It’s almost time to say goodbye to 2016 and all the food trends that devoured the foodservice industry this year – Galaxy cakes, sweet and savory doughnuts, and Sriracha-infused anything. But with a new year comes exciting and delicious food trend predictions expected to have an impact on foodservice operators and consumers. With millennials as the driving force behind evolving palates, and technology continuing to be a driving force behind evolving consumer expectations, we can expect to see a wide variety of new menu items, ingredients, and business opportunities in the coming year.
2017 Food Trends and Menu Ideas
Purple Food: Cauliflower, asparagus, sweet potatoes, corn, cabbage, and carrots all come in purple varieties and will be hitting menus throughout the industry this year. Consider this recipe in lieu of your standard baked potato in the coming months, and for dessert offer this purple sweet potato ice cream.
Japanese-Inspired Cuisine: Incorporating ponzu and mirin (sauces), and sesame oil and plum vinegar into culinary prep, and adding miso soup and seaweed to your menu will prove popular among diners this year.
Repurposed Rinds: According to LeanPath, “4-10% of food purchased by a foodservice operation is discarded before ever reaching a guest.” So it only makes sense that operators are finding new ways to repurpose food waste into creative ingredients and menu offerings:
- Watermelon rinds can be transformed into jam for a refreshing toast topper
- Asparagus ends can be pureed into the Soup of the Day
- Leftover broccoli or cauliflower stalks can be sautéed with garlic for a unique side pairing
Mocktails: In recent years, soda has made its way onto lists of what’s trending, but this year it’ll be taken a step further with new flavors and a more stylish presentation. Herbs and spices are being incorporated into soda, tea, and juice to offer a more sophisticated sipping experience. Goodbye Shirley Temples, hello grapefruit and rosemary mocktail!
Global Flavors: As palates broaden, it’s important to offer diverse menu items that appeal to consumers who crave authentic cuisine with exciting, new flavors.
And Some Honorable Mentions to Keep an Eye Out For:
Cake for breakfast
Alternative pastas made from vegetables and other grains
2017 Foodservice Industry Trends
Technology Continues To Change Expectations: While technology is by no means a new trend, it’s imperative that foodservice operations, both commercial and non-commercial, realize the affect technology will continue to have on businesses. Consumer expectations demand that establishments have an online presence with easy access to menus, online ordering, and a quick and easy checkout process. If you can’t be found online, you’re losing out on key business.
Healthy Eating: Products that are organic, local, healthy, and sustainable continue to be widely desired in the foodservice industry, and with the new FDA Menu Labeling Law going into effect in early 2017, consumers will be more aware of what they are eating.
24/7 Dining Options: Campus, business, and healthcare foodservice establishments will see a rise in demand for round-the-clock dining options. It will be important to stock grab-and-go items and snacks to keep pace with a fast-paced society that’s always on the go.
If your foodservice operation does not yet have an online web presence with online ordering, don’t worry, there’s still time before the ball drops at midnight on December 31st. CaterTrax’s catering management software will not only provide you a web presence with online ordering, but also powerful back of the house tools to streamline operations and help you better manage your business. Contact us to book a demo today and see firsthand how CaterTrax powers thousands of foodservice operations across the U.S. and Canada.
If you currently have a CaterTrax website and would like to update your menu to reflect the upcoming 2017 food trends, submit a menu ticket with your request or contact our Support Team at 1-800-975-TRAX (8729).