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The top food trends to focus on in 2015

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The top food trends to focus on in 2015

No two days are ever the same in the restaurant industry.

Every hour new restaurants open, expand or franchise to meet the needs of their customers. Meanwhile, visionary restauranteurs are constantly creating new processes or taste sensations that create and respond to demand. To keep up in this industry and grow your market share, your restaurant must capitalize on the latest trends.

Restauranteurs looking for the latest trends in food should start with the National Restaurant Association’s 2015 Culinary Forecast, highlighting the year’s top 20 food trends. While the list itself includes a variety of tastes and considerations, four common themes exist throughout.

Trend one: Locally sourced products

The popularity of locally sourced products has dominated the restaurant trends list for several years and does so again in 2015. Locally sourced meat and seafood tops the list, with locally grown produce finishing second. Hyper-local sourcing is seventh. If you’re a restaurateur who hasn’t yet made the push toward local sourcing, consider doing so this year; this trend won’t disappear anytime soon.

Trend two: Environmentally conscious decisions

The restaurant industry is going green to protect the environment that has provided it with so much. Environmental sustainability was the number-three trend on the 2015 list, while sustainable seafood and food-waste reduction/management finished eighth and ninth. Now more than ever, restaurants must strive for great taste and less waste.

Trend three: Healthy options

Restaurant menus are healthier now than they were a generation ago, and healthy menu options remain one of the top trends for 2015 with an amazing seven points among the top 20. Healthy kids’ meals finished fourth on the list, with natural ingredients and minimally processed food finishing fifth. Dietary restrictions saw non-wheat noodles and pasta take 11thand gluten-free cuisine at 12th. Whole-grain items in kids’ meals came in at 14th, while general nutrition and fruits and vegetable kids’ side items were 17th and 19th overall.

Trend four: Creative flare and unique tastes

Patrons are still flocking to restaurants to be amazed and delighted by something new. The top 20 list is loaded with food trends that center on new taste sensations, starting with new cuts of meat at number six. The classic taste of ancient grains comes in at number 13, while non-traditional fish and ethnic-inspired breakfast items are 15th and 16th. House-made or artisan ice cream was sweet enough to land at 18th on the list, while artisan cheese closes out the list at 20th.

Like the restaurant industry itself, the top 20 trends for 2015 feature an intriguing mix of traditional mainstays and up-and-comers. While capitalizing on these trends now will benefit you in 2015, the trends of 2016 are already being created in an industry where no two days are the same. 

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