Locally-sourced food to top restaurant menus in 2014

The National Restaurant Association (NRA) each year prepares its “What’s Hot” culinary forecast of menu trends for the coming year.

December 4, 2013

The National Restaurant Association (NRA) each year prepares its “What’s Hot” culinary forecast of menu trends for the coming year. The NRA surveyed nearly 1,300 professional chefs to find which food and beverage items will be hot trends on restaurant menus in 2014.

Top 10 food trends for 2014:

  • Locally-sourced meats and seafood
  • Locally-grown produce
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Healthful kids’ meals
  • Gluten-free cuisine
  • Hyper-local sourcing (e.g., restaurant gardens)
  • Children’s nutrition
  • Non-wheat noodles/pasta (e.g., quinoa, rice, buckwheat)
  • Sustainable seafood
  • Farm/estate branded items

“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. “True trends—as opposed to temporary fads—show the evolution of the wider shifts of our modern society over time, and focus on the provenance of various food and beverage items, unique aspects of how they are prepared and presented, as well as the dietary profiles of those meals.”

The “What’s Hot in 2014” survey also found that the top five alcohol and cocktail trends will be micro-distilled/artisan spirits, locally produced beer/wine/spirits, onsite barrel-aged drinks, culinary cocktails (e.g., savory, fresh ingredients), and regional signature cocktails. 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-flavored 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.

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