NRA WhatsHotTrends SustainableSeafood

The National Restaurant Association (NRA) this week released its annual survey of chefs and sustainable seafood is still trending.

In the “What’s Hot in 2014” forecast, the NRA surveyed nearly 1,300 members of the American Culinary Federation in October and November and asked then to rate 258 items as a “hot trend,” “yesterday’s news,” or a “perennial favorite” for the upcoming year.

Locally sourced meats and seafood remained at the top of the trends along with environmental sustainability and children’s nutrition.

Sustainable seafood ranked No. 9 on the list — one of five items that has remained in the top 20 for five years.

When asked which current food trend will be the hottest menu trends 10 years from now, environmental sustainability topped the list, followed by local sourcing, health-nutrition, children’s nutrition and gluten-free cuisine.

The five items with the highest ranking as a waning trend in 2014 were foam/froth/air, bacon-flavored chocolate, fish offal, gazpacho, and fun-shaped children’s items. The five items with the highest points as perennial trends next year were fried chicken, Italian cuisine, frying, barbeque, and Eggs Benedict.

The five items that gained most in trendiness since last year in the annual survey were nose-to-tail/root-to-stalk cooking, pickling, ramen, dark greens, and Southeast Asian cuisine. The five items with the largest drop in “hot trend” rating were Greek yogurt, sweet potato fries, new cuts of meat, grass-fed beef, and organic coffee.

When it comes to technology trends, the chefs ranked menus on tablet computers as the top trend, followed by smartphone apps for consumers (ordering, reservations, daily deals, etc.), smartphone apps for chefs (recipes, table management, POS tracking, etc.), mobile payment and social media marketing.

“Today’s consumers are more interested than ever in what they eat and where their good comes from, and that is reflected in our menu trends research. True trends — as opposed to temporary fads — show the evolution of the wider shifts of our modern society over time, and focus on the provenance of various food and beverage items, unique aspects of how they are prepared and presented, as well as the dietary profiles of those meals,” said Hudson Tiehle, senior VP of the NRA research and knowledge group.


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