The Mintel Foodservice team of expert analysts have identified four trends set to hit the mainstream in the US Foodservice industry this year. Intriguing and delighting diners and brands alike, these trends shine a spotlight on how Americans’ ever-evolving tastes and sensibilities are propelling customization, dichotomy, authenticity and innovation onto menus and into restaurant kitchens across the country.
Behind every trend is comprehensive consumer data, in-depth analysis of thousands of US menus and brand examples that support the future impact of the trends.
Discover how you can stay ahead of the competition in 2017 and beyond:
Automated Nation - As costs for foodservice operators are becoming more substantial and the price of food for at-home consumption continues to decline, restaurants are streamlining operations and automating service to provide convenience and efficiency to consumers, whether it be through kiosk-only restaurants, chatbots that allow online users to make reservations or drones that can deliver frozen yogurt to your doorstep.
Reduce, Reuse, Upcycle - Food waste is a growing issue in the US and beyond and operators are tackling the issue with a varied approach. Chefs are growing ingredients on-site and finding uses for all parts of vegetables, similar to the nose-to-tail approach taken with meat, while restaurants are incorporating on-hand ingredients in new ways and focusing on core menu offerings.
Fundamentally Global - A new wave of global cuisines is emerging in the US, fueled by consumer curiosity and greater exposure to international foods and flavors, such as Filipino, Korean and African. Fundamental preparations, such as fire-grilled or smoked, are growing as Americans explore these cuisines. Fire is being used in place of traditional ovens and stoves in restaurants from casual to fine dining, while ‘pickled’ and ‘fermented’ are increasing on menus as an ingredient preparation.
The Experience Dichotomy - Driven by a sense of exploration or simply FOMO (fear of missing out), Americans today are on the hunt for new experiences. Restaurants are offering novel, fun and memorable meals through pop-up restaurants, entertainment-themed venues and “secret” bars, which offer customers a thrill for just finding the location, while venues that typically place experience over food and drink, such as sporting events and music festivals, are upgrading their menus to complement the experience.
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