shrimp and grits and apple tart

From my readings and gathering of information from trade journals, discussions with colleagues, chefs, industry professionals and directors, here are 25 trends that I believe will continue to gain momentum in the non commercial food service market segments(ie: healthcare, colleges, universities and schools).

Be aware, and prepare for a thriving success this coming year!

1. Green, sustainability
2. Quantity Recipe with Today’s ethnic flavors
Ethnic continues to permeate the menu. Thai grew 68% on menu mention. Caribbean 150% and Japanese 23%. These are menu items, seasonings and sauces on traditional items. Mediterranean, Latin and African options growing.
3. Better communication/marketing through social media
4. Well equipped: High speed Cooking Equipment
5. Mobile cooking equipment
6. Mobile smaller equipment for refrigerators, holding food, etc… more built in counter for flexibility with casters
7. Smaller back of the house footprints
8. Using technology to improve performance
9. Healthy retail menus
10. Organic, natural and wellness foods
11. Meat alternatives-goat, rabbit, vegetarian entrees. E.g. garden protein entrees
12. Small plates, right sized meals for adults/children, appetizers, side dishes-increasing their popularity on healthcare menus
13. Sharable , fun factor of food
14. Flexible menu items that can be served extending day parts(B, L, D)
15. Cafe “Happy Hours” are being offered to drive sales (2- 4 PM)
16. On the go available food-increase breadth of selection,
17. Kiosk, convenience store restaurant style seating and amenities such as flat screen TV and free WI-FI-creating the dining experience
18. Bye Bye Fryers—More and more facilities are placing them at the curb to enhance their wellness menu offerings and healthy posturing. Combi-ovens and the correct “oven based product” can replicate the deep fried taste with significantly less fat.
19. Gluten free is here and growing in customer demand and diet needs. Distributors are adding in products, raw and finished to support the growing demands. Allergen pods(see earlier blog)
20. Local sourced foods
21. Glocal sourced food-coffee, chocolate
22. Take Home Meals :w/ blast chilling, packaging and marketing, a new sales opportunity awaits. Take Home Meals serves the staff and the public, generating revenue and good will.
23. Gear up for mobile payments
24. Social media as twitter will grow in terms of elevating customer experiences and handling customer Service issues
25. Mindfulness applications to increase productivty, team collaboration and employees work satisfaction

Few additional ideas for healthcare foodservice to focus their energies:
 Hybrids room service models in hospitals
 Flexible formats, diverse options in retail and patient menus
 Long-term care: more individualized and small group, decentralized dining.
 Remember the small “feed” dining rooms at the end of each “unit” or hallway. Country kitchens and dining areas.
 Even the room service menu items that have been designed for flavor and good nutrition, can be prepared, labeled and sold to the hospital staff and visitors for healthy take home meals.
 Patient satisfaction and experience matters more than ever with ACO

Are there any others? Let’s hear. Share here. 🙂


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