2014 Top Trending Menu Items

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2014 Top Trending Menu Items

From shareable plates to chicken, here are some of popular menu trends taking a front seat this year, according to Allegra Foodservice’s 2014 Menu & Food Trends report.

While some of the findings seem predictable, others may come as quite a shock. Here’s what the report reveals.

The main course winner is chicken:

Chicken, according to the report, accounts for 31 percent of all main dishes at restaurants. This is largely due to its cost-effectiveness, universal appeal and use as a staple by a variety of ethnicities and cultures around the world.

Small plates:

Another trend on the rise this year is the popularity of small plates. More and more restaurants are shifting away from structured meals, which include large main courses, as restaurant consumers increasingly opt for choice and variety, and the ability to share and sample different menu items with their friends.

 Healthy alternatives, while in demand, are still limited:

Though restaurant consumers continually emphasize their desire for healthier choices while dining out, healthy alternatives in restaurants are still limited. It will be interesting to see if restaurants can step up to the challenge to give consumers more health and calorie-conscious menu selections in the coming years.

All-day dining and breakfast:

Who doesn’t love being able to order an omelet or pancakes, anytime? Expect to see more restaurants this year offering all-day dining and breakfast items served well past 11 AM.

Craft beer:

Maybe not too much of a surprise, but craft beers will remain a hot trend this year as local and micro-breweries continue to appeal to beer connoisseurs and foodies, alike, who take beer drinking pretty seriously!

BBQ:

BBQ is an up and coming trend we can expect to keep seeing, and why wouldn’t it? It’s one of America’s favorite past times, and oh yeah, BBQ goes great with craft beer, right?

Artisan coffee:

Artisan coffee is now in high demand, and as a result, you can find more coffee choices on restaurant menus. Artisan coffees, which are grown and roasted in smaller quantities, appeal to the unique tastes and preferences of more consumers, while at the same time focus on sustainable growing practices.

Gluten-free labeling:

This year, you will also find more gluten-free labeling on menus, as more consumers seek gluten-free diets as part of their overall healthy lifestyle.

All-you-can-eat:

As today’s consumers seek more value and affordability, all-you-can-eat salads, soups, pastas, etc. are expected to grow in prominence on restaurant menus.

Street food:

These days, you can get quite a gourmet culinary experience from a food cart or food truck. Street food, which can be casually enjoyed, without compromising quality and taste, is just what consumers are looking for this year.

Trends to say goodbye to:

And finally, there are a few trends that are not long for the future, according to this report. They include bubble tea, gourmet hotdogs and fruit bars. So enjoy them while they’re still around!

After reading this post, which of these menu trends seem obvious and which come as a surprise to you? Tell us what you think.

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