Consumer taste buds and culinary trends change constantly, and the foodservice industry is continually evolving to reflect these changes. It’s important for restaurant owners, chefs and other foodservice professionals to stay up to date on the latest trends if they wish to compete effectively in the industry.
Below, we dive into the top forecasted developments and the most anticipated foodservice trends for 2019.
1. Creative cuisine – Consumers are becoming more adventurous with their eating habits, moving out of their comfort zones to explore bolder flavors and multi-sensory food experiences. Some are looking for a social experience where they can meet other diners, while others are searching for unique menu items that create immersive experiences. As a result, we anticipate seeing a heightened focus on foodservice products that offer unique — and sometimes unexpected — sensory experiences.
2. Personalized nutrition – As consumers become increasingly more selective with their eating habits, many are seeking individualized eating experiences that are tailored to their specific health and wellness or dietary needs. Meals designed specifically for individual portions are also likely to be particularly attractive to consumers with dietary control and calorie counting concerns in 2019, according to Fast Casual. While it can be challenging to offer personalized experiences in busy, crowded and speedy casual dining environments, the effort will go far with consumers.
3. Plant-based palates – Vegetarian foods are no longer a rarity on restaurant menus. As a growing number of consumers implement plant-based eating habits, executive chefs and culinary experts at Benchmark predict the vegetarian factor will continue to get even hotter. According to its Top Ten Dining Trends for 2019 report, menus will soon see large portions of their dishes dedicated to vegetarians and others with plant-based eating habits.
4. Zero waste – Today’s consumers are growing increasingly concerned with their impact on the environment, leading many foodservice retailers to switch from traditional disposable products to eco-friendly options. In fact, WebstaurantStore predicts this will be among the top foodservice trends for 2019. Moving forward, consumers will gravitate toward restaurant and convenience stores that find innovative ways to use all parts of the food they serve in order to meet growing demands for sustainable and green living.
5. Convenience – Restaurants that provide quick and easy sit-down meals or healthy grab-and-go convenience options have been popular for years. In particular, ready-made meals at grocery stores and gas stations are becoming increasingly common as time-pressed consumers look for nutritious meal options that meet their busy lifestyles. On-the-go meal and snacking options made with high-quality or unique ingredients will go especially far in the year ahead, as premiumization continues to evolve to meet modern food trends.
From the way food is prepared to how the ingredients are sourced, there are a lot of ways the foodservice industry can evolve to meet today’s consumer demands. Staying on top of the latest trends will help your company compete effectively in the coming year.
What foodservice trends do you see on the horizon? Comment below to share your thoughts, and stay tuned for more to come in our 2019 food industry trends blog series.