Menu Trends

  • Concept Watch: Brands are building identities that extend beyond the menu

    August 1, 2019
    By Sophie Mir The emphasis on local, seasonal food has become de rigueur industry wide. What started as a trendy, nose-to-tail movement has been co-opted by giants like McDonald’s, which, amongst other things, touts its Canadian beef (from independent farmers, no less). It’s a good thing, but when everyone’s doing it, it ceases to differentiate the ...
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  • Trend Watch: Less-than-healthy menu items still hold some sway

    June 19, 2019
    By Sophie Mir Yes, plant-based eating is incredibly popular now, and yes, consumers are more concerned with their health than perhaps ever before. But that doesn’t mean people have given up indulging altogether. As it turns out, some produce is amenable to the same deep-fried, sauce-slathered treatment that plenty of meat gets, and Nanaimo bars are ...
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  • One Trend, Three Ways: The new wave of non-alcoholic drinks

    May 23, 2019
    By Sophie Mir Non-alcoholic drinks remain a top mealpart at Canadian restaurants. Per Technomic’s Ignite menu data, almost all Canadian operators (99.4 per cent) menu non-alcoholic beverages. (If not menued, then they’re almost certainly available.) According to Technomic’s 2018 Canadian Beverage Consumer Trend Report, beverage consumption from foodservice has remained steady over the past two years, ...
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  • It’s Always Snack Time: Lunch is giving way to all-day grazing

    May 21, 2019
    By Asad Amin  Formal meal times are giving way to low key, all-day grazing. Over the past five years alone, trends observed by the Ipsos Food and Beverage Group indicate that snacking is becoming an increasingly ingrained consumption behaviour amongst Canadians. Reported snack occasions across all venues, in-home and out-of-home, currently account for 67 per cent ...
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  • Trend Watch: Plant-based and healthy options continue to dominate foodservice

    May 3, 2019
    By Sophie Mir If there was any lingering doubt about plant-based meat mainstreaming, Beyond Meat’s recent IPO, the biggest of 2019, ought to have quelled them. Founded in 2009 with venture capital from Bill Gates and Tyson Foods, amongst other, Beyond Meat’s share price started the day at $25 and reached a high of $63.43, and ...
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  • Concept Watch: Escondite Cerveceria de Barrio, Pampa Brazilian Steakhouse and Chau Veggie Express

    April 3, 2019
    By Sophie Mir A trio of small chains, each purveying a cultural import, marks this edition of Concept Watch. Escondite Cerveceria de Barrio has brought casual Baja-region fare to the fore in Quebec, Pampa Brazilian Steakhouse has introduced churrasco BBQ to Alberta and Chau Veggie Express is capitalizing on consumers growing preference for plant-based cuisine in Vancouver. Below, ...
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  • Going Global: Why restaurateurs should make the unfamiliar familiar

    February 14, 2019
    By Sherry Tseng Leftovers for dinner, again? It doesn’t always have to be that way. There’s no question that dinner is an important daypart — it’s the second most-offered daypart among foodservice operators, according to Datassential’s Pulse 2018: Market Overview, and more than 90 per cent of restaurants offer dinner service. With today’s up-and-coming generations more likely ...
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  • Concept Watch: iHalo Krunch, Glory Juice Co. and Bro’Kin Yolk

    February 12, 2019
    By Sophie Mir In this edition of Concept Watch, we look at three very different operations that nevertheless share a penchant for striking branding and a commitment to serving an accessible, quality product. Loading charcoal-laced cones with brightly-hued soft serve, Toronto-based iHalo Krunch is tailor-made for social media consumption, while  Vancouver’s Glory Juice Co.’s shops look like something ...
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  • 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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