With Americans dining outside of the home on average more than 4 times per week and much of their food being provided by food services companies rather than being prepared at home, they are now making demands about the qualities of that food. Executives like Larry Polhill Café Valley VP must pay close attention to ensure Café Valley, who provides baked goods to supermarkets and food providers, stays on trend. Here are some of the demands Americans are making about the food they are eating outside of the home.
Keep it Simple Stupid – Simplicity, classic and back-to-basics are what eaters are craving. Many are moving away from the high tech, sophisticated approaches to food and instead are focusing on stripped down recipes featuring fewer ingredients that shine in all their simple glory.
GMO is a no Go – All types of diners, including fast food ones, are concerned about what is in their food these days. For this reason food service companies need to make sure that they are sensitive about what ingredients they include in their products. Retailers and restaurants love touting that their products are GMO free.
Give us More Chicken – Because of its lower saturated fat content and lower cost, chicken has become the go to meat for Americans. This does not mean that no one is eating red meat, just fewer people.
Asia is Rising – Asian foods from areas like Vietnam, Korea, India and Thailand are the hot new thing. It appears every chef has a new version of an old standard that is Asian infused, and people can’t get enough of it.
From the Farm to Your Table – There is a huge and sustained demand for locally grown and produced foods. These foods should also be sustainably-grown, additive-free, non-processed, and be nutrition dense.
Fast Casual Dining Segment is Booming – Fast casual restaurants like Chipotle are the fastest growing restaurant segment in the US. This is being fueled by Millennials who will represent 40% of restaurant revenues by 2020 and have a collective spending power of more than $2 trillion. The ability to customize your meal, and get quick service at a price point 20-30% less than full-service restaurants is attracting them.
Give Me Some Fat – After so many years of seeing fats as wicked, consumers are seeing that not all fats are created alike and that some have nutritional value. This means that fat is not always a downside when consumers look for healthier foods. Diners are returning to foods that were once disdained for having too much fat, such as eggs and oils. High-fat avocados have gained widespread approval as a healthy food.
Small and Rich Deserts Rule – Cake pops, which are small pieces of cake and icing on a stick, are popular. Mini-deserts which are one serving portions of your favorite baked deserts like small carrot cakes, strawberry shortcake bites, or mini pumpkins pies are hot. Some come with a variety of dipping sauces that allows you to customize the flavor of each appetizer or dessert bite with every dip.