Dinning Trends for 2016
Global food, restaurant and hotel consultancy Baum + Whiteman recently launched its annual forecast of the hottest food and beverage dining trends for 2016.
Tech-driven delivery. Tech-driven delivery will continue to expand in 2016, as consumers gain further access to the largest (virtual) drive-thru window. High-speed food delivery provided by Google, uberEats, Amazon Prime Now, Postmates, Grub Hub and Yelp are disrupting the restaurant industry by connecting the restaurants to the customers, collecting fees and personal information about who orders what, when and from which restaurants.
Healthier menus. Fast-and fast-casual restaurants are developing healthier menus as consumers express concern about chemicals and additives. Yet, beyond the demand for all-natural ingredients, free of GMOs and artificial flavors or colors, consumers are searching for more holistic initiatives from restaurants, including control of waste, water conservation, humane treatment of animals (and employees), plus other eco-social issues. While sit-down restaurants and hotels remain relatively quiet as casual chains like Chipotle, Panera Bread, Subway’s, McDonald’s and Dunkin Donuts seek to eliminate undesirable ingredients.
Focus on vegetables. With the cost of meat, issues with hormones, and a growing concern for health and diet, vegetables are taking center stage. Vegetables are taking center stage as meat becomes a complimentary ingredient. The “Root-to-Stem” is becoming more popular in which restaurants serve vegetable trimmings that would otherwise be thrown into the trash.
Retail outlets offer dining options. Given how foot traffic continues to suffer serious decline upon the rise of online shopping, it’s not hard to see why this trend makes a repeat in 2016. The idea of increasing “dwell time” at retail stores will become more important than ever. Many retail stores are doing everything to keep customers engaged by adding cafés, bistros and upscale restaurants to their showrooms.
Flavorful snacks. In 2016, there will be more unexpected flavor combinations. For example, sweeteners will continue to be matched with heat and smoky flavors, while spicy-salty-savory ethnic snacks will become afternoon favorites and meal replacements. Expect to see more compound flavors (especially in jerky) such as sweet teriyaki, cranberry jalapeno, branching into honey jalapeno bacon and buffalo chicken. Deep contrasts to richness will make fermented condiments such as kimchee and house-pickled vegetables especially popular, while tart and bitter flavors offset sugar and salt.
Source: Forbes Lifestyle