Land of 10,000 Tastes – US Foodservice Trend Takeaways

Minneapolis recently played host to a contingency of food editors, foodservice and manufacturing companies as well as food and agricultural promotional boards, agencies and organisations.

Orrani team member Susan Weller joined the group for the 60th Annual International Foodservice Editorial Council (IFEC) conference bringing back new resources and information to better assist Orrani clients.

The week was kicked off with an evening at the General Mills corporate headquarters and a night of delicious food items, local Minnesota libations as well as a panel of six local Twin Cities restaurant professionals and one moderator speaking on the topic of “The Business of the Food and Beverage Industry” at the final Charlie Awards Hot Topics presentation.

The Charlies certificate

Some of the topline restaurant trend takeaways from the event were: 

  • Americans are traveling more and understand what “real” global food is – so you can’t fake ethnic flavours
  • Authenticity in dining, cooking, ingredients & techniques is a must
  • Foodservice professionals need to embrace health conscious dining – gluten-free is not a trend it is becoming a mainstay, at least 10% of consumers have health concerns and risks
  • The farm-to-table movement is flowing into mainstream dining – restaurants are starting to own their own farms to service their needs for fresh produce
  • Rooftop gardens are helping restauranteurs produce fresh produce
  • Food transparency is important – companies are removing artificial colorants & flavours
  • Restaurants should take credit for what they are doing right – call out unique items on the menu and charge for them accordingly ie. “Fresh Zander Northern Pike” 
  • It is critical to maximise restaurant space – create different profit centres within the space
  • On the topic of equipment – spending more efficiently on the front end, can save money in the future – use energy rebates to assist
  • The most valuable asset of a restaurant is the employee – good paying jobs and opportunities such as learning internships or tuition reimbursement help the organisation keep staff
  • Marketing to millennials? Social giving is a must – people serving people

Want to discover more about foodservice trends worldwide, IFEC or The Charlies?

Reach out to Orrani Consulting –

Other helpful resources:

The Charlie Awards

International Foodservice Editorial Council