Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

On The Horizon – 2019 and Beyond Looking beyond 2019, what flavors, ingredients and movements are at the edge of the trend cycle?


Mystical and magical beverages. We’ll see more color-changing, sparkly and glittery drinks on the horizon, and also, unique crystals (non-toxic, of course), house-infused spirits, tinctures and gem waters that allow the guest to choose the spiritual or well-being aspect they want to enhance.
Kathy Casey


More mindful ready-to-eat offerings—‘piatti pronti’ or ‘ready to eat’ in Italian. Originating in Italy and born of the desire for healthy, easily prepared meals, piatti pronti are mindful meals that can be enjoyed at restaurants or cooked at home. They are developed on gastro farms in Italy and France, then prepared in high-end labs across southern Europe. The items designated for nitro-freezing into delectable piatti pronti help eliminate food waste from fluctuating restaurant orders, delivery times and seasonal production shifts. New York-based Mi Garba is a restaurant that offers food ‘made in Italy’ with minimal kitchen labor, prep time and space.
Stefano Cordova


While food trends from Australia may not be as identifiable as those from other parts of the world, their influence is growing. New Australian-accented cafés focus on great coffee drinks, fresh and seasonal ingredients, and food for all-day eating. What sets these foods apart is an unapologetic embrace of good fats, sustaining grains, and global flavors. Look for crusty meat pies, enticing pastries and lattes tinted with spirulina, turmeric
or beetroot.
Kara Nielsen


Front-of-house technology will start to influence food and beverage experiences, utilizing augmented reality with consumer interaction with menus, drink coasters, table tents, wine labels, placemats and more.
Tony Pereyra


Because not all menu items work for delivery, restaurants will be looking to design curated takeout, and success will be found in finding unique, experiential ways to bring the restaurant’s brand essence and food ‘to life,’ including meals being prepped to finish in a customer’s own kitchen.
Pam Smith


Looking on the trend horizon, we’ll see the ‘de-processing’ of food to be more in demand than before—as close to ‘natural’ as possible and still labor-saving. Think fresh-cut vegetables, portioned meats and fish, and peeled fruits for quick consumption or use in cooking. Also, expect backlash around plant-forward. Consumers get it: We’ll eat more plants, but we want meat, too. It’s all about balance.
Ron DeSantis


From the Jan/Feb 2019 Top 10 Trends issue of Flavor & the Menu magazine. Read the full issue online or check if you qualify for a free print subscription.

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