craft beer

Canadian food trend report shows sustained love for craft brews

By Jeni Marinucci

Each New Year brings changes and trends, in everything from the slang we use in everyday conversation, to our social media platforms of choice, to movements in food and drink. While some trends cannot be understood (Crocs, anyone?), what we do know is that when it comes to the food and beverage industry, change is always afoot. What was popular last year (kale, raw foods) may not survive this year’s current list of up-and-coming favourites. Luckily, we are able to forecast burgeoning trends and even allow a little bit of heads-up time for restaurant owners and staff to get creative.

So what’s in store for 2017? Restaurants Canada recently released the results of their latest trend survey and while they’ve determined some holdover from 2016, there are also some surprising changes.

Craft beer remains popular, clinching top spot in the trend forecast, with The National Post reporting that “Canadian craft beer is here to stay.” In fact, this year’s number one position for craft beer is a comfortable one, what with it remaining in the top spot for Canadian restaurant trends for the third year.

From The National Post:

“Craft beer continues to dominate, but new trends are breaking ground,” Shanna Munro, Restaurants Canada’s President and CEO, said in a statement. “The restaurant industry is always innovating and experimenting with different flavour palettes to push the boundary.”

The annual survey is based on participation from almost 600 chefs throughout Canada, who each record what they see as trends in several areas, including food preparation and ingredients. Chefs were also asked to determine “the quintessential Canadian food,” and came back with the trifecta of our nation’s taste: maple syrup, poutine and Alberta beef.

Cooking methods in trends were: food smoking (2) sous vide (4), and pickling (9). Just below the top spot of craft beer came charcuterie and house-cured meats (3), local foods (5), and allergy-friendly menu items, including gluten-free alternatives for diners (6) and sustainable seafood (7).  Rounding out the list were condiments with a splash of spice: International condiments like Sriracha and chimichurri (8) and Asian-inspired and influenced condiments such as kimchi mayonnaise (10).

An infographic featuring the full list of trends – as well as forecasted trends for the future – is available here.