As 2013 comes to an end, it is time for those in the foodservice industry to prepare for the news trends of the upcoming year. According to recent research, the following are seven key trends that will take affect in the foodservice industry in 2014. Some of these trends depict larger societal trends while others are more specific to evolving food preferences in the U.S. Either way, implementing these trends into your menu can ultimately improve your business operations.

1. Undoubtedly real

Many menus today not only list ingredients in items, but where they come from and how they were prepared. More and more people are becoming attracted to local sourcing, using ingredients that are locally grown to ensure freshness and good quality.

2. Promote proteins

Of course, beef and chicken will always be in high demand, but pork is expected to gain popularity in 2014. From baby back ribs to pulled pork sandwiches, pork will be in the spotlight. Also anticipated to become more popular are lamb and game meats, from duck to bison. For those who prefer to stay away from meat, vegetarian alternatives, like mushrooms, beans, and soy-based products, will be seen on more menus.

3. Carbs are back

In recent years, starches have taken on a bad reputation, but they are making a comeback. With the fascination of Asian fare, rice bowls will be big – but not just your plain white rice. Expect to see jasmine rice, basmati rice, and brown rice more often. As far as breads go, keep a lookout for flatbreads, wraps, and artisan breads of the whole grain variety.

4. High-fat Heaven

Yes, everyone seems to be on a health kick, but you can’t forget about those lashing out against the craze. Next year will show more cheese melts, pasta with creamy sauces, fried appetizers and sides, and oddities like doughnut-based sandwiches.

5. Fearlessly sour

Many ethnic cuisines are peaking interests in pickled, fermented, and sour foods. You’ll find pickled onion, jalapeno, ginger, and radish not only at ethnic eateries, but even burger joints! When quenching thirsts, even sour cocktails will be available to offset the sweet drinks of 2013.

6. Change of routine

The days of three-square-meals are coming to a close as consumers opt to skip meals, eat breakfast for dinner, or vice versa. Now is the time to introduce a different variety of items to the breakfast menu, such as chicken , turkey, or steak breakfast sandwiches, or maybe even spicy wraps featuring chipotle or Sriracha. Many are even choosing to have breakfast available al day to adapt to these changes in taste.

7. Tech savvy ordering

Consumers are getting pickier than ever before, specifying specific ingredients they expect to be in their meal. Of course they must be accommodated, but this only means slower service. In order to keep operations running at a good pace, some are incorporating technology for faster, more accurate ordering. Whether providing iPads for your customers to use, or placing a bring-your-own-device system, this sort of technology can not only improve business, but encourage positive customer feedback.

It can be overwhelming adapting to market changes and updated trends, but Source1 Purchasing can help you adjust. With the Source1 Program, products and services from hundreds of regional suppliers are available to you. You have the ability to purchase exactly what you need with pre-negotiated contract-level pricing on over 6,000 branded items. Source1 Purchasing can get you the most for your money, saving you from purchasing the wrong products at the wrong price.

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