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2016 Food Trends for the Restaurant and Hospitality Industry

2016 Food Trends According to the National Restaurant Association Annual Poll:

Cuisine: According to the NRA, ethnic food such as African and Middle Eastern cuisines have grown in popularity. The top five 2016 food trends include the flavors, spices and techniques of both culinary locations with African being the most popular.

Veggies: Everything from veggie noodles to veggie centered plates. In this trend vegetables are treated like the star of the meal and not a side dish. Not so sure about this? Head down to Pinterest and you will find all kinds of recipes, blogs and cookbooks devoted to the trend.

Grains: Due to consumers health pursuits, grains that were once forgotten are making a comeback. Some of the “ancient grains” are farro / emmer, amaranth, spelt, millet, teff and kamut. Many of the grains are highly nutritious, low in gluten or gluten free, making them highly attractive options for either sprucing up a dish or just adding options.

Underutilized Meat Cuts : All about reducing waste and expenses. Favored cuts: Sirloin Top, Pork T-bone Shop and Denver Steaks.

Pulses a.k.a. legumes: What are those? Chickpeas, lentils and kidney beans are the most common ones but lesser know pulses such as pigeon peas are on the rise. They are versatile, inexpensive, nutritious and used in a variety of cuisines.

Bowl food: What started as an easy way to incorporate nutrition has spiraled into a hot trend. Why? Because you can put anything in it.  Grains, noodles, veggie, sauces, broth, grains, seeds, eggs, greens, etc.

Other Top Rated Items:

Home made ice cream

Artisan pickles

Sriracha sauce

House brewed beer

Hot 2016 Preparation methods:




Drink Trends:

Locally produced beer and wine

Savory cocktails

Lesser know alcohols

Coffee soft drinks


Specialty ice teas

Top 2016 Concerns:

Local sourcing


Reducing food waste

Eliminating artificial ingredients

Reducing processed foods

Big 2015 trends that are not so hot anymore

Kale – No longer used a star ingredient.



Underused fish

Bacon chocolate combo



Molecular gastronomy

Vaporized cocktails

Liquid nitrogen