Today’s food lovers are discerning and spoilt for choice, making it essential for businesses in the food industry to stay on trend. At Coca-Cola Amatil, we know time is precious, so to make sure your menu offers what customers are looking for, we’ve done the searching for you.
Millennials are key
If you want to know what’s driving the current trends, you can look squarely at the millennial population. Their ethnic diversity and connection with wellbeing and global cuisines is having a big impact on food choices.
While tasty food will always be in vogue, trends move quickly and to remain competitive, you need your finger on the pulse….or do we mean dulse?
According to industry experts, these are the key foodie trends to embrace for this year.
- Sea vegetables
A Forbes article shows that Pinterest found a massive 336 per cent increase last year in searches involving the word “veggies” relating to comfort food. As people eat less meat, vegetables are being moved to the centre of the plate. While this makes quite a statement in itself, a standout in this vegetable trend is healthy dulse or seaweed.
There are a variety of seaweeds that chefs are incorporating into their dishes. With a strong umami flavour (recently recognised as the fifth taste), seaweed is being used as a salt substitute for adding flavour to a dish or for snacking.
- Hyper-regional food
No longer satisfied with broad traditional cuisines, consumers are looking for that authentic taste of a particular locality. Customers are drawn to dishes that are exceptional and have a story behind them. Super specific regional foods and dining—such as South American home cooking, Cuban restaurants and Nordic bakeries—are grabbing people’s attention.
Although the variety of dishes seems limited only by the imagination, authenticity is at the heart of this trend.
- Ferment it
It’s all about your gut in 2017. No longer confined to the jar at the back of the fridge, fermented vegetables have reasserted their place at the table and are claimed to be beneficial for maintaining good gut flora.
Innova Market Insights has found that consumers are increasingly making choices about what they eat based on what makes them feel good. Side serves of Kimchi, Kombucha and Yucatan pickles are not only fashionable but will also look after your customer’s stomachs— literally. Good for them, and good for business.
Sitting down for set meal times is no longer the go. There is a blurring between meal times that means snacking is increasingly popular and practical for busy people on the go.
Grazing options on your menu give people who want to snack a choice. Try share plates or bite size meals to eat in or take out. Empanadas, tacos or kebabs combine snack size portions with real flavour potential, and as a result, are all topping the trend charts in 2017.
- Breakfast revised
Breakfast is also getting an update. International food and restaurant consultants, Baum and Whiteman, report that not only is breakfast turning into brunch, but the very texture of breakfast is changing and has moved away from softer foods such as eggs and oatmeal. Plates include anything from crispy chorizo to chimichurri. Even crunchy fried chicken is getting a look in.
A food service industry research firm called Technomic predicts that customers will expect to see more Asian, African and Middle Eastern ingredients and spices incorporated into breakfast menus. These heartier options not only make breakfast an all-day meal choice, but are being touted as an excellent hangover cure as well.
Now you know…
Knowing what your customers are hungry for is as simple as keeping on trend. Whether it’s menu choices or pickles on the side, make sure your customers are aware that you not only know what is trending in food, but that you can serve it as well.