2017’s Craziest and Most Popular Foodservice Trends.

2017's Craziest and Most Popular Foodservice Trends.

2017 has been a pretty crazy year, and it is quickly coming to a close. So looking back, what are some of the craziest things that we’ve seen come out of a the food service industry? There are definitely some trends out there that made us raise our eyebrows quizzically.

Forbes put together a pretty great list where they asked some well-known experts in the industry. They compiled a great list of some wild 2017 trends. We saw a lot of these trends out there and wanted to highlight a few for your here through the lens of an operator. How can you capitalize on these trends? Let’s take a look!

1. Edible Insects

2017's Craziest and Most Popular Foodservice Trends.

This was, without a doubt, the grossest entry on the list. Edible bugs have been a part of food culture for a long time. Bugs are a very popular street food in some southeast Asian countries, but as far as Westerners are concerned, bugs are… well… inedible.

Or they were, anyway. Recently there’s been a pretty substantial growth in the edible bugs out there. If you’re looking to add a menu item that is sure to get people asking questions, maybe try doing something with bugs! Your adventurous customer base will be eager to try something new, and your grossed out customers will probably just tweet about how gross it is. But you know what they say! There’s no such thing as bad press!

2. Charcoal Foods

2017's Craziest and Most Popular Foodservice Trends.

So called “Activated Charcoal” is a powder that is touted as having health benefits, but mostly it just turns your food black. The health benefits are… unproven (to say the least), but we all know what an impact unique presentation can have on a dish. Serving up pitch black foods will make your customers feel like they on top of a new trend. This will make them that much more likely to post about the food on social media. That’s free advertising for your business.

PJP would recommend steering clear of leaning to heavily on the “health benefits” of Charcoal. But there’s no reason you can’t capitalize on this trend for the presentation and “coolness” factor. Being unique is an incredibly important part of running your business.

3. Local Distilleries

2017's Craziest and Most Popular Foodservice Trends.

This trend certainly isn’t as crazy as the other entries on the list, but we love it. If you’re a restaurant, it’s always a great idea to partner up with local breweries and distilleries for your bar. Many customer like to support local businesses, and you can often work out some kind of deal when you’re promoting a local beer/liquor, which can save you money. That kind of partnership is the rare one that can attract new customers and cut costs. How could you pass it up?

Local Breweries have been around for years now, but local distilleries are now blowing up as well. Find one near you and reach out to them!

4. Zero Waste Cooking

2017's Craziest and Most Popular Foodservice Trends.

We’ve talked about Zero Waste events before, but lately environmentally conscious businesses are taking this idea to the next level. The simple reality is that 40% of the food in the U.S. ends up as waste. That is a huge number, and has a huge impact on the environment. Not to mention the fact that many still go hungry. Foodservice establishments are making an effort to step up and do their part in correcting this problem. That’s where zero waste cooking comes in.

Basically, Zero Waste Cooking is just making sure you use every bit of food that you can in your kitchen. Stuff you might normally throw away you’ll try to find a way to use in a dish. Fish bones? Use them in a gumbo. Strawberry tops? Infuse water with them. This is a great trend that you should definitely look into it, not only for the environmental benefits, but also because it can help reduce your ingredient costs.

What trends have you seen in 2017? We want to here from you! Don’t forget to share in the comments below or on any of our social media accounts. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube!

Drew Gobrecht

Drew Gobrecht

Community Relations Manager

As a marketing professional working for Penn Jersey Paper, I pride myself in my ability to create quality, fresh, and relevant digital content consistently. As we all know, in today's internet-based marketing world, quality content is king. I strive to always be enhancing the customer experience here at PJP by writing of relevant blog posts, posting informative social media updates, and composing detailed product descriptions. As someone who relishes the opportunity to be creative in my job, I find that I thoroughly enjoy this work. I am excited for the opportunity to continue to grow in my marketing career and am excited for what the future holds.