Menu Trends

  • Low(er) Carb: Canadians are eating less pasta, but not that much less

    January 7, 2019
    By Gregory Furgala Let’s start with the bad news: pasta has lost some ground on Canadian menus. According to Technomic’s MenuMonitor, its rate of operator penetration is down 1.6 per cent for the year, and 0.3 per cent over five years, with item count down 6.7 per cent over the past year and 15.1 per cent ...
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  • Trend Watch: Mediterranean flair, spicy condiments and coconut-flavoured sweets

    January 2, 2019
    By Sophie Mir Over the long term, Canadians have become more accepting of global fare and spicier dishes, prompting operators to explore the world for different menu ideas. While the specifics change from month to month, Technomic has identified Mediterranean flavours and spicy bowls as the latest popular iterations of those larger trends. On the sweet side of ...
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  • Protein Power: The latest on how to rev up your meat and poultry offerings

    November 12, 2018
    By Renee Lee Wege There’s no shortage of meaty Canadian classics. Montreal smoked meat, gravy-slathered cheese curds, tourtiere, wild game, donairs — the list goes on. While plant-based dishes are gaining traction throughout all dayparts, meat still holds pride of place on most menus, and chefs and restaurants operators are getting increasingly creative to keep it ...
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  • Trend Watch: Non-traditional pizza, seeds and tofu

    November 5, 2018
    By Sophie Mir Healthy food need not be light, leafy and unsatisfying, and restaurant operators are driving that fact home. Pizza chains, which are rarely spoken about in the same breath as health food, are taking steps to change that (although they’re not leaving the classic cheese-laden slice behind, either). Protein-packed seeds are popping up with ...
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  • Trend Watch: Sour lemons, sweet desserts and all things house-made

    September 10, 2018
    By Sophie Mir With summer drawing to a close, restaurants are ringing in the seasonal turn by getting back to basics. Lemon-based sauces and dressings are showing up on menus more frequently, while old-school favourites are provoking nostalgia trips and, operators hope, a corresponding wave of social media support. And while house-made dish components are any good ...
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  • Concept Watch: Lovepizza, Union Chicken and Holy Grill

    August 7, 2018
    By Sophie Mir In this edition of Concept Watch, we highlight three restaurants that are making an impact on Canadian diners, including a pair of fast-casuals from Alberta and a new-ish Ontario chicken joint. Below, we look at the characteristics and menu offerings that make these restaurants unique. Lovepizza The Numbers Locations: 2 (Edmonton and St. Albert) Instagram: 11,200 followers | Facebook: ...
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  • Concept Watch: Rolltation, SMAK and Buco Pizzeria & Vino Bar

    June 18, 2018
    By Sophie Mir In this edition of Concept Watch, we highlight a trio of trend-setting restaurant concepts that are changing the way Canadians eat. Here’s a look at the characteristics and menu offerings that make these restaurants unique: Rolltation Locations: 4 (Toronto) Concept characteristics: A Toronto-based, limited-service emerging chain highlighting customizable and hybrid sushi options. Inspired by Toronto’s unique multicultural diversity ...
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  • Spring menu trends to keep an eye on as the weather heats up

    May 18, 2018
    By Aaron Jourden Spring has officially sprung, giving chains and independent restaurants leave to launch fresh new concepts and push the trends that will help define 2018. Below, we highlight some of the standouts to watch on Canadian menus. Thin and Flat Demand for lighter options, texture contrasts, authenticity and new ethnic ingredient experiences are some of the ...
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  • Plant-based eating is mainstreaming, so how can you profit from it?

    May 10, 2018
    By Jo-Ann McArthur Plant-based eating is mainstreaming, and it’s not hippies who are setting the agenda. Instead, Nourish Food Marketing’s 2018 Nourish Trend Report found that the average, non-vegetarian consumer is driving growth. Restaurants have historically introduced the trends and patterns that later manifest themselves throughout the food ecosystem, but this is one area where most ...
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  • Freshii celebrates Moroccan flavours and plant-based protein trends in newest bowl

    May 4, 2018
    Fast-growing health and wellness brand Freshii continues to drive forward its mission — to make healthy food convenient and accessible for all — with the launch of an energizing new bowl. Developed by Freshii’s lead nutritionist and inspired by the flavours of Morocco, Biiblos makes its debut at locations worldwide starting today, only for a ...
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  • Unique ingredients give pasta a healthy makeover

    April 18, 2018
    By Sean Moon Long the go-to meal for doting Italian grandmothers, spaghetti-loving kids and comfort-food aficionados, pasta has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years. Today, the use of pasta in Canadian restaurants is less influenced by Nonna and more by such modern factors as clean-eating, plant-based or gluten-free diets and a world of unique and ...
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  • Restaurant concepts to watch for April

    April 3, 2018
    By Aaron Jourden In this edition of “concepts to watch,” we highlight three restaurant concepts that are making an impact on Canadian diners. Here’s a look at the characteristics and menu offerings that make these restaurants unique: Una Pizza + Wine Instagram: 15,000 followers | Facebook: 2,712 likes | Twitter: 13,000 followers Locations: 3 (Calgary, Saskatoon) Concept characteristics: Casual-dining concept with ...
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  • Convenience and culture combine to create the modern lunch daypart

    March 22, 2018
    By Robert Carter Is it lunch time yet? A common question echoed across the globe by billions of hungry people as the middle of their day nears. And for most of these hungry people, lunch represents the second meal of the day. In Canada, by the time lunch hour comes around, most of us will have ...
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  • Menu trends to watch for March 2018

    March 5, 2018
    By Aaron Jourden Below we will highlight some of the leading menu trends to watch on Canadian menus this month. Sweet heat About the trend: Operators are catering to demand for bold and exciting flavour experiences by developing complex sauces and toppings that combine spicy and sweet components. These condiments can be found on new items and LTOs ...
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  • Restaurant concepts to watch in February 2018

    February 5, 2018
    By Aaron Jourden In this edition of “concepts to watch,” we highlight three restaurant concepts that are making an impact on Canadian diners. Here’s a look at the characteristics and menu offerings that make these restaurants unique: Rosemary Rocksalt Instagram: 1,237 followers | Facebook: 1,617 likes | Twitter: 2,175 followers Locations: 5 (British Columbia) Concept characteristics: Bakery-cafe concept offering dense and ...
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