By Flavor & The Menu
July 29, 2019
Each year, the National Peanut Board’s Next Gen Food Summit, held at The Culinary Institute of America in Napa, Calif., brings together a variety of foodservice professionals, trend analysts and influencers to explore menu trends and strategies for the next generation. This year’s summit addressed the challenge of attracting Gen Z while keeping menus relevant for multiple generations.
A dynamic panel of food influencers—Haile Thomas (The H.A.P.P.Y. Organization), Chloe Chen (By Chloe See) and Kelly Bone (The Veg Foodie)—discussed the ways in which they’re interpreting—and influencing—menu trends, while Flavor & The Menu’s Cathy Holley led a panel of marketers and brand managers in a discussion on the topic. A presentation by Georgia peanut farmer Casey Cox, VP of Longleaf Ridge Farms, provided a look into the peanut industry, highlighting its advancement in farming technology, the peanut’s water-use efficiency and overall sustainability, key issues for the next generation of consumers.
The main event of the Next Gen Food Summit, now in its fourth year, is the day spent in the CIA kitchens in a hands-on culinary immersion that embraces the humble yet versatile peanut. Here, attendees pushed boundaries with flavor and format, creating dishes using a range of peanut products, from peanut butter and powder to green peanut oil. Chefs capitalized on the true versatility of peanuts to create a vast menu of savory and sweet dishes, from a Korean braised peanuts and mushroom salad to a smoked chocolate-peanut funnel cake with candied acorn squash. In all recipes, the peanut products showcased on-trend opportunities for menu development targeting the next generation. Highlighted here are seven menu ideas from the culinary immersion, featuring a fresh, creative use of peanuts.