Company predicts six new hot topics in foodservice for the coming year
The Canadian foodservice landscape will experience significant changes as we head into 2018, with bold menu additions at the forefront of what’s on the horizon. Consumers’ cravings for new flavour pairings and the evolution of alternative diets are helping to shape the menu of the future.
View the full 2018 Canadian Trends Forecast.
According to Technomic’s 2018 Canadian Trends Forecast, innovation on menus isn’t the only thing shaking things up. The tech revolution has played a large part in shaping where the foodservice industry is headed, creating new opportunities for operators to reach their customers in ways they never dreamed of.
“Third-party delivery has brought Canadian operators to the tech forefront,” says Erik Thoresen, principal at Technomic. “Despite hurdles around fees and deliverability of certain menu items, these platforms have opened up new marketing channels for operators and increased their ability to compete within a broader trading area.”
Technomic’s Canadian Trends Forecast:
Putting plants to work
Plants are cropping up across the menu, replacing ingredients from dairy milks and animal meat to noodles and condiments. It’s a convergence of trends in healthy eating, dietary preferences, animal-welfare concerns and environmental stewardship. Veggie noodles, plant milks and indulgent plant-based proteins should solidify more prominent placement on menu boards next year.
Everything’s a blur
Evolving lifestyles, new technologies and on-demand availability are eroding traditional mealtimes, menu categories and sales channels. What’s coming is a new normal in which diners have around-the-clock access to everything on the menu, whether it’s breakfast for lunch or a 2 a.m. snack. We’ll also see more food and drink mashups, unexpected ingredient combinations, daypart migration and industry interlopers.
Eat it all
Addressing food waste is an issue more operators want to tackle. And it’s not just independents and smaller chains— larger operators are also increasingly focusing efforts on reducing food waste. Expect more edible packaging, smaller portion sizes, tray-less dining, dishes made of food scraps or waste, and novel operational approaches such as reduced prices during off-peak hours.
Indigenous cuisines inspire
Chefs will bring new attention to the foods of the First Nations by shining a light on Canada’s native cuisines. Concepts dedicated entirely to authentic indigenous ingredients and preparations will continue to emerge as diners’ interest in First Nation cuisines grows. Look for ingredients such as bannock, Ojibwe wild rice, Oolichan grease, Saskatoon berries, hominy, bison, elk and Muskeg tea in the spotlight on menus.
Hungry for ‘eatertainment’
As the country observes a continued growth in off-premise dining, operators will do more to win over dine-in customers, adding engagement to the overall meal experience. Nostalgic forms of entertainment, such as arcade games, Ping-Pong and classic board games, coupled with quality food, creative cocktails and attentive service, will keep fun-seeking guests inside longer and have them coming back for more.
Delivery, whether self-operated or provided through a third party, is now a staple of the industry. But entering the delivery business is also opening operators up to new competition, including the meal-kit market. To stay competitive, operators that are quick to perfect their delivery process—maintaining food temperature, quality and friendly service—will excel.