The lists keep on rolling in as food trends are an easy exit discussion for 2011 and a hopeful wish into 2012.
A Mintel survey indicates we’ll be thinking more about “home” even at quick service and fast food restaurants. They anticipate this restaurant tier to start using more “comfort” words in menu descriptors. They also expect significant growth in this market space. “Homespun” goodness will pervade menus implying that careful preparation is at work in the kitchen regardless of the restaurant’s price point! Other prospective trends include:
–Regional foods will win over the menu as more restaurants work to bring in popular dishes from areas well-known for their specialties, such as Memphis Barbecue.
–Menus will have a section devoted to healthier dishes with lower-calorie foods. This concept will become more prevalent across price points.
–Restaurants will move more to customized ordering systems to give consumers more dining options that they will be able to impact.
Not to be left behind when we talk of trends, The National Restaurant Association surveyed 1,800 chefs, members of the American Culinary Federation, to get their input for their list, “What’s Hot in 2012.” Here are some headliners with the word “local” making its way into 3 of the top 10 trends:
–Locally sourced meats and seafood, and locally grown produce. A little further down the trend list is locally produced wine and beer.
They see a continuation and growth of food trucks, the continued importance of the farmer in bringing products to market, and more fruit and vegetable side dishes on kids’ menus.
What’s interesting about these lists is the greater emphasis on product sustainability. It appears our emphasis is more on the practical, rather than the outlandish: All trends that have a chance of surviving and becoming more commonplace rather than single shots at fame.
Fun to follow these concepts as many are homespun ideas that have already had an impact on our food universe.