The National Restaurant Association conducts surveys each year to identify key trends for the upcoming year on food and drink menus. Here is what they see coming in 2015.
NRA’s Top 10 Food Trends
- Locally sourced meats and seafood
- Locally grown produce
- Environmental sustainability
- Healthful kids' meals
- Natural ingredients/minimally processed food
- New cuts of meat
- Hyper-local sourcing
- Sustainable seafood
- Food waste reduction/management
- Farm/estate branded items
NRA’s Top 5 Alcoholic Beverage Trends
- Micro-distilled/artisan spirits
- Locally produced beer/wine/spirits
- Onsite barrel-aged drinks
- Regional signature cocktails
- Culinary cocktails (e.g. savory, fresh ingredients)
In looking over these food trends, quite a few of them have made this list for the last several years. Locally sourced meats, seafood and produce have been at the top since 2011. New cuts of meat, sustainability and healthy kids' meals have also been prominent. According to a recent article, most of these food trends are referred to as "umbrella trends." These trends are not just 1 or 2 year fads that people are doing. These trends grow over a period of a decade or more and reflect the change in consumer lifestyle philosophies.
What is new this year is food waste reduction/management. A more concentrated effort to bring a dish from field to plate as simply as possible makes sense in this day and age.
When it comes to the drink trends, barrel-aged drinks stood out for me. I have seen this come to the forefront the past six months. Barrel-aged beer and spirits are all over the place, and quite honestly, every drink I've had has been very good!
It is always interesting to see what chefs and restaurateurs have in mind for the coming year. Whether it be food or drink - just like the fashion industry - change occurs from year to year. There is always that desire to be the "next big thing."
Keeping up with trends is the key to growing your business versus being left behind. We have always tried to stay on top or what is going on. Just like any industry, staying in tune with what the people are looking for is what drives us to excel in what we create each day.
Stay tuned to our newsletter... I promise you will find some very interesting things coming in 2015!