Top 20 Food Trends for 2015

Every year the National Restaurant Association publishes their food trend predictions for the following year. To do this, they interview almost 1,300 chefs from all over the US to find out what kind of food trends the chefs are interested in, what they think the public is interested in and what they think is just so 2014. It looks like we have some exciting things coming our way in 2015. Check out the list below for their top 20 food predictions for 2015:

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I am super excited about most of the items on the list. I love all the attention that restaurants are starting to pay to sustainability and the environment. I am excited to see how the predictions for sustainability, sourcing and waste management comes to fruition. I do wonder, though, what they plan to do- “sustainable seafood” is a hot topic, but what does that mean to restaurants? I mean, its great that they are bringing awareness to seafood conservation, but what is actually going to be done? Will restuarants utilize less fished fish (for lack of a better term)? Will they avoid over fished fish? I am curious to see if (and how) that will play out, or if it is all lip-service.

I do love to see “hyper-local sourcing” (like in-house gardens) on the list. I find myself more willing to visit restaurants that have gardens out back and I generally find that places that work so hard to grow their own produce tend to have a passion that comes through in their food.

I love seeing “nutrition” on the list, although it is such a vague term- what exactly does that mean? Does it mean restaurants will put more of an emphasis on making nutritious meals, will there be more of an effort to educate the consumer on the nutrition of a product or is it a reference to the new labeling laws? Nutrition can be defined by different groups in different ways, so I am curious to see how that will play out over the course of 2015. It is interesting to see that gluten-free options and ancient grains are in a similar position on the list. I hope that more gluten-free products available this year will utilize some of the nutrient dense, minimally processed, gluten-free ancient grains instead of the nutrient deficient potato, tapioca or corn starch blends that they have been using (while I have noticed an upswing in this area for some time, the process has been very slow). I would love to see healthier gluten-free options, and I am hoping that this will be the year for it! Of course, it would also be great to see ancient grains get their day in the sun! During a recent football game, I saw a commercial for Applebee’s that featured whole grains to accompany their dishes, so the movement is clearly growing and becoming more mainstream- which, I think, is awesome and I am hoping it sticks around!

Finally, I would love to see healthier kids’ meal options and more fruits and veggies as sides, it is definitely about time! For too long have kids been limited to fried options. During those formative years kids should be exposed to more then chicken tenders and fries. I know there are plenty of picky kids out there who are quite happy with chicken tenders, thank you very much, but there are also kids who would be happy to try a smaller portion of what mom and dad have.

What on the list excites you? Anything you wish had made the list? Wanna learn more- check out the full report HERE.

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