What’s Trending in Foodservice for 2022

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What's Trending in 2022

With new food industry trends, flavors and dishes constantly shifting in foodservice, it can be hard to keep up. That’s why we tracked down the top foodservice trends for beef and pork so that you can be ahead of the game in 2022.

Some Like it Burnt

This barbecue specialty is making its way into other cuisine categories.

Burnt Ends

One of the new food trends for 2022 are burnt ends, the charred and savory trimmings from smoked brisket. These succulent cubes of meat are crossing over from barbecue and making their way into more restaurants and even different types of meat.

Burnt ends are highly versatile and can be used in everything from platters, sandwiches, salads, wraps, omelets and more. Some places are even experimenting with pork belly and pork loin as a new take on the classic burnt end. No matter how you spin it, it’s certain that these succulent cubes of meat aren’t going anywhere any time soon.

Go Go Gochujang

The Korean chili paste that’s now gone mainstream.


Restaurants across the United States are spicing up their condiment collection with the latest flavor trends, including Gochujang, a spicy-sweet fermented chili paste originating in Korea.
This flavorful paste can be found in any Korean market and has made its way to most conventional supermarkets in the U.S. This is great news for chefs because customers are familiar with it and more likely to seek it out at restaurants.

Gochujang, now recognized by the mainstream public, is perfect for complementing rich meat dishes and starchy foods. It’s being incorporated into salsas, BBQ sauces, marinades and more to give beef and pork dishes a Korean twist.

Nothing To Be Afraid Of

Ghost kitchens are the popular new way operators are streamlining their operation.

Ghost Kitchens

New trends in the fast food and restaurant industry include the rise of ghost kitchens. But despite its name, ghost kitchens aren’t scary at all.

Ghost kitchens are off-premises production facilities that host one or more brands, including brick-and-mortar or virtual brands. They have been highly beneficial during the pandemic by reducing the needed functioning space and requiring lower investments than traditional restaurants. Operators also believe that ghost kitchens are here to stay, leading to a focus on more off-premises strategies and investments in all facets of to-go programs.

From Rarely Used to on the Rise

Underutilized steak cuts are finally getting the attention they deserve.

Rarely Used Steaks

Move over, ribeye, there’s a new cut in town — several, actually. Consumers are becoming more interested in many lesser-known cuts of steak, such as bavette, oyster, Merlot, Vegas strip steak, Denver steak and more.

There are many reasons why these underutilized steaks are now front-and-center; cost, supply challenges, sustainability or other concerns could all be likely reasons. Whatever the case, these cuts are often highly flavorful and can provide guests with a new eating experience.

Hoosier Favorite Sandwich?

Say hello to the Midwestern sandwich staple that’s going nationwide.

Breaded Pork Tenderloin

The Breaded Pork Tenderloin Sandwich, the BPT Sandwich, the Hubcap Sandwich, the Hoosier Sandwich — no matter what you call it, this Midwest cult-favorite is gaining popularity across the United States and across foodservice news.

The BPT Sandwich is the perfect alternative to the plethora of fried chicken sandwich options. Operators can maximize opportunity by adding their own twist — building off the base sandwich and experimenting with flavor profiles can create broader appeal to consumers in all regions.

Going Local With Global Flavors

Levantine-inspired flavors give menus an extra flair.


The Middle Eastern and Mediterranean flavors of Levantine cuisine have made their way to menus across the nation and as a menu trend for 2022. Common spices like cumin, turmeric and cardamom are combined with ingredients unique to Levant — like the Arabic mixed spice, Baharat or the tangy, citrusy flavor of sumac.

These Levantine elements enhance many beef and pork dishes and act as an excellent base for experimentation; their bold flavor profiles are perfect for giving meat-based dishes an extra bit of flair. Adding notes of global cuisine while pairing them with familiar ingredients can also inspire customers to try new dishes.

Beyond Sushi and Hibachi

Consumers are expanding their palate to other, classic Japanese dishes.


So long to the days of sushi and hibachi as the main Japanese menu options — customers are turning to other popular Japanese dishes to satisfy their cravings for Asian cuisine.

Flavors like miso, dashi and furikake are being infused into dishes, and foods like ramen, tonkatsu and yakitori are becoming more mainstream. These Japanese flavors can be easily applied to beef and pork, like sesame-crusted beef tataki or katsu sando sandwiches.

Sandwiches of the World

Global sandwiches are satisfying the taste for international cuisine.


One of the latest restaurant trends for 2022 includes global sandwiches. From Vietnamese banh mis to Mexican tortas and everything else between two carbs, customers are loving global variations on the classic sandwich. Sandwiches come in all shapes, flavors and most of all — cultures. Its ingredients say a lot about the cuisine and culture of where it came from, one bite transporting us to South America, Europe, Asia or anywhere else in the world.
Sandwiches feel like familiar territory but act as a gateway to the diverse world of global cuisine.

Beef and pork, for example, are proteins customers are well-acquainted with; incorporating these proteins in new, international sandwiches is a simple way to expand their palate.

Have Your Wine and Eat It Too

Restaurants are pairing steak and wine within the cooking process.


Steak and wine have long been a classic pairing, but future trends in the food and beverage industry call for combining the two. Higher-end restaurants are now incorporating wine in the preparation and cooking process of steak entrees, marinades, reduction sauces and dipping sauces. Look for ways to incorporate these types of entrees to keep up with consumer demand — because there can never be too much wine.

We’re Not in Nashville Anymore

This hot flavor has gone beyond Nashville and beyond the traditional fried chicken.

Nashville Hot

Using a delicious signature blend of spices, including cayenne, paprika and chili powder, it’s no wonder Nashville Hot has taken the world by storm.

The trend started in Nashville, using fried chicken as the main component. It has since
expanded to other proteins and into mainstream eateries across the globe. Consider putting your own twist on Nashville Hot for a fiery option that’s sure to spice up your menu. A dish like a Nashville Hot Pork Chop could be the perfect spin on this trending flavor.

The Birria-fication of the Nation

This popular meat stew has been sweeping the nation (and social media) by storm.


Birria, a flavorful Mexican meat stew, has been trending over the past year and showing up in many varieties, thanks to TikTok and Instagram. As if it weren’t Instagrammable enough, the famous dish has been taken to new levels — outside the bowl. Operators are experimenting with imaginative dishes like birria pizza, birria ramen, birria waffles, birria fries and more. But no matter how it’s served up, this flavorful stew has proven it’s here to stay as a top menu trend for 2022. What would you birria-fy?

Get Your Grill (Kit) On

Give customers a ready-to-grill meal option for busy weekends.

Grill Kit

Operators looking for an additional, low labor-intensive revenue stream should consider utilizing these convenient, ready-to-grill meal kits. The kits come with everything needed for a standout meal on the grill and allow customers to achieve restaurant-quality meat and signature marinades from home. Even with dining rooms opening at partial or full capacity, grill kits are an attractive offering for customers.

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1 Datassential MenuTrends, 2021.
2 Technomic Ignite Menu Tool, 2021.
3 Ghost Kitchen & Virtual Brands, Technomic 2021.
4 Center of the Plate, Beef & Pork, Technomic 2021.
5 Datassential US Chains & Independents 2021.
6 Datassential Global Flavors Report, 2021.
7 MenuTrends Infinite, 2021.
8 Technomic Ignite menu data, Q1 2020-Q1 2021; Technomic 2023 Predictions report.

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