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Top 10 Food Trends to watch in 2016

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The National Restaurant Association has conducted extensive surveys to figure out 'what's trending' in 2016. Pay attention to the items below and boost your sales by giving your customers what they want, when they want it!

1. Locally sourced meats and seafoods: the world grows bigger, but the culinary scene is focused smaller. Much smaller. Large factories still produce processed beef, but smaller farms are producer smaller, batch, artisanal products with higher flavors, lower environmental impact, and of course, a higher price point.

2. Chef-driven fast casual concepts: the emphasis on quality extends to fast food. When chefs design a fast food menu, its less likely to be your standard burger and fries and more likely to be bahn mi sliders and other artisanal gourmet products.

3. Locally grown product: mirroring the trend in protein, local vegetables and fruits are king. CSAs, particularly ones offering organic product, are on the rise. Nutritious, eco friendly, and affordable, using fresh vegetables and cooking seasonally elevates the flavor profile of the dishes in your restaurant.

4. Hyper-local sourcing: again, think CSAs. Not only are you buying locally, but you're buying from a farm right up the street.

5. Natural ingredients/minimally processed food: when you're using local kale and wild caught salmon, chances are you're not reaching for the MSG to season it. The return to simple foods includes a backlash against over processed ingredients, in all of their forms.

6. Environmental sustainability: by sourcing locally, the environmental impact is cut down in many ways. Less trucks are used to transport the food. Less chemicals are used to grow the food. Smaller batches means less environmental waste and greenhouse gasses. Overall, the local, organic food movement significantly reduces wear and tear not he planet.

7. Healthful kids' meals: McDonalds, the giant of fast food, is keen to shed its image and links to child obesity. With smaller portion and more fruit options, they are paying attention to this trend. But many consumers are taking it further and purchasing non processed, non GMO food for their children to ensure they receive the healthiest possible food.

8. New cuts of meat: tomahawk ribeye is a great example of this trend. A bone in rib eye which resembles an axe (hence the name) the tomahawk is flavorful and one of the newer cuts of meat that chefs are showcasing alongside the classics in their steak cases.

9. Sustainable seafood: sustainable seafood has ethical implications more far reaching than the environment. With links to slavery, the shrimp industry is often considered 'dirty' and without being able to verify the source of the shrimp, there's a chance it has very unsavory origins. Seafood that is certified ethical is also sourced without over fishing, thereby reducing the impact on fish populations overall.

10. House made/artisan ice cream: a delicious treat to round off the list. Ice cream is simple to make and requires few ingredients. Arethusa Farms is a great example of a local ice cream store making artisan product with local ingredients. Use artisanal milk, play around with flavors, and have fun creating sweet treats for your customers!

2016-06-22 00:00:00
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