Thanksgiving comes but once a year, and as a food service equipment manufacturer, you bet this our favorite holiday. Gathering around the table with family and friends, having the chance to share in a meal and give thanks to all the wonderful parts of life. From the sound of twittering birds to delicious gravy grandma prepared, there is much to be thankful for in 2015. Today we look at some of the foodservice trends we are most thankful for in 2015 and how they will continue to influence and shape our industry in 2016.
Customization is one of our absolute favorite foodservice trends. We heard it over and over at the National Restaurant Association show last May: people want to customize their orders. From full scale create your own sandwich and pizza concepts to the simple choice of building your own burger on a standard menu, the foodservice industry has finally started catering to the individual. Millennials especially have come to expect service to be tailored to their specific and individual preferences so we fully expect to see this foodservice trend continue to make waves in 2016.
Food waste has long been an issue in the foodservice industry, from managing it, to reducing it – we’re focused on making the earth a little bit greener every day. So we we’re thrilled to see the steps so many states are taking in advancing the reduction of food waste. As Massachusetts natives, we especially are thankful to see how serious our state is on waste reduction, with Boston Mayor Menino launching a pilot program allowing residents to drop off their unused food scraps at three farmers markets throughout the city to be“transformed into fertile soil for use in commercial and personal farming and gardening projects. Baby steps, sure, but we’re headed in the right direction to correct the 40% of food supply that is wasted nationwide each year.
Sriracha has changed the spice game this year and we are so thankful for it! Not just because we like the heat, but because it has given way to a plethora of other new spicier flavors that had long been left off menus. The spicy foodservice trend is not going anywhere as we see more and more restaurants and chains putting creative spins on hot food. We expect to see new spicy desserts trending in 2016 as the old adage goes, sugar and spice and everything nice, makes for some really great flavor combos for ending a meal.
If I had to describe my perfect meal to you it would simply consist of appetizers and desserts. Skip the main meal, I want to taste a little bit of everything and share it with friends. Turns out, I’m not the only one, 2015 was HUGE for small bites and appetizers as people crave a more experiential dinner. Tapas, amuse-bouche, hors d’œuvres, small plates, call them what you’d like – we’re thankful for them in 2015 and expect to see the trend continue into 2016 with more mini shareable indulgences.
Ok, so we’re slightly biased on this less one. It figures we would be thankful for anything deep fried, but this foodservice trend keeps our bellies super happy. 2015 saw a resurgence in fried chicken dishes, more specifically creative new ways to serve and prepare the menu staple. From spicy to sweet and all of the cultural flavors in between, the seemingly plain fried chicken dish has taken a turn for the best this year. This year we are especially thankful for Korean fried chicken which has a reputation for having the crispiest crust you’ll find on chicken anywhere. Coated in a sweet, spicy-tangy sauce and this chicken knocks it out of the park every time. Look for other ethnic flavors to start changing the way you think about fried chicken in 2016.
So what foodservice trend are you most thankful for in 2015? Which ones do you hope to see carry through to the new year? Sound off in the comments below!