Top 20 restaurant predictions trends for 2013 with a “health” focus, US report

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 18th December 2012

US chefs will be focusing on healthier meals and will be updating menus to combat elevated food prices in 2013 according to a new US report by the National Restaurant Association.

The What’s Hot in 2013 report surveyed 1,800 US chefs last month on their attitudes towards menu items and trends in the food industry, finding that health is a top priority for restaurants in the coming year.

The report found that 53 per cent of chefs “always” make the effort to make a dish as healthy as possible by reducing sodium and adding nutritional ingredients, while 37 per cent “often try, wherever recipes can be adjusted.”

Meanwhile, the top 20 food trends overall in the restaurant sector ranked locally sourced meats and seafood at number one, locally sourced produce at number two, and healthful kids meals at number three, increasing the focus restaurants will put on “healthy eating” in 2013.

Even dessert is predicted to be keeping health in mind, with “bite size” and “mini desserts” expected to be popular in US restaurants.

According to the National Restaurant Association, culinary themes reported to impact the restaurant market in 2013 include environmental sustainability, children’s nutrition and locally-sourced produce.

The top 20 overall restaurant trends for 2013 are as follows:

1 . Locally sourced meats and seafood

2. Locally grown produce

3. Healthful kids’ meals

4. Environmental sustainability

5. Children’s nutrition

6. New cuts of meat (e.g. Denver steak, pork flat iron, teres major)

7. Hyper-local sourcing (e.g. restaurant gardens)

8. Gluten-free cuisine

9. Sustainable seafood

10. Whole grain items in kids’ meals

11. Farm/estate branded items

12. Non-wheat noodles/pasta (e.g. quinoa, rice, buckwheat)

13. Non-traditional fish (e.g. branzino, Arctic char, barramundi)

14. Ethnic-inspired breakfast items (e.g. Asian-flavored syrups, Chorizo scrambled eggs, coconut milk)

15. Fruit/vegetable children’s side items

16. Health/nutrition

17. Half-portions/smaller portions for a smaller price

18. House-made/artisan ice cream

19. Black/forbidden rice

20. Food trucks