2017 Ethnic Food Trend

2017 Food Trends in Restaurants

We are almost two weeks into the year and the 2017 food trends are well underway. Last year’s trends, courtesy of the National Restaurant Association, included locally sourced food, fast casual concepts and natural food. So far, 2017 is heading down a very similar track. The National Restaurant Association, Food Business News, Flavor and the Menu and Innova Market Insights all provide a great outlook on the top restaurant trends for 2017. Four trends stick out as front-runners, including clean eating, vegetable main dishes, ethnic cuisines and waste reduction.  Running through the month of January, we will run a “Trendy Tuesday” segment, highlighting each of these trends in further detail. Below you will find a brief low-down on these top trends, along with others that made the lists.

2017 Food Trends- Clean Eating

Clean Eating Food Trend

Innova Market Insights states that 2017 is the year of “clean supreme”.  Very similar to last year’s natural food trend, clean eating has swept the nation.  This concept takes many growing trends, combining them into one large concept. Customers now look for organic and non-processed menu options, with ingredients they consider healthy. According to Flavor and the Menu, consumers want honesty and quality ingredients and will pay more for total transparency. While consumers keep healthy eating in mind, splurging is not out of question either. Using quality ingredients and highlighting key flavors will give customers the transparency they request when ordering splurge-worthy dishes.

Vegetable Food Trend2017 Food Trends- Main Vegetables

As the healthy eating craze gains ground, vegetables continue to grow in popularity. Chefs work hard to create savory vegetable dishes that even the biggest meat lover would love. Food Business News states that adding beet juice to a veggie burger will make it look juicy and appetizing to all. Subbing vegetables for carbs is also a common practice among restaurants. For example, cauliflower crust and zucchini pasta often take the place of their wheat counterparts. Large salad bowls have become a main dish in many restaurants as well. Adding protein, nuts and legumes make an ordinary salad extraordinary and customers are flocking to the salad menu.

2017 Food Trends- Ethnic CuisinesEthnic Food food trend

While ethnic cuisines have been on the rise for a few years, customers are now requesting authentic ethnic flavors. The most common ethnic flavors include Korean, Middle Eastern and Latin American cuisine. Korean has been in the market for a few years with popular dishes like as bibimbop and Korean barbecue. According to the National Restaurant Association, Latin American authenticity is also gaining headway in the United States. The most popular ethnic cuisine to hit the market in 2017 is Middle Eastern food. The Food Business News says as migrants from Middle Eastern countries move to the United States, they bring their flavors along with them. Turmeric and Middle Eastern breakfasts are now extremely popular in the current market.

Waste Reduction Food Trend2017 Food Trends- Waste Reduction

This year, restaurants will put a focus on reducing waste. This can take form in more appropriate portion sizes, creatively using “throw away” foods in dishes, or recycling instead. More restaurants are also donating any food leftover in the kitchen to food banks and soup kitchens. The National Restaurant Association has teamed up with the Food Waste Reduction Alliance to solve this problem as well. According to the National Restaurant Association, food waste costed restaurants $390 per person. Many initiatives are currently underway to reduce wasted food across the nation.

2017 Food Trends- Other Popular Trends

Other trends are set to hit the market in 2017 and restaurants should keep an eye out for customers craving these foods. When broken down from concepts, the National Restaurant Association states that new cuts of meat are the biggest trend of 2017. The Food Business News predicts goat as a new fan favorite in the restaurant business. Mocktail Food TrendBreakfast trends are common as well, including all-day breakfast, ethnic breakfasts and sweet breakfasts. Innova Market Insights predicts that chocolate will soon occur on breakfast menus everywhere. To drink, mocktails have hit the market, as consumers search for creative, non-alcoholic drinks outside of soda. Customers now love house-made juices and teas mixed with muddled herbs.

As the New Year rolls around, restaurants must keep in mind current trends to stay popular with consumers. Many sources have spent time and research looking into trends to help the food business stay current. Whether emphasizing healthy eating, reducing waste or breakfast cuisines, customers love eating the latest and greatest food trends. To learn more about the 2017 food trends, please visit the National Restaurant Association’s website.

 

successful restaurant

Founding a Successful Restaurant in 2017

Courtesy of the Grand Rapids Press, this article has many tips to have a successful restaurant in 2017. Whether you are looking for a concept, trend or social media ideas, these tips from SCORE will help your restaurant.

Serving Holiday Traditions

This year, Christmas Eve and Hanukkah fall on the same day; only the fifth time in over 100 years.  This means that Hanukkah will run Christmas Eve through New Year’s Eve. This is a huge holiday overlap, consolidating many American holiday celebrations. During the holiday season, many Americans prepare for their holiday traditions. Some people request their traditions with a twist. While every family has their own holiday traditions, most enjoy many of the same traditional holiday foods.

primerib2Christmas Traditions

Families and friends come from all across the country to get together during Christmas time. Many customers will celebrate Christmas with family or friends the weeks leading up to the holiday. Some families traditionally dine out on Christmas as well. Customers see Christmas as a time to splurge towards the fancier end. Traditional Christmas foods include prime rib or lobster. Restaurants including these dishes on a holiday menu will likely see an increase in sales. Often, Christmas goers will go out for desserts as a holiday treat. Common Christmas flavors include gingerbread, spiced apple and peppermint. A gingerbread or peppermint twist on a traditional cheesecake will surely win customers over.

Hanukkah Traditionslatke2

The Hanukkah holiday spans eight days and many Jewish consumers will eat out to celebrate. To follow along with Hanukkah tradition, many foods consumed during the eight day holiday contain large amounts of oil. The oil commemorates the jar of oil lasting eight days after the Jewish victory over the Syrian-Greek army. Traditional Hanukkah foods include beef brisket and latkes. Hanukkah celebrating customers will love ordering these foods off of a menu. For dessert, a fried, jelly-filled doughnut; in Hebrew, a sufganiyot; is the perfect Hanukkah treat.

Drinking Traditions eggnog1

Many of the drinks consumed during the holidays are seen as Christmas drinks. However, with the growing popularity of coffee and tea shops and happy hours, these drinks have become a part of society. Children and adults alike love ordering hot chocolate, especially with the addition of marshmallows or whipped cream. For the adults, many traditional holiday drinks may contain alcohol. Two examples are wassail and egg nog. Wassail, a holiday drink containing various juices, fruits and spices turns adult with the addition of whiskey or brandy. Eggnog, traditionally mixed with rum, is a cold creamy drink customers love during the holiday. Other traditional alcoholic drinks to feature on a seasonal menu include warm buttered rum and spicy mulled wine.  Remember when serving alcohol, to serve your customers wisely. Use tips from the National Restaurant Association for help serving holiday drinks.

Holiday Traditions with a Twist

Healthy foods trended upwards in 2016 and are still on the rise during the holidays. Many customers are looking for their traditional favorites with a healthy spin. Instead of the usual mashed potatoes or vegetable casserole, consumer search for the roasted alternative. Serving roasted winter vegetables allows customers to eat their traditional favorites and feel healthier at the same time. Vegetables are trending upwards and the holidays are a great time to showcase all of their glory. Serve spiralized squash or beets as an alternative for pasta noodles serves customers comfort food without the guilt. Plating the main dish on a bed of mixed greens instead of rice also reduces carbs. This substitute is a great way to cater to the paleo, celiac or gluten intolerant.

 

Another hot trend in the market is ethnic foods and flavors. Customers now crave their traditional holiday flavors with an ethnic spin. Adding coriander, curry, turmeric and cayenne will draw in customers for unique flavors. Currently, Mexican hot chocolate resonates with consumers everywhere.

This traditional holiday drink turns Mexican with the addition of a little cayenne and cinnamon. The spice brings the flavors in the hot chocolate to the next level. Customers love the ethnic addition to their classic drink.

This holiday season, tap into your customers traditional cravings with perfect holiday menu items. Since Christmas and Hanukkah fall on the same day, expect an influx of customers during this time of year. Whether these customers celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or time with family and friends, be sure to make the outing extra special. Customers love eating their traditional holiday foods, although, many would love trying a twist on a holiday classic. By placing traditional holiday meals on your menu, your customers will return no matter the time of year.

Choose Your Wine Glass Wisely

Whether originating from California, France or Australia, wine comes in more types than most know. Wines range on a scale of sweet to dry and flavor depends on color, region and age. Enthusiasts know what wine pairs best with certain foods and websites even feature articles regarding wine pairings and your favorite candy! When pouring your next glass of wine, also consider letting the wine breathe. Wine scientists have proven that letting a wine breathe, or sit for a minute after pouring, improves the quality. Even after pairing your wine and letting the glass breGroup of three wine glassesathe, you can still optimize the glass further. In fact, you need to focus on the glass. Research shows that the wine glass you choose can drastically change the taste.

Hard to believe that a wine glass can make such a difference on the experience of drinking wine. Recent scientific studies prove that shape, size and opening make a huge impact on the delivery of the wine. According to some researchers, the glass can significantly impact the taste, so much so that a favorite wine can turn undesirable in the wrong glass. This makes sense, shop at any kitchen retailer and you find a variety of different wine glasses.

Having to do with the concentration and aroma of the alcohol, the rim of the glass plays what could be the most critical role. The rim effects head tips when drinking wine as well as where the wine hits the tongue. Also under consideration; the atmosphere. Some researchers believe that wine drinkers sense their wine exceeds expectations when drinking from an expensive glass in an extravagant setting.  This Forbes article, written by Tom Mullen, describes pairing bottles of wine with the best possible glass. Give it a read and take into consideration the article next time you pour yourself a glass wine.

 

social media

The Impact of Social Media

We live in a digital world where Americans can access almost anything on their phone. Ordering delivery? Order through the app. Forgot your credit card? Pay through the phone. Lost and need directions? Phone maps will get you to your destination. Americans love their phones, so businesses must adopt to digital advertising methods. People communicate electronically now more than ever and this trend will only increase, especially through social media. While print and electronic marketing is effective, consider using social media to increase your brand awareness.

First, sign up for an account and create a business page. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are great tools to connect on social media. In addition, these accounts can update customers on new menu items, special promotions and various events happening at the restaurant. Customers can also review a business on Facebook. This is a great way to receive insights on your restaurant while keeping the customer engaged. Twitter and Instagram both have trending topics and use will likely increase the probability of visibility to the post. Replying to customers is important as well; this shows you care about their thoughts and will increase their likelihood of return to the restaurant.

Buying Ads on Social Media

Ads are also available for purchase on social media. Customers will see your page on the side of Facebook, or while scrolling through their news feed on Instagram. Wondering about connecting with customers immediately? Buy a filter on Snapchat. Through the filter, customers will engage themselves with the restaurant by incorporating their face with your logo or image. When the customer chooses to share it on their story, Snapchat users can view that picture (or “Snap”) and your advertisement for 24 hours. Click here to read about Taco Bell’s phenomenal Snapchat success story on Cinco de Mayo.

Other social media options include Pinterest, Google +, LinkedIn and YouTube. Play around and see what option will meet the needs of your restaurant and brand. Knowing your customers will be the best way to customize your use of social media. Just remember, when the public rarely looks up from their phones, maybe that is the best way to reach them.

Van Eerden Fall Food Show 2016

Every year, Van Eerden hosts an assortment of food shows across the state. This year’s Fall Food Show brought in hundreds of customers as a last hurrah of the food show season. We held this year’s food show at Soaring Eagle Casino on October 11th and featured new items, promotions and a Holiday Party the night prior. A total of 179 vendors in took the booths and hundreds of customers attended. With so much action the casino walls buzzed with excitement during the entire the two-day event.

VE School Show

Van Eerden School Show 2016

As a foodservice distributor, Van Eerden has a wide range of customers across Michigan. These include several independent restaurants, local chains, schools and more. While the majority our customers include chains and restaurants, we also service K-12 school districts. In fact, service to the school business is so large; our company has a department dedicated solely to providing the greatest service to schools. Schools even have their own show featuring issues, products and services that are important to them.

Food Trends 2016

To gain business, restaurants must stay on top of “what’s hot” in the food industry. Food trends can be enacted through various diets , allergies and sensitivities, and seasons. For example, most restaurants will not serve a pumpkin soup in the middle of May. How do restaurant owners plan ahead and prepare for the top food trends throughout the year? Not serving pumpkin soup in May seems obvious, but when does a restaurant know the appropriate time to remove a kale salad from the menu? Likewise, how do they know consumers no longer consider kale salad a “hot” item? Similar to fashion, entertainment and music trends, food trends take time to develop and disintegrate. Various chefs and restaurant owners also research and forecast these trends all over the world.

Every year, the National Restaurant Association (the NRA) meets to put forth a list of food trends within the restaurant industry. While consumers may believe these trends are based solely on the chef’s appetites, lots of time and research occurs before the NRA makes their projections. The NRA surveys over 1,600 professional chefs from around the country to make their predictions on future trends. Curious as to what topped the list? Locally sourced meat and seafood.

Food Trends at Van Eerden

At Van Eerden, we can ensure that restaurants stay on top of the year’s food trends. We provide our customers with knowledgeable sales reps willing go above and beyond. These sales reps provide businesses with trending food options and ideas on how to serve these items. We also offer our customers products that top this year’s food trends. When a customer orders fresh seafood, we provide products from our partners at Fortune Fish and Gourmet in Chicago. Byron Center Meats, located just 12 miles down the road from our office is our partner in providing fresh cut meats. Customers of Van Eerden order meat and seafood with the satisfaction knowing they ordered fresh food that will top the list of the year’s food trends. Delicious and trendy food will sell itself in a restaurant and we gladly make that possible.

You can find the full list of top food trends on the National Restaurant Association’s website.