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"What's Hot in 2013" Culinary Forecast
The National Restaurant Association's (NRA) "What's Hot in 2013" survey of more than 1,800 professional chefs - members of the American Culinary Federation (ACF) - reveals that children's nutrition and local sourcing will continue to be the hottest trends on restaurant menus. The chefs also said the best ways to address rising food costs is to change menus, adjust plate composition and explore sourcing options.
The top 10 menu trends for 2013 will be:
"It is encouraging to see that children's nutrition remains a top priority for chefs and that they continue to put their creativity in healthful kids meals to work on restaurant menus," said Joy Dubost, Ph.D, R.D., director of Nutrition & Healthy Living for the National Restaurant Association. "We have seen an increasing interest in health and nutrition among consumers over the last several years, and that interest is also extended to children's menus, which has helped make our Kids LiveWell program so successful."
"Local sourcing is another macro-trend that will maintain its momentum in the restaurant community in 2013. Whether purchased from local farms or grown in onsite gardens, many chefs make use of seasonal ingredients to showcase on their menus," Dubost added.
"I am pleased that members of the American Culinary Federation, who took part in the survey, continue to make children's nutrition a top priority for 2013. Many ACF members are heavily involved in this effort all across the U.S., both in community programs and with Chefs Move to Schools," said Michael Ty, CEC, AAC, ACF national president. "Making sure that nutritious food is available for children and their families, and for everyone in the U.S., is paramount to the future of foodservice. An emphasis on local sourcing can only further that effort, as chefs revise menus to better serve their customers while dealing with the increased cost of ingredients."
Rounding out the top 20 hot menu trends for 2013 are:
Items that received the highest scores as waning trends (i.e. yesterday's news) are: froth/air/foam, ramen, gazpacho, "fun-shaped" children's items, mini-burgers/sliders, flavored/enhanced water, bacon-flavored chocolate, flavored popcorn, fish collars, and desserts with bacon.
Items that received the highest scores as perennial favorites are: Italian cuisine, hamburgers/cheeseburgers, egg dishes, French toast, barbeque, fruit desserts (cobbler, pie, tart), comfort foods, grilling, milkshakes and Mexican cuisine.
Also included in the survey were questions about technology trends, rising food costs, and nutritious recipes. More than half (55 percent) of the chefs said they always make efforts to adjust dishes and recipes to be more healthful, while 37 percent said they cook with nutrition in mind, but that not all recipes are easily adjusted.
When asked how to best handle the increasing cost of ingredients, one-third (32 percent) said changing menus, one-quarter (25 percent) said adjusting plate composition, and another quarter (24 percent) said exploring new sourcing options. Only 4 percent said that raising menu prices is the best strategy.
Just over one-quarter of the chefs (27 percent) ranked tablet computers, such as iPads, as the hottest technology trend in restaurants in 2013, followed closely by smartphone apps (25 percent). Nineteen percent said mobile/wireless/pay-at-the-table options will be the hottest tech trend.
Highlighting that the restaurant industry is one of opportunity for advancement and entrepreneurship, nine out of 10 (89 percent) of the chefs started their foodservice career at entry level, with dishwasher, busser, line cook and prep cook being the most common first jobs.
The Association surveyed 1,834 American Culinary Federation member chefs in October-November 2012, asking them to rate 198 individual food items, beverages, preparation methods, cuisines and culinary themes as a "hot trend," "yesterday's news," or "perennial favorite" on restaurant menus in 2013.
These and many other restaurant trends will be showcased at the 2013 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, to be held May 18-21 at Chicago's McCormick Place.
The NRA's award-winning Kids LiveWell? program is a voluntary industry-wide initiative designed to help parents make the healthful choice the easy choice for their children when dining out. Currently, the program includes more than 110 brands representing nearly 30,000 locations nationwide.
For complete What's Hot in 2013 survey results, video and downloadable images, visitRestaurant.org/FoodTrends.
The American Culinary Federation, Inc., established in 1929, is the premier professional organization for culinarians in North America. With more than 20,000 members spanning more than 200 chapters nationwide, ACF is the culinary leader in offering educational resources, training, apprenticeship and programmatic accreditation. In addition, ACF operates the most comprehensive certification program for chefs in the United States, with the Certified Executive Chef® and Certified Sous ChefTM designations the only culinary credentials accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. ACF is home to ACF Culinary Team USA, the official representative for the United States in major international culinary competitions, and to the Chef & Child Foundation, founded in 1989 to promote proper nutrition in children and to combat childhood obesity. For more information, visit www.acfchefs.org. Find ACF on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ACFChefs and on Twitter @ACFChefs.
Source: National Restaurant Association
Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises 980,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of more than 13 million employees. We represent the industry in Washington, D.C., and advocate on its behalf. We operate the industry's largest trade show (NRA Show May 18-21, 2013, in Chicago); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF's ProStart, including the National ProStart Invitational April 19-21, 2013, in Baltimore, Md.); as well as the Kids LiveWell program promoting healthful kids' menu options. For more information, visit www.restaurant.org and find us on Twitter @WeRRestaurants,Facebook and YouTube.
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