While 2014 will consist of popular, healthy items such as locally sourced meats, produce and seafood shape, keep an eye out for new flavors, food preparation techniques and ingredients on menus. Remember these new trends on 2014 when you’re updating your menu:

Go gluten-free. To accommodate individuals with gluten allergies or intolerance, or those who just want to lose weight through gluten-free diets, operators have been debuting gluten-free items and even featuring gluten-free variations on their pasta dishes. However, because gluten occurs naturally in products containing wheat, rye and barley, restaurateurs offering gluten-free options must be careful to avoid the possibility of cross-contamination.

Have healthy items for kids. Restaurateurs will continue to focus on the importance of children’s health in 2014. Chefs are introducing more whole grain items, fruits, and vegetables on their children’s menus in an effort to promote healthful kids and improve children’s nutrition.

Try local ingredients. Locally grown items have ben popular for years, but this trend promises to grow even more this year, part of the reasoning being the connection to the sustainability movement. Additionally, restaurant guests tend to equate “local” items with “fresh” items, fitting perfectly into the health and wellness trend.

Go beyond olive oil. It is predicted that chefs will expand their horizons past olive oil this year and turn to other oils in an effort to alter the flavors of different selections. Expect to see more use of avocado, hazelnut and benne seed oils to add flavor to menu items. Moreover, with the Paleo diet becoming more poplar, many chefs will be experimenting with coconut oil even though it is high in saturated fat.

Maximize the contents of the ocean. Don’t feel limited when it comes to including items from the sea on your menu. Chefs will be using fish that are underutilized, such as as branzino and barramundi, as well as ingredients such as fish cheeks and monkfish liver. You’ll even see marine vegetables such as sea beans, plankton and different seaweeds are on the menu.

Do you plan on adding any fresh, new ingredients to your menu this year? Source1 Purchasing is a supply chain management group that provides a comprehensive pallet of solutions that empower operators to reduce operating costs, ensure consistent product quality and achieve higher customer satisfaction. To learn more about the Source1 Program and how it can benefit your business, visit our website at www.Source1Purchasing.com.

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