In late 2015 everyone, myself included, attempted to prognosticate what trends we would see in Food & Beverage during the coming year. Here are some of the culinary fads in F&B that seem to be taking hold in 2016. To satisfy the customers of this year, the chefs, restaurateurs and hoteliers are having to tighten their innovative muscles even more than in years past. People in all walks of the culinary world will need to be creative to stay on top.
Vegetable as a Star
Vegetables have reached their tipping point; this year vegetables are starting to rival animal protein in a typical meal. They have become the center of the plate – no longer just a side dish. Chefs, whether you’re talking restaurants or hotels, are starting to use meat as a “spice,” rather than the focal point of the dish. Now is the time to say hello to “root to stem” dinning and become “vegetable forward”. If you think that being vegetable forward is only relevant to vegetarians, I’d have to say that you’re wrong. Creative ideas to spice up the traditional usage of vegetables offers the potential to introduce more new flavors to consumers. If you’re wondering why this food group is starting to grab the spotlight, it would be fair to attribute the shift to increasing meat prices, quality concerns, and growth of health consciousness over the last few years.
Consumers have been worrying about the use of chemicals and additives in their food. They like to have natural ingredients, free from artificial flavors, ingredients, and coloring. As they become health conscious, they abandon the companies providing chemically altered food products. Well established restaurants trying to stay on top are starting to dump the artificial and not-so-good-for-you ingredients from their menus. One survey shows that 40% of consumers agree upon the use of all natural ingredients in their food being very important to them (Consumers seeking “free-from” foods, 2015). Restaurants are developing healthier menus after those consumers attacked “Big Food” companies about their lacking product. For a start, people are looking for more from restaurants; including water conservation, humane treatment of animals (and employees), regulation of waste, and other eco-social issues. While sit-down restaurants and hotels remain relatively quiet, casual chains like Chipotle, Panera Bread, Subway, McDonald’s and Dunkin Donuts are starting to come under fire for use of undesirable ingredients. Unfortunately, getting rid of unhealthy ingredients is not a yet a trend of the majority. “Everyone in the culinary industry has to struggle to purify the menus…” (Huen, 2015).
Poké – Hawaiian Cuisine
Poké is a raw fish salad served in Hawaiian cuisine. We’ve already started to see an up-tick in popularity surrounding this dish. It is made with chopped or cubed raw fish served over rice with soya sauce, fruits, and vegetables. As many Americans are starting to gravitate toward healthy food instead of heavier food, it is sure that poké will fulfill their needs.
Snacks with New Trending Flavor
New-ish Jewish Cuisine
What does it mean? This means that there is a recreation to Jewish food and modern Jewish cookery that is starting to be more widely embraced. The question that arises is how it came to popularity now. It has been observed that chefs are really exploring their food recently. They are reinventing their styles because people like to experience different types of food now. The stories and character behind “heritage cuisines” are being adapted by chefs to maintain their culinary tradition, while keeping up with modern demand.
An açaí bowl is a basically a big bowl smoothie – one of the next trendy, hipster foods. These are made from açaí pulp and milk, in addition to banana, bits of other fruits, and lots of ice. Sometimes, extra toppings of chocolate chips, seeds, peanuts, etc. will also top off this rising dish.
Every year, 70 billion pounds of food have been going to waste; it’s impossible to ignore it. As a result, a large number of kitchens and restaurants are starting to declare themselves waste free. Chefs, farmers and other helpers of the food world are cooking something up – something versatile and delicious – out of unused food. Big thanks to activist chefs who have made no waste their primary cause. This year kitchens and restaurants on a large scale will commit themselves to preserving our resources through waste-based and conscious cooking.
In 2016, tech driven delivery will continue to expand on a large scale. These entities are becoming the big disrupter of food retailing and services. They are the middlemen between customers and restaurants, collect fees and personal information about who orders what, when, and from which restaurant. They are providing a stay-at-home opportunity for food shopping in a world that is quickly deferring from face to face interactions. The culinary industry should turn their focus to concentrate of these types of customers, to prevent losing profit to services provided by by the likes of Google, GrubHub, Yelp, Postmates, and many more.