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2017 Canadian foodservice trends forecast

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Heading into 2017, many are wondering: what’s on the horizon for the Canadian foodservice industry?

Technomic Inc. has the top five food and restaurant trends to try in the coming year.

Commercial and noncommercial foodservice operators have been facing a variety of challenges this year and as the definition of health evolves in the Canadian market, customers are looking for cutting-edge menu items and emerging restaurants that satisfy the palate and balance unique and familiar flavours.

“Eating establishments face some very intense competition today, which makes menu innovation critical,” said Erik Thoresen, principal at Technomic Inc. “Canadian consumers want creative, innovative menu items and we see both restaurant and noncommercial foodservice operators stepping up to the challenge.”

Highlights from Technomic’s 2017 Canadian Trends Forecast include:

Ethnic sparks menu creativity. Mainstream cuisines such as Chinese and Mexican are making way for more intriguing global fare. Newcomers from across the globe will bring with them exotic recipes and ingredients, spurring fresh inspiration for chefs. Looking at the year to come, specialties like Filipino pancit (noodles) and sinigang (soup), Pakistani roadside bun kebabs and Iranian gheimeh (stew) will flourish in Canada’s diversifying ethnic food landscape.

Creative caffeinating. While the third-wave movement continues to push coffee to its premiumized extremes, boundary breakers will take coffee in unexpected directions to stand out in a crowding field. On the radar: lemon coffees, coffee jelly, Indonesian avocado espressos, coffee plus butter or salt (or both!), and intricate and customizable latte foam art.

Engaging with Gen Z. Operators will pay closer attention to Gen Z—the maturing cohort of ethnically diverse digital natives accustomed to constant convenience, social sharing and a fast-changing world. Look for more ethnic mashup foods, desserts and drinks worthy of Instagram, emoji speak on the menu, chatbots, Snapchat filters, packaging hacks (think a meal box that can charge a smartphone) and a greater emphasis on corporate responsibility and environmental stewardship. Trends already on the up—delivery, mobile payment and kiosk ordering—will continue to solidify.

Click here to download the full 2017 Canadian Trends Forecast.