Restaurant Food trends for 2011
According to the "What's Hot" annual survey issued by the National Restaurant
Association (NRA), a greater focus on locally sourced
food and on
sustainability are just two trends that we'll see more of in 2011. Food service
trend of 2011 will be walking the fine line between open disclosure and
Nearly two-thirds of
diners say they want to
eat healthier in 2011, but many
complain that healthier food doesn't taste as good without the added
fat. Restaurants will continue to address this problem
by swapping in healthier ingredients and positioning them to appear
better-for-you. Taco Bell has already begun this, reducing sodium at 150 stores
in the Dallas market and Jason's Deli is now promoting its food as being free
from high-fructose corn syrup, trans fats and pesticides.
Also on tap for 2011, automated menus. Restaurants will continue to find new
ways to marry convenience and technology and electronic order-takers
will be a big hit with restaurants. Automated-menus reduce the reliance on
front-of-house staff and full-time employees-- thus cutting overhead costs.
Automated menus, in addition to mobile applications, will allow restaurants to
reach a younger, more mobile consumer.
The local food movement will continue to grow in 2011, with a big push towards
indigenous ingredients. In 2011, we will see restaurants
incorporate more traditional or authentic ingredients into their dishes.
"Local" as an ingredient marketing claim has grown by 15 percent from the second
quarter of 2009 to the second quarter of 2010, that figure is expected to rise
in the coming year.
The top 10 menu trends for next year will be:
Locally sourced meats and seafood
Locally grown produce
Sustainability as a culinary theme
Nutritious kids' dishes
Children's nutrition as a culinary theme
Gluten-free/food allergy-conscious items
Locally sourced food and a focus on sustainability is not just popular among
certain segments of consumers anymore; it has become more mainstream. Diners are
requesting to know where their food comes from, and are concerned with how their
choices affect the world.
This year mini is the new buzz word. Mini everything: mini
portions, mini desserts. Split your meal with a friend. You'll not only
save calories but dollars too.
Rounding out the top 20 hot menu trends are artisan liquor, locally-produced
wine and beer, smaller
portions for a smaller price, organic produce,
a culinary theme, culinary cocktails, newly fabricated cuts of meat,
fruit/vegetable children's side items, ethnic-inspired
breakfast items and artisan cheese.
The new hot ingredients for 2011 will be:
Neck. Lamb, beef, goat and pork neck.
Kumquats. In salads, relishes and desserts.
Pimento cheese. Smooth, spread able, spicy and nostalgic.
Smoking. Smoked olive oil, cumin and butter.
Hay. Used for roasting and smoking, such as the leeks
roasted on hay at Castagna Restaurant in Portland, Ore.
Hummus. In sauces, spreads and ingredients.
Popcorn. In various courses, such as the popcorn ice
cream at Carneros Bistro & Wine Bar in Sonoma, Calif.
Pretzels. Pretzel sticks and used as a crust, like in the
pretzel-bit-covered crab cake at David Burke Townhouse in New York.
Honey. Chefs are developing partnerships with local
beekeepers for use in sauces and dressings.
With so many people eating away from home, hopefully these changes will help
reduce the obesity problem today.
Dated 10 January 2011