Simple is key
Simplicity, classic and back-to-basics are words to live by in the year ahead, according to many professional chefs surveyed by the National Restaurant Association. At the same time that molecular gastronomy goes more mainstream with its scientific exploration of culinary possibilities, a counter-movement is brewing that focuses on stripping down recipes to fewer ingredients to let them shine in all their simple glory. Venerable preparation methods like pickling, fermenting and smoking are back, with traditional recipes refreshed for today’s palates.
Real, clean and fresh
Both at home and when dining out, consumers will focus on foods that they consider “real” or “clean” in 2016, looking for attributes such as natural, fresh and preservative-free, predicts The NPD Group. The influence of “clean” eaters on the restaurant industry began to appear last year and will become even more pronounced in 2016. A number of large restaurant chains took on the challenge of removing artificial ingredients from their food in 2015, including Panera Bread, Papa John’s, Subway, Noodles & Co., Taco Bell and Pizza Hut. Growers and food manufacturers are striving for a “clean label,” removing preservatives, artificial flavors, antibiotics and potential allergens in response to consumer demands for transparency.