Six Foodservice Trends to Expect in 2017

Dec 30, 2016 6:00:00 AM by Bess Couture

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2017 is right around the corner and that means all the experts are making their predictions on what will be the next big foodservice trend in the new year. We've reviewed all the lists and compiled six of the trends we think will be most prevalent in 2017.  Some trends from 2016 are sticking around and making a lasting impact on the way foods are prepared, while some trends are brand new to the market and sure to turn a few heads. Check out our list of six foodservice trends you can expect to see in 2017 and stay ahead of the game!



Cold Brew and Nitro Brew Coffee

nitrocoffee.jpgThis delicious foodservice trend began in 2016, but fear not because cold brew coffee is here to stay. Cold brew coffee has been well received by audiences across the board, for both it's subtle sweet flavor and it's unique hand-crafted appeal.

This year, expect the trend to take it a step further and welcome in nitro coffee. If you haven't seen someone pouring your cold brew coffee from a tap just yet, it's coming. Nitro coffee is a cold brew that has been infused with nitrogen, giving it an airy twist, similar to a beer. Nation's Restaurant News predicts Dunkin Donuts is poised to introduce the nitro version soon, so expect to see it in your local coffee shop in the first half of the year!

Get ahead of the trend: Offering limited runs of cold brew coffee is a huge draw for millennials who crave artisanal and craftsman-like foods. Your cold brew coffee will be in high demand and a unique way to encourage guests to try some other food items from your menu!


Indian Foods

Indian Food.jpgIndian foods have been making their way into menus at a slow pace, but 2017 is predicted to be the year they take off. From curry roasted cauliflower to a side of naan bread instead of rolls, this foodservice trend is driving trendy modern Indian restaurants popping up across the country. In a more inclusive way you'll also start seeing unique Indian themed menu items appearing on fine dining and fast casual menus just the same. 

Get ahead of the trend: Dosha dining is a method of eating in a way that benefits your mind, body and spirit. Turmeric is widely accepted as a good balancing additive for food, while helping with disease prevention and helping with inflammation. Try adding it to a dish or two to start the Indian foodservice trend at your own business!


Plant Butchery

vegan-meat.jpgWhether your target audience includes vegetarians or not, 2017 is the year of plant butchery. If you're not familiar with the term, it focuses on making vegetables that are suitable stand ins for meat. This trend piggybacks off the idea that consumers are more conscious of the foods they're putting into their bodies, and as a result vegetables are on the rise.

The key to making this foodservice trend at your business is flavor. Consumers want healthier fare but they're not willing to sacrifice on taste. 

Get ahead of the trend: Take a page out of The Herbivourous Butcher's book! This Minneapolis based shop is filled with all vegan meat-free meats and cheese-free cheeses. Their blends of meats and cheeses can fool even the biggest meat eaters in your life! Most importantly, they've mastered the art of vegan bacon, a MUST have! Test out some vegan options for a Meatless Monday special and see how they perform with your consumer.


The Year of the Goat

goat.jpgFrom meatless to new meats - 2017 is bringing about the year of the goat. interestingly enough, The Foodservice Director lists 63% of the global population as eating goat already, but up until now it's not made a splash stateside.

Why will it appear in 2017? Goat has far less fat than most other forms of meat, including chicken, and with health continuing to be a driving factor in food trends it may just be time for goat to shine. Plus as a staple in Indian cuisine, another 2017 foodservice trend, goat is ready to have it's moment.

Get ahead of the trend: If you're still unsure about goat, try subbing in braised goat meat for pork or beef in a menu item you already have mastered. Goat makes a wonderful addition to lasagna, tacos, barbecue and more!


Fried Chicken for Breakfast

Chicken_and_waffles_with_peaches_and_cream.jpgMove over bacon, fried chicken is set to take the center stage for breakfast dishes in 2017. If hot chicken was the 2016 fried chicken trend, breakfast is the next evolution. From friend chicken with waffles to honey butter fried chicken on top of donuts, you'll be seeing a ton of options for chicken with breakfast in the new year.

This trend is partially in thanks to the rise of the fried chicken sandwich, the growth of which outpaced burgers over the last few years. As fast casual and fried chicken QSRs expand into breakfast, you'll see other non-chicken focused locations hopping on the chicken train!

Get ahead of the trend: If you serve breakfast, simply add int fried chicken as a meat option on all of your menu items. Test the waters and see how your audience responds to this new and delicious trend.


Sustainable Practices

sustainablefoods.jpgAnd finally, a trend that should surprise nobody: sustainability. The focus on sustainable ingredients and preparation practices is one that's been around for the last few years. As we continue to see the effects of unsustainable practices, like over fishing, sustainability provides peace of mind that there is a future for foods. As millennials continue to influence trends, sustainability remains on the list of trends that will impact the foodservice world.

Get ahead of the trend: One easy way to promote sustainability within your own business is to work towards a waste free environment. Practicing stem-to-skin vegetable and fruit prep in addition to cross-utilizing meat trim in soups and stews are two easy ways to cut down your food waste. 


There you have it, six trends you can expect to see in 2017. As we say goodbye to another successful year in foodservice we recognize the trends that got us to this point, and the ones that continue to live on. We're eager to say adieu to seaweed and hello to nitro brew! Please enjoy a happy and healthy end to 2016 and we look forward to continuing the foodservice journey with you in 2017! Happy New Year!

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