A new, ‘phygital’ world, and a new-found sense of community: Hospitality trends for 2022 revealed in new industry-leading report

A new, industry-leading report by botanical brewing brand, Fentimans, in conjunction with On-Premise research consultancy, CGA, has unveiled the major industry trends predicted for the OOH and hospitality sector in 2022.

Utilising CGA’s suite of research, the Fentimans Market Report has identified the changing behaviours and attitudes of consumers when it comes to the On Trade industry.

The report looks at attitudes towards new measures in venues, following the rise of QR codes and digital booking and ordering systems, as a result of COVID-19. In fact, the report has uncovered that Brits are now less satisfied with ordering digitally in hospitality venues, compared with last summer, around the Eat Out to Help Out period – early signs are that people are seeking to reclaim the physical contact that has been lost in the pandemic.

Another area explored in the report are the changing trends in consumer ordering in venues. As the desire for a healthy lifestyle continues to grow amongst consumers, nearly a third (31%) of consumers said they would drink less or no alcohol, once venues reopened. Another 35% say nutritional information on menus influences their choice of what to eat

A third key trend highlighted in the report is consumers’ ever-increasing desire to support local venues and brands, even post-COVID. In fact, one in three Brits reported that they will continue to visit outlets local to them more often after COVID, and a further 20% vowed to buy local drink brands when they return to venues.

The in-depth report analyses four of the key macro-consumer trends affecting the industry, before digging deeper into what each trend means at both an on-trade level, as well as a product category level. The four key trends highlighted in the report include:

  • Healthy World, Healthy Me – COVID and the climate crisis have entwined physical, mental and environmental health, and pushed people towards ‘better living’
  • Memorable Moments & Experiences – After months of isolation, consumers are looking for out-of-the-ordinary experiences that they will remember
  • A New Digital Reality – Take-up of technology has soared in restaurants, pubs and bars, but now we’re settling into a new ‘phygital’ age, as physical and digital solutions to the pandemic lead to merging worlds
  • Who Am I? –COVID has made consumers rethink their priorities, values and identities — and brands need to respond

Andrew Jackson, Marketing Director at Fentimans, said: “The Fentimans Market Report is something we have undertaken each year, to provide key insights into the main changes coming to the hospitality sector. But this year it feels more important than ever before.

“It’s clear that COVID and lockdowns have triggered significant shifts in the way that consumers behave. Some are likely to be temporary, but others may well prove to be permanent.

“However, hospitality is a resilient and adaptable sector, and there are clear signs from both consumers and businesses that a strong recovery is well underway.

“While a minority of people remain anxious about visiting crowded places, even after easing restrictions, we have started to see a release of the huge pent-up demand for out-of-home experiences. Confidence in the industry has been bolstered by signs that consumers are eager to get back to drinking and eating out.

“As we start to look at a what a post-lockdown world will mean for venues, outlets, and brands alike, it’s critical that we understand what these changes will mean across the industry.

“This report is designed to help the industry as a whole understand where the sector is going and how we can prepare for these changes to ensure the industry can thrive in this new and unfamiliar world.” 

Dave Lancaster, Client Director at CGA, added: “We’re delighted to have partnered with Fentimans to create this fascinating review of COVID’s seismic impacts on the On Trade, and to look forward together to what’s coming next. The pandemic has changed consumers in so many ways, and while some trends like staying close to home and splashing out on treats after so long in lockdown may well retreat in the coming months, other developments—like the desire to carefully plan nights out, to use technology to discover, order and pay for drinks, and to follow healthy and sustainable lifestyles—are probably here to stay.

“If pubs, bars and restaurants can adapt to these evolved habits and preferences, there is a lot to look forward to. They have endured a tumultuous 16 months, but the pandemic has shown us just how much people love the special experiences that only hospitality can provide. We hope this report gives businesses some of the market intelligence they need to get through the recovery phase to the happier times that lie ahead.”  

To download the full report, visit www.fentimans.com/marketreport