Each year, the National Restaurant Association produces a “Culinary Forecast”. It gathers and analyzes data and identifies trends for the upcoming year. Read the organization’s one-page executive summary.

Environmental sustainability remains a driving force, with food waste reduction and management at the forefront, and social responsibility also factoring in.

Local sourcing continues as a trend, with “hyper-local” leading as a sub-trend, including restaurant gardens, house-made, farm-branded and artisan products. Restaurants are increasingly producing their own “signature” items…from scratch.

Look for more pickled and fermented products. In concert with hyper-local, global influences will continue the trend of fusion cuisines and more mainstream use of ethnic ingredients.  And look for mini-gourmet items, as children’s menus draw more attention. You’ll see more complex and adventurous flavors, and healthier choices.

What’s waning? Hybrid desserts: croissant-donuts, anyone?  And gluten-free cuisine sales may slow down.

Want to dig dipper?  Scan the organization’s chef survey, read additional reports, review some infographics? Visit the National Restaurant Association’s What’s Hot website.