Salads aren’t just for dieters anymore. Consumers who are looking for healthier and functional dining options are adding salads to meals, or opting for salads as meals when dining out at restaurants. A few twists on salads can take them to the next level. The difference between a ‘salad” and a ‘bowl” can be in their size, and the amount of protein, rice or grain ingredients relative to greens and vegetables. In functionality, protein is a big winner and “protein bowls” have become more widespread.
Here are the trends that appeared in our "2018 Food and Dining Trends Report" earlier this year that have staying power: Plant-based foods going mainstream; off-premise food poularity; local gives way to regional attribution; manifestation...overuse of term “local” dilutes meaning, significance, say experts regional global territories: “Southern Low Country, Ozarks, Appalachia, Cuba, India and the Middle East.”
...Asian Island foods, a trend identified by Chicago-based consultancy Technomic. It has propelled Asian Island chicken on menus. At the same time, consumers are looking for protein alternatives to meat and are driving an interest in the creation of more food products and menu items that tap the nutrition and appeal of pulses and plant-based proteins.
Gluten-free (GF) foods, typically consumed by those with celiac disease, wheat allergies, and gluten sensitivity, have seen a 36 percent sales growth rate from 2010-2015, according to Packaged Facts. Entirely devoted to GF treats, Virginia-based Happy Tart bakery has locations in Alexandria, Falls Church, and Del Ray (currently under renovation). Cakes, crepes, cookies, cupcakes, macarons, and fresh bread.
"Thai, Indian, Korean and North African Influences are hot right now and are breaking through into foodservice in the form of sauces, spirces and proteins," she says...Technomic, a Chicago-based foodservice research film and consultancy, has also presented Southeast Asia as a source of flavor trends.
The organic food industry has grown rapidly in recent years and the growth trajectory continues to rise, as organic ingredients begin to find a place in the broader feel-good food trend. The industry has recently reached $50 billion dollars in annual total organic product sales and is predicted to continue growing rapidly, with average growth in the double digits for the past five years...The D.C. metro area is a hub for innovative restaurant operators who have already capitalized on this surge of interest in organic ingredients, with local favorite restaurants Sweetgreen and Founding Farmers emphasizing the role of organic
The feel-good food movement is gaining overwhelming traction and it has permeated the national conversation about eating and dining...respondents primarily identified healthy food as that which has healthy components or is clean label (“free from”). Nearly 30 percent categorized healthy food as having healthy components or nutrients, ranking that as the #1 definition. Almost 15 percent indicated food that is free from “artificial ingredients
Three of the most exciting new healthy beverage trends for 2018...Healthier ingredients in drinks, juices, shakes, and smoothies...already enjoying massive popularity due to testimonials from health food advocates and social media influencers, juices and smoothies are the rage.