Just like style trends, food trends come and go year after year. In 2018, the big food trends were fermented foods, mocktails, and alternative milks. And while those foods are all still popular, a new year means brand new trends.
By staying up to date on these trends, you can provide a better culinary experience for your residents (while also opening them up to new foods they haven’t tried before). This spring, people are all about being more health-conscious and being more aware of their impact on the earth.
Here are this spring’s top five food trends that you can incorporate into your menu.
1. Eating out is on the outs.
With the rise in popularity of meal kit delivery services like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh, home cooking is more accessible to the everyday American. Most of these meal kits include pre-portioned ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions. This model eliminates some of the common problems people have with cooking at home, like prepping and shopping for groceries. And as food prices continue to rise, dining out is becoming more expensive, resulting in people choosing to just stay in and cook for themselves.
Service delivery is the way of the future, whether you’re providing meal kits like the ones described above or home meal delivery. There is a rise in health plans providing congregate or at-home food delivery services aimed at addressing the effects of social determinants on a person’s health.
2. Greenery is back.
After a long, cold winter, spring typically brings beautiful greenery sprouting up here and there. When the first green vegetables of the year start to grow, we see chefs incorporate more of these foods into their meals. Some of the most popular spring vegetables that chefs will be using this year include fresh peas, green garlic, wild onions (also known as ramps), and morel mushrooms.
3. Foraged ingredients are having a moment.
As we mentioned above, in 2019 people are more conscious about the impact their choices have on the earth. Foraging is the process of going out into the wild and sourcing foods like mushrooms, greens, and other edibles found in nature.
Now, this doesn’t mean that every chef is going to the closest forest to find food for their menu. “Foraging” can refer to people who get food from their own gardens or farms. You’ve probably heard the term “farm-to-table” before. This is a movement that refers to incorporating foods from local producers into menus at restaurants, schools, and other food service operations (like health care facilities!). There’s also the seed-to-table movement that is gaining popularity. This refers to when chefs use fruits, vegetables, and microgreens harvested from their own gardens (or gardens of friends, family, other chefs, etc). Whether they are foraging in the wild, getting food from farms, or harvesting from their own gardens, chefs use local, seasonal products to develop their menus based on what’s fresh and available.
4. Breakfasts from around the world are coming to the US.
With the diverse population of the United States and the multiple food shows on television that allow us to get a glimpse of cuisines all around the world, people are becoming more and more curious about international dishes. Take a page from one of the many countries around the world and add one of their popular breakfast meals to your menu.
One food you could try is Shakshuka. It’s a dish that originated in the Middle East and North Africa, and it can be eaten any time of day, but the eggs make it perfect for breakfast. Shakshuka is eggs poached in a vegetarian stew of tomatoes, garlic, peppers, and spices like cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, and nutmeg.
Another international breakfast dish that’s gaining popularity is Congee, which is a rice porridge that is a breakfast staple in China. The dish requires boiling white rice in water (or chicken or vegetable stock) until it becomes a porridge-like consistency. If you want to add something else to it, you can use items like tofu, kimchi, vegetables, or top it with an egg or two.
One more of our favorite breakfast dishes from around the world is Gallo Pinto from Costa Rica. It’s a dish of rice, beans, and spices. The dish is topped with eggs. You can add plantains to the meal or mix in vegetables like onions and peppers.
5. Pasta and bread are popular again.
Pasta and bread have always been delicious, but they recently got put on the back burner with the rise in popularity of low-carb diets like the keto diet. This spring, pasta and bread are trending again. What makes this trend different for 2019 is that people have grown an appreciation for heritage grains and artisanal bread preparation. These heritage grains are ancient types of wheat and grains that haven’t been modified to succeed in today’s agricultural landscape. People who are sensitive to gluten might not have an issue when it comes to bread and pasta made with heritage grains. Mass-produced bread typically uses flour that has been processed, whereas heritage grains usually have not been.
How will you incorporate food trends into your menu?
Adding spring 2019 food trends to your residents’ menus can help you give them new, healthier meals throughout the season. If you need help implementing any of the trends above into your kitchen, let us know. Culinary Services Group can help you with everything from planning a menu around spring vegetables to meal delivery. We deliver meals made from scratch that use fresh ingredients (that are locally sourced whenever possible!). We offer both home and congregate delivery services.
Our chefs are constantly keeping track of current and upcoming food trends so you don’t have to. We do the research so you can spend more time offering great, personalized care to your residents. Our customizable meal plans and services will keep your kitchen ahead of the curve this spring and every season to come. Send us a message to learn more about how we can tailor our menus and services to your residents’ unique needs.