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Local is the hottest menu trend this year: CRFA


March 10, 2011
By Bakers Journal

March 10, 2011, Toronto – Local, sustainable and healthy options top the list of menu trends in Canadian restaurants this year.

More than 500 professional chefs identified what’s hot in the Canadian
Restaurant and Foodservices Association’s (CRFA’s) second annual
Canadian Chef Survey, conducted by BrandSpark International, an
independent market research firm.

The top ten trends are:

  1. Locally produced food and locally inspired dishes
  2. Sustainability
  3. Nutrition and health
  4. Organics
  5. Simplicity and back-to-basics
  6. Gluten-free and food allergy consciousness
  7. Craft beer and microbrews
  8. Artisanal cheeses
  9. Bite size and mini desserts 
  10. Quinoa and ancient grains

“Once again, the top menu trends are showing an increasing focus on
nutrition, as well as a solid appreciation for local flavours,” says
Garth Whyte, CRFA president and CEO. “Chefs are constantly evolving
their menu offerings to meet a wide range of customer demands and
dietary needs.”

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Notable changes from last year’s survey include nutrition and health
jumping three spots from number six in 2010, and artisanal cheeses
falling from the fourth place slot last year to eighth place.
Gluten-free and food allergy consciousness and quinoa and ancient grains
moved from last year’s “up and comer” list, along with the new entrant
craft beer and microbrews to become hot trends for this year, knocking
free-range poultry and pork, small plates and superfruits off the trend
list.

Detailed results from the Canadian Chef Survey were released at the CRFA show in Toronto earlier this week.