2019 is a year of flavorful trends from all over the world. The National Restaurant Association’s “What’s Hot 2019 Culinary Forecast” features all sorts of trends which are now influencing the foodservice industry, from catering to cafeterias. Read on to learn about six hot new trends in foodservice, and how you can offer your customers nutritious, flavorful foods made from sustainable processes.
1. Meatless sandwiches
Even the most devoted meat-eater may want to take a break from steak to enjoy some of the latest plant-based sausages and veggie burgers. A lot of appetizing combinations, including chickpeas, pinto beans, black beans, garlic, onions, global spices, and freshly cooked, brightly colored vegetables, are combined with non-wheat grains like quinoa, buckwheat, or brown rice. As a result, these trending plant-based burgers and sausages provide the texture and taste that satisfy vegetarians and non-vegetarians as they seek to add better nutrition to their diet. In addition to bean-based patties, consumers are also eating sandwiches made from plants with meaty flesh, like butternut squash, jackfruit, and mushroom, each infused with tantalizing spices.
2. Global foods and spices
Middle Eastern spices and North, East, and West African flavors are big this year. In particular, you’ll see a lot of foods made with Middle Eastern flavors such as tahini, turmeric, cardamom, nutmeg, and sumac. Peppers that are commonly used in Latin American foods — guajillo, poblano, and ancho — continue to be popular. Also, Asian and Indian spices are still featured everywhere. Consumers are looking for these flavors in plant-based, chicken, and meat options, so it’s recommended to offer a variety on your menus.
3. Healthful kids’ items
Food services are also offering innovative foods for kids — even surprises such as savory options stuffed in “doughnuts” for children. This particular item is actually a take on the Latin American empanada, traditionally a meat pastry which now comes in meat and meatless varieties. These innovative solutions for kids may be infused with either traditional or global flavors. In addition, more public schools are offering salad bowls, build-a-bowl stations with plant-based options, and other types of vegetarian options for their students, including choices like dairy (cheese, yogurt) and eggs.
4. Innovative food sourcing
Food services of every kind are jumping on the bandwagon when it comes to tapping into sustainable practices in sourcing foods. From having their own gardens for growing plant-based items to sticking to a zero-waste policy where the entire plant is used, you’ll be seeing colorful additions to salads and stir-fries using plants that have distinct variations in what’s considered their normal appearance (so-called “ugly foods“).
5. Fusion dishes
Because there are so many innovative food trends out on the market currently, consumers are willing and eager to try new combinations of global foods. As a result, food services are not limited to using flavors from one particular country or region in a particular dish. This is partly due to the appeal of salad bars and build-a-bars, where customers can pick and choose to build salads and savory dishes from options that come from all over the world.
6. Exciting beverage flavors
With all these different trends making the scene in 2019, food services are introducing desserts with innovative beverage flavors. For instance, ginger-infused drinks will continue to make a showing. Your customers may even be pleasantly surprised at the taste of lemonade laced with ginger, hot chili pepper, and turmeric. Turkish coffee and beverages infused with African spices are on the rise, so many schools, cafeterias, and other types of food services are offering them as part of their beverage selections. Finally, passion fruit, dragon fruit, and guava are also finding their way into smoothies, and customers are eager to try these healthy options.
Suffice it to say that there are lots of opportunities this year to provide sustainable, healthy, plant-based items which will more than please your customers’ palates. For more information on the latest trends in foodservice, please contact us.