Technomic Inc., along with several other research publications, recently released foodservice trends for 2016. These predictions have looked at a variety of things from menu trends to overall industry trends. To summarize, some of the macro trends identified is how food is becoming more about the experience and a way to socialize. Or that operators will continue to rely on technology in order to combat rising food costs, increased labor and energy costs.
Trend understanding and application is a key component of operational success and differentiation among a highly competitive foodservice marketplace. Operators can utilize these trends in their operation to create unique menu items that will give them a competitive advantage. While food trends are important, so is an understanding of how they will impact the kitchen and the equipment. We have combined some of top trends with equipment application for a full operational perspective.
Rustic revitalized - Foods that are traditionally considered “working class” are seeing a resurgence in the foodservice industry. Technomic 2016 Menu Trends found items like meatballs, sausages and bao (steamed buns) are being revitalized with new flavors and ingredients. Consumers are craving these comfort foods from generations past and operators are responding. However, preparing these foods can require additional labor or hand preparation which tend to make operators shy away. With a full portfolio of prep, cooking and baking solutions, we are able to help operators take advantage of this trend while minimizing operational impact.
Use it don’t lose it - Operators are finding ways to utilize proteins and produce that were previously not in the consideration set, but due to rising food costs chefs are finding new uses for previously discarded items. Protein options now including stew meats, organ meats and Asian carp along with a variety of root vegetable. Different types of preparation and cooking methods are needed for these types of proteins and produce making the Convotherm® 4 combi oven the perfect solution to be able to bake, cook, steam and more to create flawless dishes.
Where there’s smoke - Chefs take smoking of meats beyond the backyard and the flavor profile to a whole new level of options for customers. Technomic reports the rise of smoked flavor in everything from charred vegetable to cocktails with smoked flavorings. The Convotherm Smoker makes adding the flavor profile that everyone is craving simple and easy, not actual smoker needed.
Effervesces - Bubbles are big business from champagne to craft soda and consumers are drinking it up. Craft soda options are on the rise because they offer customers an alternative to traditional carbonated beverages, typically with cleaner ingredients and unique flavor profiles. For the most part, consumers have only been able to find craft soda in bottles, but now operators are looking for ways create an experience around the craft beverage experience. This has led to the rise of the handmade craft sodas that are made with fresh, limited ingredients. Because these beverages are premium options demanding consumers pay a higher price point, the ice is a key component of the drink requiring fresh, clean ice. Manitowoc Ice Indigo® Series provides the clean ice you need, when and where it’s needed with controls that help you save energy and produce the right amount of ice for your operation.
Fresh Food, FAST - Fresh food is as important as the speed at which it is served. Fresh ingredients with limited or no processing are topping the list. While consumers want fresh food, wait times are still a concern. In the past, it left operators feeling torn as they struggled to meet both expectations for fresh and fast, but the Merrychef eikon® series high speed oven has given operators the freedom to provide fresh, custom made food, while reducing overall wait times.
Work smart - Rising minimum wage is creating a strain on bottom lines leaving operators wondering how their bottom line will be impacted. In order to meet customer expectations, manage labor and remain profitable, Technomic reports that operators will seek out and purchase technology that will improve the productivity of the operation. Identifying operators needs for not only equipment that is technology advanced, we took it one step further and found ways to integrate standard controls across many of our equipment platforms, reducing training needs and delivering dollars to the bottom line.
Manitowoc Foodservice experts are Fluent in Foodservice, so let’s talk about how we can help you find just the right solution from our product portfolio that will deliver the results you need.