The National Restaurant Association (NRA)’s annual survey of chefs looks to identify food and beverage trends for the coming year. Approximately 650 chefs, all American Culinary Federation members, predicted what will be prevalent on menus for 2019.
“These foods, already popular in consumers’ own homes, are now poised to ignite sales at restaurants and foodservice operations,” says Hudson Riehle, the National Restaurant Association’s senior vice president of research. “It’s no secret restaurant customers seek new food experiences when dining out. Chefs are listening to that request and offering them the foods they want. That’s good for guests and business.”
According to the report, the top trend for 2019 is CBD and cannabis-infused food and beverages. Nearly 77 percent of the chefs surveyed ranked cannabis and CBD-infused beverages as the top trend, and 76 percent of them ranked cannabis and CBD-infused food as the second most popular trend. They believe it will create unique cuisine opportunities and promote experiential dining occasions.
Here are the rest of the top ten trends for 2019:
- Cannabis/CBD-infused drinks
- Cannabis/CBD-infused food
- Zero-waste cooking (elevated cuisine using food scraps)
- Globally-inspired breakfast dishes
- Global flavors in kids’ meals
- Hyper-local (e.g. restaurant gardens, onsite beer brewing, house-made items)
- New cuts of meat (e.g. shoulder tender, oyster steak, Vegas Strip Steak, Merlot cut)
- Veggie-centric/vegetable-forward cuisine (e.g. fresh produce is star of the dish)
- Chef-driven fast-casual concepts
- Craft/artisan/locally produced spirits
“The Association’s 2019 What’s Hot report reflects contemporary consumer cravings in tandem with emerging societal dining trends,” says Riehle. “We’re seeing a more eco-friendly perspective and greater emphasis on global flavors/cuisines as well as enhanced availability of healthful items/children’s meals and the exploration of new food sourcing options.”
Bakeries and sweets shops are also affected by these trends. The NRA asked chefs for the trending snacks and sweets for 2019, and here is the top five:
- Thai-rolled ice cream
- Doughnuts with non-traditional filling (e.g. liqueur, Earl Grey cream)
- Chocolate (responsibly sources, new flavors)
- Injera chips
- Artisan/house-made ice cream
You can view the 2019 What's Hot report here.