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Sure, some forecasted trends for restaurants don’t ever completely catch on, but it’s always interesting to take a look at what’s stirring in the U.S restaurant industry. Food and Restaurant Consultants Baum and Whiteman have predicted what they think are going to be the hottest restaurant trends for America this year, so perhaps we’ll see some of these trends making a splash on our shores.

Plant-based foods go mainstream

Baum+Whiteman say that while major dining trends are usually driven by restaurants, the rapid shift to plant-based foods is coming straight from consumers, particularly in younger generations. While manufacturers are investing into plant-based products to meet these consumer demands, restaurants are behind the curve on this one. Some of the plant-based options that that restaurants are expected to incorporate into their menus include Vegan ‘cheese’ on pizzas and burgers, plant-based meat replacements such as faux burgers or mock schnitzels, vegan ice cream, and more enticing veg options in meat-centric restaurants.

International cuisines to make it big in the U.S.

Philippine cuisine looks set to be the next big thing in the U.S., with food writers taking notice of dishes that are ‘fragrant, spicy and acidically bracing, using vinegar or citrus juices’. Look out for dishes such as lumpia, sisig, longganisa, and kare-kare. Indian fast-casual street food sees restaurants go beyond curry, incorporating tandoori, masala and spice into standard fast-casual fare such as pizzas and burritos, while others are looking at creating a ‘build-your-own’ wrap or bowl restaurant concept, using elements of Indian cuisine.

Arty Avocado

Avo is no longer just being smashed onto toast – it’s being sliced and sculpted into beautiful pieces of avo artwork! Avo hearts, spirals and bowls are making an appearance, and avo halves are even replacing burger buns.

Flavour Injectors

As a way of getting customers involved, restaurants are now placing sweet or savoury sauces in syringes so they can be ‘injected’ onto (and into) the dish. For example, potato cheddar balls with sriracha mayonnaise, ice cream with Nutella, or doughnuts with additional filling in the syringe.

One-Item Restaurants

Quirky restaurants that focus on just one ingredient or dish are popping up all over – there’s an all cream-cheese eatery, a restaurant ‘serving marshmallow-based variations on s’mores, lattes and affogatos, in Amsterdam, there’s The Avocado Show that famously uses avocado halves instead of burger buns, and in Lisbon you’ll find a tartare-only restaurant.

Boozy Puds

We’re a step ahead the rest of the world in this one with our Dom Pedros, but in the US there’s a rise in booze-infused ice creams and spiked slushies.

Want to find out more about what’s hot and happening in the restaurant industry or the interesting new foodie products are on the market? Food & Hospitality Africa powered by Hostex will be running from the 6 – 8 May 2018 at the Gallagher Convention Centre. The show is a not-to-be-missed event where you’ll be able to check out all the latest equipment, products and trends in the hospitality industry, as well as network with industry leaders. To register for free, click here and for more information on the show, click here.