Local Remains A Hot Trend


It looks like “keeping it local” is still considered hot in the restaurant world.

The National Restaurant Association surveyed 1,791 American Culinary Federation member chefs in October-November, asking them to rate 223 individual food items, beverages, cuisines and culinary themes as a “hot trend,” “yesterday’s news,” or “perennial favorite” on restaurant menus in 2012.

According to the survey the top 10 menu trends for next year will be:

  • Locally sourced meats and seafood
  • Locally grown produce
  • Healthful kids’ meals
  • Hyper-local items
  • Sustainability as a culinary theme
  • Children’s nutrition as a culinary theme
  • Gluten-free/food allergy-conscious items
  • Locally produced wine and beer
  • Sustainable seafood
  • Whole grain items in kids’ meals

I’ve posted about this annual survey a few times over the years. One interesting thing to note is that in 2008 and 2009 Organic Produce made the Top 10, now it’s not even in the Top 20 … down to #26. The focus really has become centered on local-sourcing of ingredients. Also, not surprisingly, there’s a stronger focus on children’s health, an issue which has received quite a bit of press in the past year.

I’ve never been trendy, I mean, you should just see some of my junior high school yearbook photos (yikes). So to me “local” is a perennial favorite.

Anyway, if you’re food dork like me, you’ll want to check out the entire survey results.

What do you think of the list?

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