Ramp Up Your 2019 Beverage Menu With These New And Exciting Beverages

Last updated on July 11th, 2019

Innovative and functional 2019 beverages are in demand

Beverage Trends 2019

What beverages will consumers be drinking this year? If you are a foodservice professional looking to ramp up your 2019 beverage menu, here are some of the latest food-and-drink trends to follow.

Exciting, New Drinks in Demand

According to the experts, there has never been a more exciting time to be in the beverage industry. As beverages are fitting into consumers’ lives in more areas than ever before, innovation is on the rise in every segment of the market. Fresh, exciting, new drinks are in demand, driven by increased consumer interest in convenient, functional, healthy, nootropic (brain-boosting) drinks; non-alcoholic, gourmet, sour, and fruity drinks; as well as new hot and cold brew options. This coupled with innovations in the water industry make the beverage industry a force to be reckoned with. Moreover, expect to see a direct parallel between 2019 beverage selections and food industry trends, which are playing a role in what consumers are drinking.

Beverages with a Benefit

Demand for functional beverages are on the rise, with consumers thirsty for drinks that not only quench their thirst, but which offer some kind of health advantage as well. According to the research firm Mintel, this includes probiotic drinks that are good for your gut and that feature ‘superfood’ ingredients such as kava, maca, and mushrooms, as well as low-alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks; drinks with anti-flammatory properties; and ‘adaptogenic’ beverages containing health-boosting herbs, such as medicinal mushrooms. These are increasingly found in drinks, teas, powders, and tinctures.

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Edible Insects Making Their Way To A Restaurant Near You

Discover how adding trending edible insects to recipes is a nutritional win-win.

Foodservice Guide to Edible Insects

If the thought of eating bugs bugs you, your palate may not be ready to stomach what’s coming next in the United States food industry. A longtime staple in other parts of the world (in 2013, for example, the United Nations published a report indicating that two billion people worldwide include bugs as part of their diet), edible insect varieties have only recently made their Western debut, and the question on everyone’s mind is: Are bugs coming to a restaurant near you?

The Edible Bug Phenomenon

As a foodservice professional trying to make it in a competitive business milieu, (attention caterers, restaurant owners, bakers, food truck operators, and party planners), staying abreast of current food-and-beverage news is vital. So, grab your oven mitts, hold onto your chef’s hats, prepare your frying pans and spatulas, and get ready to sink your teeth into the following edible bug phenomenon.

History of Eating Insects (Entomophagy)

Let’s start with a brief history lesson: The practice of eating insects, or entomophagy, isn’t a new concept in over 100 countries that are already consuming insect-infused snacks and dishes. Moreover, in many parts of the world, eating bugs is considered a delicacy. Ancient Greeks had no qualms about eating six-legged critters, and both Aboriginals and Australians have been consuming insects for millennia.

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How To Add Trending New Sea Vegetables and Edible Seaweeds To Your 2019 Menu

Last updated on March 27th, 2019

Sea vegetables and edible seaweeds make their menu debut

Seaweed Consumption on the Rise

If you run a foodservice business and want to know what’s trending in the industry and what is expected to increasingly appear on 2019 restaurant menus everywhere, it’s time to learn all about the seaweed, aka sea vegetables. Recent Nation’s Restaurant News headlines reveal that seaweed is experiencing a tide of popularity, while James Griffen, an associate professor at Johnson & Wales University, reports that consumption of seaweed is growing 7% annually in the United States – and for good reason. Bursting with a rich array of nutrients and associated with multiple scientifically proven health benefits, the growing appetite for sea vegetables such as nori, kombu, and wakame is not expected to wane anytime soon.

What are Sea Vegetables?

So, what exactly are sea vegetables and how can you add seaweeds to your recipes and menus? Neither plant nor animal, sea vegetables are classified under a group known as algae. Also referred to as edible seaweed, they grow in marine salt waters as well as fresh water lakes and seas and are commonly found on coral reefs or in rocky landscapes. While relatively new to the Western palate, seaweed varieties have been a staple of Japanese diets for millennium. Remarkably, while some types of sea vegetables require soaking for 5-10 minutes before adding them to your recipes or dishes, most require no cooking or sautéeing whatsoever. Due to growing demand, while once available only in specialty shops and health food stores, you can now increasingly find seaweed varieties in local supermarkets and grocery stores as well.

Types of Edible Seaweed

Seaweeds are categorized into three main groups, based on color:

  • Green Seaweed: Rich in chlorophyll; found in dark leafy greens and other green vegetables
  • Red Seaweed: Especially high in carotenoids; known to have anti-inflammatory properties
  • Brown Seaweed: Formidable source of iodine; popularly referred to as ‘kelp’

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Follow The Success Stories of Women Chefs Who Are Mastering The Food Scene

Female chefs are rising the ranks of the food industry

Female Chefs on the Rise in the Food Industry

Women chefs are trending. Whether you are a restaurant owner, caterer, baker, food truck/food station operator, bar owner, or manager of a bistro, this is good news. While female chefs are not going to be featured on your next menu, they do represent some of the up-and-coming superstars in the biz and are a formidable force to recognize and be reckoned with.

Proliferation of Women Chefs: A Welcome Trend

In what was once a largely male-dominated arena, the increasing proliferation of female chefs is encouraging, especially given the fact that more women are now enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America than men, and in light of National Restaurant Association (NRA) reports that the number of women-owned establishments has increased by more than 50% over the last decade.

This is not only good news for the female culinary stars who are now receiving their due recognition, but to the millions of delighted consumers whose tastes are being tantalized and whose palates are being pleased by scores of mouth-watering recipes and pioneering dishes created by female chefs.

State of the Restaurant Industry Past and Present

In the past, the restaurant industry has been described as generally unfriendly to women, be it in the form of sexual discrimination /harassment, poor or non-existent maternity leave policies, absence of benefits, inability to advance in the field, or failure to secure funding to begin their own businesses. At the same time, a minority of females did manage to beat the odds, mastering the food scene and becoming icons in their own right. Who doesn’t remember the groundbreaking successes of mavericks such as Julia Child, Christina Campbell, and Martha Stewart?

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Learn The Latest in Chocolate News

Ruby chocolate and new chocolate menus and recipes make their debut

What’s New in Chocolate?

Attention chocoholics, chefs, and anyone working in the foodservice industry: If you’re wondering what’s new in chocolate these days, you are in for a treat! There is a new kid on the choco block and the decadent temptation has a new look, a new texture – and yes, even a new flavor!

But before we indulge in the latest sweet sensation, let’s take a quick walk down memory lane and look at the state of an industry which has more than passed the test of time and taste…

Chocolate Bliss

In the words of Charles M. Schulz: “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” Ah, the sweet sound and flavor of even just hearing the word “chocolate…” By far one of the worlds’ oldest and most beloved aphrodisiacs, it’s no wonder that the current staples – dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate – are a part of almost every menu and a feature item in so many desserts. In fact, according to market research firm Datassential, eateries continue to use chocolate in new and innovative ways, a fact indicative of its enduring popularity.

Larry Wilson, vice president of customer relations at the National Confectioners Association (NCA), further notes that whether as a stand-alone food or as a recipe ingredient: “Chocolate is a very popular product …It grows in demand during good economic times and is recession resistant.”

Currently, dynamics in the chocolate industry are reflecting general food trends for 2019, where consumers are increasingly interested in the content of what they are eating: “People are looking more at specific types of foods,” says Maeve Webster, Datassential senior director. “It’s not just tomatoes, but heirloom tomatoes; not just coffee, but dark roast. People want to know the specifics of what they are eating, so generic chocolate is not as impactful as it was.”

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Creating a Wow Factor With The Hottest Trends in Catering and Food Presentation Styles

Innovative styles of food presentation and catering take center stage.

Food Presentation Gets a Modern Facelift

Attention Caterers and Restaurant Owners: Did you know that the catering industry is now a $1.7 billion/year business? Given these National Association of Catering Executives statistics, it is no wonder that new methods of catering and diversified styles of food presentation are on the rise. In this dynamic, competitive milieu, you have a unique opportunity to rise to top of your foodservice game. Stay up-to-date with the latest service styles and keep your ear to the ground – and your eyes on the prize – for food presentation sensations that are turning heads in 2019.

Creating a Wow Factor

The success of your business, as always, depends in large part upon your understanding of the costs, efficiencies, and logistics of planning a catered affair and how to orchestrate each event to resounding success. How you plate your menu offerings and decorate your tables are another known success strategy in the biz.

In recent years, however, food presentation has experienced a modern-day facelift, and it is creating a ‘wow factor’ that has now become the point of differentiation between services. Standing out from the crowd by presenting classic dishes in novel ways or by concocting tomorrow’s next pièce de résistance is the recipe for culinary stardom, as well as a key to customer satisfaction.

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What’s Hot in Wedding Dessert Trends?

Exciting wedding desserts are trending, replacing the traditional wedding cake.

New in Wedding Dessert Trends

What’s trending in wedding desserts for 2019? If you are planning on catering weddings in the coming year, you have to come to the right place. Our blog last year highlighted the hottest wedding foods for 2018; this guide will give you an updated scoop on what sweet concoctions the experts predict will appear on reception tables everywhere. To cater a memorable event that is guaranteed to make your foodservice memorable, read on for some of the most innovative, wacky, and wonderful wedding dessert ideas your palate has ever imagined.

Wedding Desserts Expected to Be Huge in 2019

What wedding desserts are expected to climb the charts in 2019? Creating a ‘wow’ factor is what it’s all about. From creative confectionary displays in unconventional shapes and sizes to personalized treats in groundbreaking flavors and textures, tomorrow’s wedding desserts are a perfect way to showcase your chef’s culinary talents and to keep your clients wanting more.

While traditional wedding desserts are not entirely out of the picture, new on the horizon are some of the following scrumptious selections, including some rather avant-garde choices:

  • Customized Ice Cream Stations
  • Pie Buffets
  • Mini Pie-Pops
  • Exotic Fruit Trees
  • Donut Towers
  • Piña Colada and Strawberry Daiquiri Donuts
  • Waffle and Cookie Bars
  • Champagne Flutes

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How To Tailor Your Food Truck Service To Cater A Variety of Wedding Styles

Last updated on January 28th, 2019

Wedding food trucks offer exciting options - way beyond the traditional.

How to Cater a Food Truck Wedding

Food truck wedding catering is all the rage, presenting a lucrative business opportunity for caterers and catering services who know the how’s, what’s, and where’s of the biz and how to sell it. With a growing number of brides and grooms seeking fresh options on their big day that go beyond tradition and that create an unforgettable experience for their guests, food truck wedding catering has become a modern-day phenomenon with no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Remain Competitive with Your Food Truck

If you have decided to branch into this line of business, you will be competing in what is now a highly sought-after food industry service. To help you stand out from the crowd and gain an edge over the competition, it will be critical to know how to showcase your wedding food truck and what it offers. This guide for foodservice professionals will do just that, providing you with key selling points to present to customers who approach you to plan and host their upcoming nuptials.

Using Food Trucks to Help Tie the Knot

There are multiple reasons why food truck wedding catering is trending strong. Some factors contributing to its popularity include the ability to be mobile, the flexible and customizable menu selection, the relatively cheap price, and the allure of a ‘gourmet meal on wheels.’ Couples wishing to express their individuality or to be creative with their wedding day menus are likewise drawn to this novel alternative to traditional catering.

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How To Adapt Your Menu To Include Plant-Based Foods

How adding plant-based foods to your menu will grow sales as demand increases.

Plant-Based Foods Take the Market by Storm

Plant-based food sales continue to skyrocket as consumers clamor for more nutritious options that protect their health and the health of the environment. With sales of meat declining and the popularity of meat alternatives growing, restaurants big and small, as well as major corporations and leading food brands, are rising to the occasion and adding entire lines of plant-based products to their menus. Read on for practical and tasty ideas on how to satisfy your customers’ cravings and cash in on this lucrative opportunity.

New in Plant-Based Alternatives

While the trend towards vegan, low-calorie, low-fat, non-dairy foods has been around for a while, the plant-based food market has recently picked up steam. On top of being strictly vegetarian, gluten-free, and lactose-free, new additions to this group include protein-friendly alternatives such as grass-fed beef, natural chicken, sustainable salmon, quinoa, non-genetically modified (non-GMO) tofu, and other new products which fall under the categories of meat and dairy alternatives.

Depending on the type of restaurant or food establishment you manage, consider expanding your lunch or dinner offerings with some of the latest plant-based selections appearing in restaurant menus across the industry:

  • Wheat, Rice, and Corn Tortillas
  • Tofu Crepes
  • Black Bean Salad, Chickpea Salad, Corn Salad
  • Sweet Potato Ravioli
  • Cornmeal-Coated Oyster Mushrooms
  • Gluten-Free Zucchini Shepherd’s Pie
  • Chips, Dips, Salsas, and Guacamoles

As for pizza lovers, you can tantalize their taste buds and attract their business with palate-pleasing gluten-free pizza topped with meat-free pepperoni. In doing so, your restaurant will in fact be following in the footsteps of some of the biggest names in the biz who now offer vegan pizza alternatives. These include Dominos, Papa John, Pizza Hut, and more.

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The Growing Popularity of Oat Milk

The growing popularity of oat milk will benefit your business

Oat milk, a plant-based alternative to traditional cow’s milk, is one of the hottest trends in the food industry! If you’re looking for a new beverage to add to your menu, look no further. A popular vegan and dairy free choice gaining widespread consumer popularity, savvy foodservice professionals are jumping on the oat milk fast track and customers are lapping it up.

Maximizing the Potential of Oat Milk

Whether you manage a restaurant, catering service, bakery, café, fast-food chain, take-out service, or food truck, this ‘Oat Milk Guide for Professionals’ will help you learn all about this rising star in the dairy alternatives food market and how you can maximize its potential to grow your business.

If you’ve been following latest trends in the biz, you know that demand for ‘non-dairy’ and ‘dairy free’ foods and beverages has never been higher. What began as a way to cater to lactose intolerant customers, has become a full-blown foodservice phenomenon as a growing public sector is clamoring for healthier menu choices, including plant-based foods and dairy alternatives. Since their debut, the variety of non-dairy products has skyrocketed, with chefs and food manufacturers creating groundbreaking recipes for dairy free ice creams, whipped creams, cream cheeses, cheese cakes, yogurts, pizzas, and more.

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