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Consumers set the pace with their evolving appetites for the latest trendy foods. All of us in the foodservice industry track their preferences and make our predictions for the year. Let’s narrow that focus to one season with a look at fall food trends for 2019.
Your 2019 Food Trend Forecast for Fall: 10 Things to Look For
When summer’s heat finally lets up, restaurant customers develop a taste for everything autumn. It’s a welcome change of pace for the consumer palate.
It’s also a good time to take a fresh look at how our industry can best serve customers with the next new thing. We offer this 2019 food trend forecast for fall foodservice inspiration.
1. Regional Cuisines Rule
Consumers who look for adventure when they dine out are starting to explore local cuisines. They crave authenticity. They enjoy rediscovering it in restaurants close to home.
From Southern fried dishes to spicy Cali-Baja flavors, look for regional cuisines to warm up restaurant menus. It’s a fall food trend that’s already in place and ready to prep in your commercial kitchen.
2. The Pacific Rim Rules Too
Dishes from the Pacific Rim continue to bring customers to restaurant tables. The cuisine fusion serves as a unique source of fall fare from multiple countries. Hearty peanut soups, creamy fish chowders and slow-smoked meats are just a few delicious ideas.
3. Brussels Sprouts Still Win
They aren’t just for Thanksgiving any more. Their renaissance has been remarkable and well-deserved. They earn extra points with an impressive nutritional profile.
Brussels sprouts are firmly planted on foodservice menus as customer favorites. The healthy vegetables gain ground this fall with an enticing variety of recipes that bring out their best as salads, sides and entrees.
4. Cabbage Is a Rising Star
Cabbage is quickly rising from its status as ordinary to one of the most versatile upcoming fall food trends. Expect to see consumers develop a new appreciation for cabbage as a substitute ingredient. Make it a star on your fall menu as a meat or starch swap with these innovative ideas.
• Napa cabbage and turkey dumplings
• Lasagna layered with cabbage leaves
• Cabbage leaf-wrapped enchiladas
5. Fall Vegetables Go Global
Cauliflower, squash and turnips warm up restaurant menus every fall. This year, they’re doing it with flavors from around the world. The trend translates multi-cultural traditions into consumer excitement with dishes like baked turnips tossed with Parmesan or curry-roasted butternut squash and chickpeas.
6. Crispy Fall Treats Trend Healthy
Cooler weather means more time spent inside, so be ready for busier Happy Hours. Treat bar customers to fall snacks that cater to their appetites for a healthy crunch. Fried kelp, sweet potato tots and Brussels sprout chips are sure winners on 2019 fall menus.
7. Pizzas Upgrade Traditional Crusts
Look for pizza to break out of its box as one of this fall’s trendy foods. Peek underneath vegan, keto and paleo pies for a new take on the classic. These are just a few of the ingredients that upgrade pizza crusts from traditional to extraordinary, delicious and healthy.
• Fresh broccoli
• Shredded zucchini
• Chopped spinach
• Crisp carrots
• Mashed sweet potatoes
8. Veggie Burgers Go Big
Plant-based proteins remain one of the biggest restaurant food trends this fall. Several national QSR chains are increasing market appeal by offering healthy veggie burgers. Plan on refreshing your menus with plant-based burgers that warm up all types of cool-weather appetites.
9. Fresh Breads Are Fall Naturals
This is another fall trend that builds around authenticity. Housemade artisanal breads demonstrate your restaurant’s commitment to scratch cooking. Premium ingredients show off your staff’s talents for developing signature recipes.
Ciabatta, sourdough and rye are natural choices for this year’s comfort food sides and one-of-a-kind sandwiches. Even time-worn pumpkin bread makes a 2019 comeback as a luxurious loaf for the fall season.
10. Fall Fruits and Desserts Unite
Fall fruit desserts tie in with this year’s cool-weather spotlight on regional cuisine. Apples, pears and figs are favorite choices all across the country. Focus on seasonal bounty from surrounding areas. Give your dessert menu local fall flavor with a regional specialty like Wisconsin’s harvest pie.
Our Industry News Keeps You Ahead
It won’t be long before we begin analyzing foodservice predictions for 2020. Ever changing-consumer tastes will always be a challenge. We plan on always helping you stay ahead of the latest forecast.
You can count on Hitchcock Farms to serve you with inside industry news and supply your tables with the freshest premium produce available.
Dan Holt is an experienced produce professional who started in the industry as a quality assurance inspector in the early 1990s and leads sales at Hitchcock Farms as Vice President. Prior to joining Hitchcock Farms, Dan enjoyed success in organic, specialty and conventional produce and with independent operators, regional and national chains in North America and abroad. Dan continues his passion in produce through collaborative inspiration and promoting healthy and sustainable food.