2013 Foodservice Food Trends Roundup

It’s that time of year again when many publications, consultants and organizations submit their predictions for next year’s food trends and popular developments.

Trends

Most of the food trend predictions tend to include a lot of information, so we’ve looked at a couple of notable sources and their 2013 predictions and have highlighted a few of the trends we found to be interesting:

Sterling Rice Group, with the expertise of their culinary council—a team of more than 100 famous chefs, restaurateurs and foodies—released what they have identified as the top 10 food trends. With health and global realities top-of-mind concerns for consumers, next year, chefs will be behind the scenes making dishes healthier and providing all-inclusive menus to accommodate all types of diners—vegetarians, vegans, kids, gluten-free, wheat-free and eco-conscious. Also included in their report, popcorn will be the snack of the year in 2013 and there will be a rise in specialty items from American artisans. Sterling Rice Group also noted that Asian flavors will infiltrate American comfort foods, and there will be a plethora of tart, acidic and bitter flavors to choose from in the dining scene.

Baum + Whiteman, a food and restaurant consulting company, stated that everyone wants to be Chipotle—even Chipotle, in their trends report, 17 Hottest Food and Dining Trends for Restaurants and Hotels, 2013. What they meant by that statement is that consumers are bypassing casual dinner houses and heading toward fast-casual dining where they experience interactive service with customizable upscale flavor options in foods prepared directly in front of them. As the fast-casual dining trends upward, fast food restaurants will be updating, or as Baum + Whiteman put it, “dumbelling” their menu boards with more upscale, higher-priced menu options, and still keeping their bargain-priced options available. Also noted in the report, restaurants will look to boost distinctiveness and embark on edgier design and sustainability features.

National Restaurant Association (N.R.A.) released their annual “What’s hot 2013 chef survey,” and noted that locally sourced foods and children’s nutrition are the leading trends in 2013. Over 50 percent of the chefs surveyed said they will continue to make an effort to adjust dishes/recipes to be more healthful. The N.R.A. survey also highlighted the slow pace of change in the food category due to the fact that the 2013 survey is similar to the association’s 2012 effort. However, some new trends surfaced which included “non-wheat noodles/pasta, ethnic-inspired breakfast items and black/forbidden rice.

As we continue to uncover more interesting food trend predictions for 2013, what other interesting predictions are you seeing? Do you agree with the predictions that are out there? Feel free to leave us a comment with your thoughts and predictions on what the food industry will look like in 2013.

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