Members of Les Dames d’Escoffier International (LDEI) convened in Seattle to taste, explore, and debate the hot topics and latest trends in the food, fine wine and hospitality industry. This year the group released their first annual global trends report.
The 2018 LDEI trends survey revealed:
Established & Growing – Chef-driven fast-casual, Farm-to-table, Family friendly
Emerging – Dog friendly, Upcycling, Hyper-local
Losing Steam – Buffet, Member only, Food trucks
Ethics on the Go
Modern consumers appreciate healthfulness integrity and sustainability and they are willing to pay a premium for it. According to a recent Culinary Visions® study 69% of consumers surveyed don’t mind paying extra for healthy snacks.
As it becomes increasingly difficult to wow guests who have seen it all, successful caterers are striving to create great experiences as well as great food. Some trending techniques include:
Food stations spread around the room or venue, rather than large buffets.
Gracefully pared down budgets are driving smaller venues, bite size portions and unique destinations.
Participation and interactivity where guests take part in the action of customizing their choices.
Creativity at the bar is as important as creativity with food where parties are featuring mixologists, bourbon pairings and tequila tastings.
Convenience and Economy
Fed by consumers’ desire to have it all, chef-driven concepts that are inclusive, comfortable and affordable with a bit of an upscale environment are thriving.
Flavors of the Year
2018 is expected to be a year of culinary discovery, emerging flavors include:
Sour – Citrus, Vinegar
Bitter – Broccolini, Matcha
Simple Sweet – Vanilla, Dates, Plums, Figs
Exotic – Harissa, Turmeric, Za’atar
Implications for Food Marketers
International Flavor Trends – look to the Mediterranean, Latin America and the Middle East in the next year.
Healthy & Sustainable – expect consumers to pay more attention to overall wellness in their lifestyle and sustainable living.
News Cycles & World Dynamics – food trends are influenced by newsworthy places in the world and immigration patterns.
Undiscovered & Authentic – food trends can be linked to travel trends and consumers are interested in less travelled destinations and authentic experiences.
Taste Talk Tweet
Twitter chatter included:
- Botanical flavors are becoming more popular
- National Farmers Day celebrates local ingredients and fresh food
- Fresher water allows for harvesting more oysters
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