Infographic: What's hot and not in 2015

by Monica Watrous
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CHICAGO — Insects and tater tots are so 2014.

Housemade condiments, upscale children’s meals and artisan butchery are among the next big menu trends next year, according to the National Restaurant Association’s annual What’s Hot culinary trends forecast. The list is based on a survey of nearly 1,300 professional chefs and members of the American Culinary Federation.

Overarching trends to watch in 2015 include environmental sustainability, with a focus on food waste reduction; hyper-local sourcing with house-made, farm-branded and artisan items; healthful and gourmet children’s meals with more adventurous flavor profiles; ethnic flavors and ingredients used in non-ethnic dishes; and a new twist on common preparation methods, such as pickling with specialty vinegars and less traditional vegetables.

Meanwhile, yesterday’s movers and shakers, such as croissant-donuts, Greek yogurt and gluten-free cuisine, are losing momentum on menus. Chefs predict such items as insects, foamy or frothy food and beverages, gazpacho and sliders will be old news in the New Year.

 “As consumers today increasingly incorporate restaurants into their daily lives, they want to be able to follow their personal preferences and philosophies no matter where or how they choose to dine,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice-president of research for the National Restaurant Association. “So, it’s only natural that culinary themes like local sourcing, sustainability and nutrition top our list of menu trends for 2015. Those concepts are wider lifestyle choices for many Americans in other aspects of their lives that also translate into the food space.”  

Also on the rise in restaurants are ingredients perceived as natural, new cuts of meat, sustainable seafood, and locally sourced protein and produce.
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