7 Food Trends Affecting The Way People Eat Today

Times certainly have changed when we think of what a dining experience used to be. We now have more restaurants with more culinary choices than ever, which can only be great for the consumer.

Restaurants too can now relish in the new wave of expectation and wishes of their customers.

Requests for special meals or ingredients whether due to medical requirements, or just plain enjoyment of a variety of choice, is more commonplace.

Below are some of the ways patrons are changing the way food choices are made, for a varied and different dining experience.

From Paddock To Plate

Buying direct from the source seemed to be something from a by gone era. Maybe so then, but not today.

The trend for consumers and restaurants to be sourcing directly from the farmer, in particular for meat and poultry has a few raising eyebrows, and a few others stamping their feet.

From the supplier point of view a sale is a sale, but from a supermarket chain standpoint, they may see their profits decrease, due simply to a lack of a middle-man adding costs are not passed on to the consumer.

The restaurant’s established relationships with suppliers of fresh, free range or organically produced meat can make a lot of difference to their costs.

The more astute restaurants will brag about their accomplishments via their social media plan, to encourage diners to share in a new found, resurgence in quality, and supplier integrity.

Yippee for the customer, Win-Win for the restaurant.

The Gluten Free Option

For those who suffer from Celiac disease the medical requirement for gluten free foods are simply something they have to live with on a daily basis.

The growing trend however is to look at lowering gluten loaded foods in our daily intake for our health today and in the future.

These proposed benefits, combined with a customer’s request for identifiable menu items containing no gluten has restaurants looking to meet the comfort of existing and new diners.

Menus are, now days, typically inclusive of breads and pastas that are gluten free and are denoted clearly, giving restaurant customers what is now expected: a large choice of meals.

The New Proteins

Warning: the following may cause nausea or a strong desire for a cheeseburger.

Crickets, worms and various edible insects are something that would normally be associated with an exterminator rather than a culinary delicacy and delight, but these little critters are slowing working their way into hearts and stomachs of many a convert.

While not uncommon in many countries around the world, edible insects are gaining popularity not only for their taste but for their apparent high levels of protein.

Consider the tiny ant for one moment. Certain varieties are now being sought as an accompaniment for deserts or as a sweet sticky garnish.

Crickets on the other hand are being devoured hungrily to the amazement of their fellow diners. Fried with garlic and chilli, served in restaurants and specialty Asian food houses, they are being offered as an alternative to the bar snack.

Will they replace the humble bowl of peanuts? Only time will tell.

I think I’ll stick to steak for my protein. Just saying.

Think Local

Does your restaurant offer a view to your own kitchen garden? It appears that some restaurants are doing just that, and it’s proving to be a big winner with their diners.

Herbs and selected in-season vegetables are on display and picked as the meal orders come rolling in.

These types of local, fresh grown gardens are providing customers certain comfort in knowing that our highly priced vegetables are fresh and have not been sitting in a cold room for months.

You can’t get much fresher than chefs walking out into a home grown garden and picking supplies for the evening’s bookings.

Restaurant owner that appear to be thinking locally about suppliers can become a very important consideration for your diners existing and potential.

Knowing they are helping to sustain a town or region economically, can be forefront in the decision to patron your establishment.

It’s a major drawcard that cannot be dismissed as a phase. Restaurants are enjoying the benefits financially from customers who appreciate home grown and locally sourced produce.

Sustainable Seafood

Moving further into the growing desire to know exactly where food comes from is the education of diners in regards to seafood.

Sustainability seems to be the key if we are to continue to enjoy these kinds of foods, with the knowledge that vast amounts of fish are being overfished.

Locally caught, pole caught and eco-friendly methods are becoming more of a demand by diners the world over.

Restaurants can offer the environmental aware customers options and information of where their catch is sourced.

Both fresh and cooked seafood can be labelled with details of the species, where it was caught and by what method.

Customer demand will probably have labelling be the way of the future, ensuring the conscience of many a seafood supplier and end user.

The Way Of The Paleo

This new form of identifier for modern health benefits, sees the Paleo way of thinking as an alternative eating solution. Like it loathe it, the Paleo diet has certainly gained significant recognition over the past 12 months.

Controversial in its nutritional elements, Paleo basically is a diet based on foods that were thought to be only consumed by human beings.

Chiefly consisting of meat, fish, fruit and vegetables, these type of meals are made without the inclusion of any dairy, cereal and of course, any processed foods whatsoever.

The demands of customers has niche specific paleo restaurants studded around many countries, catering to the ever-growing request for meals made in the spirit of all things paleo.

This kind of food is not new from a nutritional point of view, but where there is a food trend, restaurants will endeavour to win customers over.

Now where does one find a bullock?

Small Is The New Black

It is becoming the fashion that not all meals need to be held in the traditional fashion of one large meal consumed in the fastest time possible.

Many restaurants are having the pleasure of offering their customers a range of smaller more delicate morsels to cater for those wanting a variety or those wanting a shared food experience.

Tapas and Dim Sum along with Yum Cha, and Mezze all combine the same simple elements of grazing over a period of time, with many small and delicious offerings.

Whether served to customers on wobbly stools in a pop-up restaurant situation, or catered within a grand Asian or Mediterranean venue, there are many true believers who cannot seem to get enough of this kind of dining.

For restaurateurs comes yet another reason to add diversity to their menu, whilst astutely providing another span of customers their culinary desires.

Staying current in the market is now a very real requirement for restaurateurs.

Diner’s expectations are growing and they expect quite a bit for their hard-earned dollar. The restaurant industry is faced with yet another challenge in giving the public what they want.

All points appear to indicate that they are more than ready, and happy to accommodate.

Short-lived diet trends aside, real food with real variety for all kinds of tastes, requests and food enjoyment, seem here to stay.

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