The top restaurant menus trends for 2014 focus on local sourcing, environmental sustainability and nutrition - children's nutrition in particular. These trends have been gaining momentum for several years, indicating that these wider themes influence the national culinary scene, according to the National Restaurant Association (NRA).
The NRA's annual What’s Hot culinary forecast predicts menu trends for the year ahead by surveying nearly 1,300 professional chefs. “Today’s consumers are more interested than ever in what they eat and where their food comes from, and that is reflected in our menu trends research,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the National Restaurant Association’s research and knowledge group.
When asked which current food trend will be the hottest menu trends 10 years from now, environmental sustainability topped the list, followed by local sourcing, health-nutrition, children’s nutrition and gluten-free cuisine.
The five items with the highest ranking as a waning trend in 2014 were foam/froth/air, bacon-flavoured chocolate, fish offal, gazpacho, and fun-shaped children’s items. The five items with the highest points as perennial trends next year were fried chicken, Italian cuisine, frying, barbeque, and Eggs Benedict.
The five items that gained most in trendiness since last year in the annual survey were nose-to-tail/root-to-stalk cooking, pickling, ramen, dark greens, and Southeast Asian cuisine. The five items with the largest drop in “hot trend” rating were Greek yogurt, sweet potato fries, new cuts of meat, grass-fed beef, and organic coffee.
Compared with five years ago, items that have remained top 20 food trends include locally grown produce, healthful kids’ meals, gluten-free cuisine, sustainable seafood, and health/nutrition.
Source: National Restaurant Association