CHICAGO — The days of exclusively looking to fine dining for the next big food trend are over, said Paul Pendola, director of Foodservice at Mintel, Chicago.
“Historically there’s been a sense that trends start at fine dining and trickle down through various restaurant segments and eventually work their way into retail and become ubiquitous across food service and food and drink, but there’s a lot of innovation taking place in fast-casual and fast-fine or fast-casual 2.0, in food trucks and in virtual restaurants, and you have a lot more innovation taking place across the whole industry,” Mr. Pendola told Food Business News. “Operators who are just looking at fine dining for the next big trend probably will want to look in a more 360-degree perspective and monitor what’s going on across the entire industry because I think there are probably more trends starting in the food truck, limited-service, fast-casual space than there are in fine dining in many respects.”
Mintel’s team of food service analysts studied menus and conducted consumer research to identify how the restaurant landscape will evolve in the coming year.
“The food service industry in 2015 was shaped by the continued blurring of traditional foodservice segments, volatile commodity prices and the building relationship of technology and food,” Mr. Pendola said. “This year is off to an exciting start with food service brands looking to consumers for direction and inspiration more than ever before.
“In 2016, we’ll see personalization, authenticity and revolutionary new food and drink concepts shape the industry with diner preferences and perceptions front and center. Restaurants and brands must continue to understand what motivates consumers to dine out and how to attract those who plan on spending less in the year ahead.”