CHICAGO — Restaurant operators are looking at further cost-cutting measures in 2010, but menu innovation is still playing an essential role for success, according to market researchers Technomic.
Technomic has named five trends to watch on food service menus in 2010, including:
1) Comfort foods. There will be more upscale comfort foods on menus with many simple foods that have a small number of ingredients. There will be fresh, premium and high-quality spins on familiar foods.
2) More Asian foods. Korean foods, including Korean barbecue and Korean-style tacos, will become more popular, and other Southwest Asian foods will experience increased interest as well. Overall, there will be a continued emphasis on regional versions of ethnic cuisines, especially with Mexican and Italian foods.
3) More dynamic flavors. Umami will become more widely used in various products from burgers and other meat dishes to truffle or truffle oil-accented pasta, cheese, french fries and pizza. Popular beverage ingredients will include hibiscus flower, agave nectar and pure cane sugar.
4) Home gardens. More consumers will grow their own ingredients at home as part of a focus on more fresh, local products.
5) Breakfast all day long. More restaurants will offer breakfast food at all times of the day and evening as consumers are showing an interest in such foods.