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National Restaurant Association - What’s Hot: Top 10 foods for 2018

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What’s Hot: Top 10 foods for 2018

What foods and flavors do your customers crave when they dine out? New cuts of beef, house-made condiments, street-food inspired dishes, ethnic breakfast items and, sustainable seafood are just some of the HOT food trends on our list for 2018.

We surveyed 700 professional chefs – members of the American Culinary Federation – to discover the hottest food and beverage trends for the coming year. Of 161 items identified, here are the Top 10 food trends to heat up your sales:

  1. New cuts of meat

    On trend and inexpensive, shoulder tender, oyster steak, Vegas Strip or a Merlot cut are flavorful and grill-friendly.
  1. House-made condiments

    Simple to make, but exotic if you want them to be. Strut your culinary stuff with items like sriracha ketchup or malt vinegar aioli. They’ll no doubt impress your guests.
  1. Street food-inspired dishes

    Inspired by some of the best food trucks, carts, kiosks and pop-ups around the world, these foods are go-to meals for adventurous diners. Popular items include tempura, kabobs, dumplings and pupusas.
  1. Ethnic-inspired breakfast items

    More consumers want ethnic offerings on their breakfast menus. Chorizo scrambled eggs, coconut pancakes or breakfast burritos are “muy deliciosa!”
  1. Sustainable seafood

    Chefs and consumers are making smarter seafood choices that not only taste great, but also protect the environment.
  1. Healthful kids’ meals

    Restaurants are offering nutritious items that taste great. Pizza and chicken tenders will always be mainstays, but whole grains, veggies and fruit are favorites, too.
  1. Vegetable carb substitutes

    Finding ways to turn low-carb vegetables into substitutes for bread, pasta and rice is fun and fantastic. Cauliflower rice and zucchini spaghetti are two substitutes consumers are craving.
  1. Uncommon herbs

    Adding herbs like chervil, lovage, lemon balm and papalo into the mix create interesting and distinctive flavors.
  1. Authentic-ethnic cuisine

    You don’t need a stamp in your passport to sample great global cuisine. Driven by consumers’ sophisticated palates, increased travel and increased access to ethnic foods, chefs are exploring more global flavors.
  1. Ethnic spices

    Consumers, especially younger ones, are excited to try new spices and herbs that create different tastes and flavor profiles. Harissa, curry, peri peri, ras el hanout and shichimi are some spices in demand.

To see our full list of food trends, order our What’s Hot 2018 Culinary Forecast today

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