to coffee; and new trendy beverages (bubble/boba, milk tea, Thai tea, and tropical flavors) will lead the regeneration efforts as owners work to continue delighting their guests.
Brew up the coffee cocktail below to satisfy caffeine lovers.
Cold Brew Colada
1 oz Monin® Coconut Syrup
3 oz Monin® Cold Brew Concentrate (diluted 4:1)
1 oz Half & half
2 oz Pineapple rum
Pour ingredients into mixing tin with 2/3 ice in order listed. Cap, shake vigorously, and strain into a 16 oz Collins glass over fresh ice. Top with whipped cream, add purple orchid, palm frond, pineapple slice, toasted coconut garnishes, and serve.
5. Blast from the Past
The nostalgia movement is making its way through bar menus as classic cocktails from decades past are revitalized with innovative flavor pairings, retro vessels, and funky garnishes. According to Datassential, nearly 70% of consumers are extremely or very likely to purchase a favorite nostalgic food or beverage.
Comfort and nostalgia means something different to each generation, so Monin expects creations for all generations to begin popping up as bars and restaurants look to create a deeper connection with their guests.
Of the retro items making a comeback, the 90’s are especially popular right now as variations of classic cosmos, espresso martinis, and lemon drops show up on menus at the trendiest spots.
With comfort and nostalgia being an incredibly strong food and beverage trend, we expect consumers to continue looking for a “blast from the past” well into the future!
Go back in time with one of these recipes!
Granny Apple Gimlet
¾ oz Monin® Granny Smith Apple Syrup
¾ oz Fresh Lime Juice
2 oz Citrus Vodka
4 – 6 Fresh Arugula Leaves
Chill 8 oz coupe glass. Pour ingredients into mixing glass with 2/3 ice in order listed. Cap, shake vigorously, and double strain into coupe glass with ice. Add micro arugula and apple slice garnish and serve.
White Peach Cosmo
1 oz Monin® White Peach Syrup
1 oz White Cranberry Juice
¼ oz Fresh Lime Juice
1 oz Cointreau® Liqueur
1 ½ oz Vodka
Chill 8 oz martini glass. Pour ingredients into mixing glass with 2/3 ice in order listed. Cap, shake, and strain into chilled martini glass. Add white peach slice and mint sprig garnish and serve.