Over the past few months we’ve gathered and analyzed the various 2016 foodservice trend reports published this time of year and one thing is for certain, some of the most prevalent foodservice trends are less about what is on the plate and more about how it gets there.
The National Restaurant Association (NRA) recently published its 2016 “What’s Hot culinary forecast.” The NRA surveyed over 1,500 members of the American Culinary Federation to determine what items will be a “hot trend,” “yesterday’s news” or “perennial favorite” on 2016 menus. Of those surveyed, 80% rated “locally sourced meats and seafood” as a hot trend—the highest percentage across all categories. “Hyper-local sourcing” focuses on dishes and drinks made with ingredients originating onsite—for example, drinks crafted from spirits distilled in-house—and ranked in the top five trends between “locally grown produce” and “naturally processed ingredients.” It’s clear, in 2016, chefs will continue to curate menus with items developed using ingredients with recognizable, local origin stories.
The 2016 foodservice trend reports not only addressed where menu items come from, but also how they get to the consumer—a process that will continue to evolve in the coming year. Technomic’s trend report, Technomic’s Take: 2016 Food Trends, includes an item deemed “The Delivery Revolution.” Consumers are no longer regulated to the usual pizza or Chinese when they want to order in for the night. Mobile apps are providing services that deliver a wide range of cuisines from restaurants in the area.
Baum + Whiteman agrees in its 11 Hottest Food & Beverage Dining Trends, noting, “Tech-driven delivery is 2015-2016’s Big Disrupter of food retailing and food service…aimed at the ultimate consumer convenience,” a diverse menu delivered right to your door. Baum + Whiteman lists a sampling of available third-party apps offering food delivery services including Google, uberEATS, Amazon Prime Now, Grub Hub and Yelp. Fast food and quick-service restaurants are beginning to respond to the threat from third-party apps by developing delivery services of their own—a trend predicted to gain traction in 2016.
What interesting foodservice trends have you seen forecasted for 2016? Feel free to share your thoughts and predictions in the comments below.