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    Food service trends in 2018

    These trends should be familiar to founders and long-established gastronomic professionals

    ‘People want better eating solutions and not better marketing strategies.’ This quote from Austrian food culture expert Hanni Rützler clearly describes the direction of the food service trends in 2018. It is essential not to confuse gastronomic and food trends with short-term fashions or seasonal hypes pushed by marketing departments and the media, according to the author of the ‘Food Report 2018’. But what exactly is it that guests expect from their favourite restaurant or bar? Which gastronomic concepts and ideas can impress you and inspire you to visit again?

    These are the questions that every restaurateur, hotel boss, restaurant manager or chef keeps asking himself. This is because the wishes and needs of the customers do not remain the same, rather change continuously, while following current trends and signals.

    But even apart from that the world of food service is undergoing dramatic change: In the area of personnel, for example, or in technology, new approaches are always surfacing that aim at creating smooth-running and effective work processes for all those involved. These, in turn, will lead to a more successful business. For food service operators and hotel owners, it is therefore important to recognise trends in eating and drinking, in addition to general social trends, needs, and requirements, so that suitable concepts can be developed.

    Food trends in 2018 and their counter-trends

    In the ‘Food Report 2018’, the renowned Austrian nutritional scientist, Hanni Rützler, from the Futurefoodstudio in Vienna, defines a number of food trends with varying degrees of influence, which, in turn, are provoking counter-trends. Here are a few examples:

    Local Food vs. Global Food

    The globalisation of food production is creating the trend towards the regional as a counter-movement. Local food is the order of the day. The consistent continuation of this is the ‘Brutal Local’ concept. Here, only food is used that can be found locally in forests and meadows, rivers and seas, or grown in gardens. The result is a highly seasonal cuisine, often limited to just a few ingredients, which requires a lot of creativity.

    Do-it-yourself vs. Convenience

    The do-it-yourself food trend is directed against standardised convenience. ‘Homemade’ or ‘from our own production’ has also become a term of quality in food service. Guests want to experience how what they are served on their plate is created. For example, through insights into what happens in the kitchen (‘glass kitchen’), during ‘front cooking’ or at least through information on the menu

    Fine Meat vs. Veggie

    As a counter-trend to the veggie trend, a new enthusiasm is emerging for high-quality meat in exclusive quality. The focus here is increasingly on animal husbandry that is more closely oriented to the needs of the animals. In addition, the ‘nose to tail’ concept - i.e. the recycling of as much of the animal as possible - is also gaining more and more importance among top chefs around the globe.

    ‘Food trends are orientation aids.
    They are good early warning systems that can indicate potential disruptive factors
    business as usual in good time.’“

    Hanni Rützler, Futurefoodstudio, Vienna, In: Food Report 2018

    5 Gastro Trends You Should Know

    1. The New Breakfast. Spending time with friends or family is becoming increasingly important in our fast-paced world. That's why breakfast now lasts into the afternoon. With creative ideas, food service can win new guests here.
    2. Food-Pairing. Create new juices, whey creations or apple vinegar combinations. New ideas for food pairing, such as tea with cheese, beef steak with popcorn or whisky with blue cheese are also finding more and more followers. 
    3. Cold Brew Coffee. With this slow method of coffee preparation, the coffee powder is allowed to stand in cold water for many hours or is filtered in a cold drip process for hours. The result: more aroma, less caffeine, less acidity. Cult.
    4. Fast Good Food. These are snacks that meet the requirements of a conscious and balanced diet and can still be eaten quickly or taken with you.
    5. Pure vegetables. While this development was initially due to the veggie trend, carrots, beetroot and the like, are now becoming the main course and an exciting experimental field for all those who like to cook a little healthier.
    The top desires of consumers

    Sustainability: The ecological footprint is also playing an increasingly important role in the hotel and food-service industry. Consumers not only want more sustainable (regional!) products, but also demand sustainable action from the restaurants, cafés and hotels where they eat, drink or stay overnight.

    Transparency: Your guests want to know more and more about where their food comes from and how it is produced. Consumers are also willing to pay more for this transparency.

    Health: Health in general is one of the major social trends of our time. For this reason, it also influences all those who offer food in the broadest sense. The new superfoods include, for example, algae or special mushrooms 

    Digitalisation: Digital solutions are becoming increasingly interconnected - from ordering products, through the restaurant or hotel reservation and booking system, to the billing and payment system.   

    New Work: People and their needs are becoming more important in the modern world of work - mindfulness and empathy in dealing with employees, guests and oneself are increasingly in focus. Gastronomes and hoteliers should present themselves as good employers in order to recruit and retain employees.