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2017 Food Trends- The Rise of Vegetables

As food trends emerge, vegetables have become a mainstay in several dishes in restaurants. Several factors play into the growing population of vegetables and vegetarian meals. Vegetable DishMany Americans have become more health conscious, looking for ways to incorporate healthy living into their food. The cost and sustainability of meat has also played a factor in customers consuming less meat and more vegetables. In 2016, vegetables entered the food scene with a bang and will not disappear any time soon.

Vegetables in Diets

Many customers in today’s culture follow strict diets, but do not want to stop dining out. Especially true for Millennials, who consider themselves trend and diet followers, but also view dining out as a social experience. In fact, vegan or gluten-free food resonates especially well for this generation. For those who follow the paleo diet, vegetable noodles

Veggie Pasta

substitute great for pasta in many dishes. In fact, the National Restaurant Association lists this pasta trend in the top 25 overall. Cauliflower has also entered a variety of meals through the means of cauliflower rice and cauliflower pizza crust. For vegetarians and vegans, vegetables have always served as a main dish.  Vegetarian meals such as black bean burgers and eggplant parmesan are just a couple of these classics. Now with the growing vegetarian population, chefs have learned to love cooking without meat.

Vegetables in Ethnic Cuisines

In the United States, meat and potatoes are a mainstay; however taste bud curiosity has driven Americans to step outside the normal American cuisine.  Ethnic food has Greek Veggie Burgercertainly made its way into various restaurants, showcasing a variety of new dishes with a vegetable focus. With the rise of ethnic food, chefs have integrated many vegetarian meals on to their menu. These cuisines have taught American chefs and consumers that a delicious hearty meal does not need traditional meat protein. Many cultures do not even consider their dishes vegetarian, just delicious, robust meals. The use of various herbs and spices has taken center stage as well. The use of ethnic flavors intend to spice up vegetables, making sure customers do not miss the meat.

With the growing popularity of vegetables in American restaurants, look for ways to make customers want to come back for more. Whether substituting veggies for grains or going meatless; give customers plenty menu options in regards to vegetables. Trend analysts expect ethnic vegetarian cuisine and plant-based proteins to continue to grow in popularity in 2017. Explore different spices, play around with different recipes and you will find a vegetable-based meal the customer will love.

2017 Food Trends- Clean Eating

In the first segment of the four-week “Trendy Tuesday” segment we will discuss clean eating. Clean eating combines transparency, organic foods, and nutrition into one. This trend focuses more on wholesome eating rather than dieting. While many consumers have different ideas and guidelines regarding clean eating, the general idea follows a healthy lifestyle.

Clean Eating Defined

Customers crave clean eating, meaning they look for minimally processed and nutrient rich foods. A major component of clean eating is transparency; customers want to know what exactly they are eating. Transparency begins with the growing and raising methods of the product. Next, the manufacturing process put in to the product. Last, the preparation of the dish. Put simply, transparency lets the customer know exactly what they eat from farm to table. Organic foods often add to transparency clean eating in whole foodsas customers know the product contains no artificial additives. In addition to whole foods, customers are concerned about nutrition now more than ever. The clean eating lifestyle uses a great deal of whole foods; fruits, vegetables, whole grains and proteins, to give consumers the nutrients they desire.

Clean Eating Foods

As clean eating grows in popularity, many whole foods and drinks are also appearing on menus across the nation. Many customers search for protein-rich whole grains or legumes to receive protein in non-animal products. These plant sources; such as quinoa, farro and black beans, provide customers with excellent nutrition and when cooked from raw, contain only the ingredient itself. Another popular clean eating food item is coconut. Coconut has mainstreamed the US market for a few years now. In addition to coconut water, milk and oil, items such as coconut flour and sugar have hit the market. For gut health, fermentation is all the rage in today’s market. Fermented foods including miso, kimchi, sauerkraut and other vegetables are showing up on menus everywhere.

Clean Eating on a Menu

Restaurants can easily incorporate these food trends into their menus. Adding grains to a salad, or making a black bean burger easily integrates these plants into your dishes. A great way to add coconut into yourClean eating from the garden menu is through a drink. Adding coconut water to cocktails, or this year’s popular mocktail trend is a great way for customers to receive the many health benefits of coconut. In addition, consider adding fermented veggies to a shared plate or appetizer dish. Colorful fermented vegetables will also add a great visual appeal to a meat or cheese board.

Adding clean eating menu options to your restaurant will allow customers to follow food trends while sticking to their New Year’s resolutions. Stick with a transparent menu and train your wait staff on the ingredients in each dish. When possible, try to add organic or minimally processed ingredients to your restaurant’s grocery list. The more whole foods and clean foods used in your restaurant, the more customers will come back for more.

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.