Culinology - June 2016 - (Page 6)
FIVE millennial-fueled food trends
From the Cronut to Taco Bell's Quesalupa, hybrids have become
a hot trend on restaurant menus and represent a growing opportunity to appeal to the generation of "thrill-seeking foodies"
known as millennials, said Packaged Facts, a Rockville-based
research firm. The "demanding but trendsetting" consumer
group, accounting for 69 million US adults currently age 18-34,
has a profound influence on the food service landscape, said
David Sprinkle, publisher and research director for Packaged
Facts, in a recent report.
"Demanding what you want, how you do and don't want
it, and when you want it are hallmarks of millennials," Mr.
In the report, Packaged Facts outlined five millennial-fueled
trends gaining momentum on menus.
Food trucks, pop-up restaurants and limited-time menu offerings are "cutting-edge
experimental labs" for mashup innovation, Packaged Facts said.
"Taking up where fusion left off, the sky is the limit for the mashup trend, including
a growing opportunity for consumers to get involved in the creation of the newest
crazy-mixed-up food or beverage."
Create-your-own concepts appeal to millennial desire for fresh, handcrafted meals
with unlimited combinations and flexibility for special diets. The build-your-own trend
has spread from burgers, burritos and sandwiches to pizzas, stir-fry, salads and sushi.
"Salad bars and self-service hot food stations set the stage in both food service
and retail for a full-fledged customized dining lifestyle," Mr. Sprinkle said. "Once
customers get a taste of customization, they won't look back."
Gas station staples are going gourmet; think beef jerky with natural ingredients or
potato chips with ethnic spices.
"With 35% of millennials trending toward snacks as meal replacements, munchies
are now expected to be healthful, flavorful and portable," Mr. Sprinkle said.
On menus, the rise in snacking has translated to growth in miniature portions,
'dippable' appetizers and desserts, and handheld eats.
Bowls are booming on menus, offering customization, creativity and often a cultural
dining experience. Ramen and pho have grown 135% and 44%, respectively, on
menus since 2010, according to Packaged Facts. The format also is accessible across
day parts, from smoothie bowls at breakfast to broth bowls at lunch to rice bowls at
"Burgers may still be king, but bowls are fast becoming the preferred vessel for
everything from rice, noodles and salad to quinoa, acai and poke," Mr. Sprinkle said.
Shrubs and digestives
Driven by a growing focus on gut health and an interest in craft beverages, drinking
vinegars are making a splash. Shrubs and digestives may be used as cocktail mixers
or in reductions or salad dressings, Packaged Facts said. The trend feeds into an
increasing appetite for fermented foods, including kimchi and pickled vegetables.
"As consumers become more interested in probiotics, shrubs and digestives have
taken on new life in the market as beverages, mixers, and flavoring agents," Mr.
Culinology | JUNE 2016
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Culinology - June 2016
Culinology - June 2016
Table of Contents
President's Letter - Best job competition
Emerging Trends - Five millenial-fueled food trends
The sun is rising on Japanese small plates
Flavor Trends - Seeing innovation through the smoke
Ingredient Trends - Adventures in ancient grains
Member Profile - Research chef extraordinaire
Expert Voices - Gas vs. electric
Industry News from the Research Chefs Association
Culinology Book - New book digs deep into Culinology
Petits Fours - Hormel launches product line for cancer patients
Vermont indicates enforcement priorities for GMO labeling law
Feeding Hispanic millennials’ craving for culture
Combo meals regaining appeal
Dairy alternatives straying from soy
News Bites - Trendspotting at the Culinology Expo
Culinology - June 2016