Why do we love the foodservice industry? There are many reasons. We enjoy seeing how chefs and bartenders can transform ingredients in new, creative ways. We admire the innovation that comes with the challenges we all face. And we love how the industry is constantly changing from year to year.
That being said, it's time to turn the page on another year. Our focus is shifting on what's to come in 2019, and in preparation, we scoured the web to find some basic trends to look for in the coming year.
Here's a brief summary of what we found.
WE'LL CONTINUE TO FOCUS ON GREEN, SUSTAINABLE INITIATIVES.
More than maybe any other industry, foodservice is prone to issues of sustainability. The prime example of this notion is food waste. On average, we throw nearly one-third of all our food products away, essentially throwing a third of our money away, as well.
In 2019, there will be continued efforts for progress as it relates to green initiatives. Healthy farm practices, sustainably raised livestock, and mindful distribution will all remain part of the conversation in the foodservice industry.
TECHNOLOGY WILL CHANGE HOW WE PREPARE FOODS AND OPERATE OUR ESTABLISHMENTS.
More and more consumers are looking for technology to assist with the ordering and delivery process. From automated kiosks to menu selection on a mobile application, the goal of any operator should be to make foods more accessible for customers, in effect removing any potential friction.
For operators, technology is important, as well. With the severe labor shortages our industry faces, automation with the cooking process, programmable equipment, and "smart" units can provide a technological edge that makes foodservice operation just a little bit easier.
WE'LL CONTINUE TO LOOK FOR GLOBAL CUISINES.
Over the last few years, we've seen major growth in the popularity of global cuisines. A few years ago it was kimchee and Korean foods that took the country by storm. Then it was Filipino foods and dishes like sisig and kare-kare. Now we're in the midst of a Middle Eastern trend, with foods from Israel and Lebanon taking over in popularity.
As a subset, these foods also have another commonality. They all focus on shareable plates that are intended to be enjoyed in larger groups. Probably not by coincidence, this is also a priority for Millennials.
PEOPLE ARE LOOKING FOR EXPERIENCES.
Another Millennial-driven trend is the desire for, not just a meal, but an entire dining experience. Food will certainly remain important, but other aspects of the meal are also important -- the décor, the service, the design, the tabletop, and other details. Diners may be looking for social experiences, while others might be more inspired by creative, interactive menu selections.
Experiences don't have to just be brick and mortar, though. Customized ordering, virtual restaurants, and digital applications are also an important part of the equation.
What else is there to lookout for in 2019?
One of the biggest events in foodservice, the The NAFEM Show 2019, will be held in Orlando from February 7th through the 9th. This is an opportunity for everyone in the foodservice industry to browse products and solutions from more than 500 of the world's leading equipment and supplies manufacturers.
As part of our commitment to bring you only the latest and greatest innovations in foodservice, we invite you to visit us if you plan to attend the show. We can create a personalized tour of the show floor that will highlight the solutions you're looking for to help solve your challenges.