8 Food & Beverage Trends for 2018
- Posted by Todd A. Vines
- On January 16, 2018
What’s being cooked up for the year ahead?
Not unlike digital marketing, staying atop the latest food and beverage trends – and identifying those most relevant to your property and its guests – takes a lot of work.
Travelers continue to demonstrate increasingly discerning demands, the forward march of mobile and social media increase the importance of offering eats and experiences worth sharing and, of course, every F&B strategy ultimately has to meet the goal of driving revenue.
As food and beverage has long been a key point of difference for hotels, and touting what makes the guest experience unique is at the core of hotel and resort marketing, our team stays atop the latest F&B trends and what the next course may hold.
Here are eight food and beverage trends to watch.
Presentation has long been an important element of dining, but social platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat have taken the importance of optics to the next level.
Though far from a new trend, continued growth in mobile and social keeps an emphasis on not just producing food for eating, but food for sharing.
As would be expected, food and beverage professionals plan to go even further in their efforts to make every plate Instagram-worthy. The majority of chefs, and as much as 80% of bartenders, plan to make visuals work for them in 2018, and we’ll see this focus on sharable moments extend into lighting, décor and nearly every other aspect of the dining experience.
Mainstream Vegetarian Proteins
Kitchens are increasingly offering meat alternatives that appeal to vegans and omnivores alike.
No longer will vegetarian or vegan foods be relegated to a special part of the menu. Chefs are taking a fresh look at tempeh and exotic grains, and we’ll increasingly find items like beet burgers, sunflower butter and cashew cream cheese front-and-center.
Meat-free, wheat-free dishes will be featured for their flavor, texture, and presentation, not for what they lack. More carnivores are anticipated to opt for alternatives to meat, and interest in plant-based proteins will continue to grow, as young people increasingly opt to go vegan.
Vegetables aren’t just being restricted to the plate.
Professional mixologist are seeking new ways to incorporate vegetables into their concoctions. We’re talking use beyond just the usual garnish, think beets, radish, butter squash, carrots and green beans. Some research has shown such drinks have general health benefits, yet another selling point at the lobby bar.
Zero Food Waste
The “zero food wastage” movement focuses on eliminating waste by elevating what might otherwise become kitchen refuse to ingredients.
It’s a trend we owe to the younger, more environmentally aware generations. Those seemingly useless potato peels? After adding the right seasonings, blending with lemons, chives, pepper and salt, and roasting to a crisp, they become a zesty snack at the hotel bar.
From boozy Popsicles to frosé (frozen rosé, get it?), alcohol-instilled dessert concoctions will be everywhere this year.
The recipe is part alcohol and part frozen dessert. No doubt, kitchens in warm-weather destinations will showcase their cool creations beyond the restaurant and onto the pool deck.
Old is Still Gold
Mom’s meatloaf is enjoying a renaissance.
Those dog-eared, classic recipes will continue to be popular, albeit with modern updates. Anticipate tweaks to chicken nuggets, tater tots, even deviled eggs.
One-concept eateries are popping up all over the country, asking “why be a Jack of all trades when you can be the master of one?”
Expect establishments dedicated to a single item, such as bacon, or pork, maybe even a particular sweet, like the XO Marshmallow Cafe in Chicago.
Blockchain and Source Transparency 2.0
Locavores are using technology to learn more about food sourcing than ever before.
While the food supply is a complex, world-wide ecosystem, it’s never been easier for the end user – and chefs, for that matter – to get insight on the process.
Savvy kitchens will take this opportunity to showcase the provenance and quality of their ingredients, appealing to those who genuinely care about source and authenticity.
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