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National Restaurant Association - Chomping at the bit for food trends? Feast on this!

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Chomping at the bit for food trends? Feast on this!

If you’re wondering what consumers will eat when they dine out next year, think alternative proteins, ethnic-inspired breakfasts or veggie-carb substitutes, and you’ll be on the right track, according to our new research on food trends for 2019.

The National Restaurant Association’s 2019 What’s Hot Culinary survey found that guests are looking for great tasting foods that also are healthful and sustainable at the same time. The survey, produced annually in partnership with the American Culinary Federation, is a barometer of food and beverage trends around the country. This year, we looked at the responses of approximately 650 professional chefs – all ACF members.

“These foods, already popular in consumers’ own homes, are now poised to ignite sales at restaurants and foodservice operations,” said Hudson Riehle, the Association’s senior vice president of research. “It’s no secret restaurant customers seek new food experiences when dining out. Chefs are listening to that request and offering them the foods they want. That’s good for guests and business.”

Here are a few of the food trends chefs say customers will be asking for:

Globally inspired breakfast foods



More than 69 percent of chefs in our survey said these ethnic-inspired items would be the year’s top food trend. One popular example is shakshouka, a Tunisian/Israeli option made of poached eggs, tomato sauce, onions, chili peppers and myriad spices.

New cuts of beef

Some 67 percent of respondents indicated that new cuts of meat would once again be among the top food trends, like last year. Those cuts include oyster, Merlot and Vegas Strip steaks.

Plant-based proteins

Approximately 64 percent of the chefs in our survey said plant-based sausages and burgers are going to be a top food trend in 2019. The reasons: they appeal to vegetarians and vegans, are sustainable, and have good flavor and texture.

Locally sourced meats and seafood

More than 60 percent of the chefs cited locally sourced meats and seafood as a top trend, especially among millennials, who want to know more about where their food comes from and how it is prepared.

Veggie-carb substitutes



According to three out of five chefs, “Zoodles”, made of zucchini spirals, riced cauliflower, and noodles made from beets are just a few of the veggie-carb substitutes that are going to be popular with restaurant guests in 2019. What accounts for their popularity? They’re nutritious, flavorful, and less starchy than some other available choices.

Want to know more about 2019’s trends? Our complete What’s Hot survey results will be available in early January.

The National Restaurant Association and its ServSafe team advocate responsible food safety and handling practices every day. Learn more about ServSafe here

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