Every month, I get a newsletter from Liz Wunderlich of the US Meat Export Federation. This issue carried information of the restaurant trends for 2013. I felt you would enjoy reading them and seeing how many you observe. Thanks Liz, your information is always informative. Readers, I’d be interested in what you notice.~MDH
January Carib Bites Newsletter
· Technomic’s 2013 Restaurant Trends: You know we had to do trends for the Jan. issue!
- Vegetables take their star turn. That means not only innovative salads but also creative presentations of roasted orsteamed veggies. Vegetables at center-of-the-plate are for the healthful, fresh, locavore, but also help with prices!
- Great grains. Dishes like polenta, couscous or bulgur are starring on menus. And a number of grains–quinoa,amaranth, millet, wild rice, corn, oats and buckwheat—do not contain gluten, to help with that craze.
- Chicken surprise. New fast-casual fried-chicken concepts are offering southern or spicy takes on a classic.
- Snacking nation. Habits of around-the-clock eating, the street-food/food-truck craze, consumers’ demand for flexibleportions & prices, and operators’ need to move beyond price-cutting on core menu items drive this. Tapas, mezze &upscale bar bites in full-service restaurants or flavorful novelties in QSR places (mini corn dogs, McD’s snack wraps).
- More is more. The value-as-volume movement. Deals like Pizza Hut’s Big Dinner Box (two pizzas with multiple sides) or Olive Garden’s Dinner Today & Dinner Tomorrow (a dine-in meal plus a to-go meal), multi-course feasts fortwo, four or more—even whole-hog pig roasts.
- Retro rising. Premium diner/deli-inspired meaty sandwiches, full-flavored soups, & pickled—from dill to red onion.
- Noodle-shop noodles. Ramen done right is nutritious, subtle, satisfying and redolent of exotic Far East streetmarkets. Look for ramen, udon, soba, cellophane & rice noodles to show up in hearty layered bowls & fragrant soups.
- South America—the next frontier. Just as Thai and Vietnam took us beyond Chinese fare, so does Brazil, Peru and Argentina take us past Mexican. Look for S. American-style grilled meats, chimichurri, ceviche, and iconic drinks.
- Fast casual goes globe-trotting. American BBQ to SE Asia soups/sandwiches to Mediterranean and Middle East.
10. Restaurants thirsty for differentiation turn to beverages. Trends include fresh fruit, natural energy drinks, regional
craft brews, housemade sodas, cocktails made with candy-like flavored vodka, microdistillery liquors (promotes local).
Board Member, Co-Chair Conference & Media Trip Committee, Past President
Freelance Lifestyle Journalist
Follow me: @maralynhill