Healthy eating and urban food trends

Besides organic and superfoods, are you current on the latest food trends? Zero-waste, CBD drinks, hyper-local, fast-casual, hybrid food, and plant-based foods … to name a few. Find out which trends are here to stay and - which ones are to come.

Text: Laura Myers // FOTOS: iStock

Healthy food trends extend to hotel restaurants and room service. Menus are revamped with healthier options, including: gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, and plant-based dishes, as well as cocktails. Even global chains like McDonald’s and Burger King have added to their menus more salads and plant-based burgers to attract discerning millennials who demand healthy ingredients. Here are some of the most most popular and emerging healthy food trends.

The biggest Trend is CBD

The biggest trend is: CBD (cannabidiol) which is extracted from the leaves, flowers and resins of the cannabis plant. It is infused in water, cocktails, coffee, Kombucha and foods. CBD oil tends to have an earthy, bitter taste; however, some variations can be neutral. The US National Restaurant Association has ranked CBD usage as the top food trend in the USA. Many EU countries have legalized CBD for medicinal purposes. This wonder substance provides relief from chronic pain, anxiety, inflammation, depression and has a calming effect. It is non-psychoactive and non-addictive. Demand is high and US restaurants are experiencing a revenue booster. Check your region, however, as CBD may be illegal in an edible form.

Zero-waste cooking

Zero-waste cooking takes food scraps, damaged produce or “misfits” (oddly shaped produce) and creates new cuisines so that there is minimal food waste. For example, broccoli stems, normally tossed after trimming the florets, can be used to create a feta cheese and herb appetizer.

Get it local

Hyper-local (eat local) indicates food and beverages that are produced on-site in the restaurant garden, brewery or created with seasonal, local produce. Guests notice garden-fresh quality and appreciate the sustainable approach. Michael Kaiser, Food and Beverage Manager of Hotel Sacher in Salzburg, Austria, states: "Locally and regionally sourced food is our top priority and very much a noticeable trend. This is in high demand by our guests. However, we need to ensure that guests' wishes for international cuisine are also satisfied."

Power breakfasts all-day long

All-day globally-inspired breakfast dishes are debuting on the menu. Try this: Shakshuka a Middle Eastern dish of poached eggs cooked in a skillet of spicy tomato sauce. Novel nutritional choices include: a protein breakfast, creative toasts, almond berry breads, smoked salmon or a breakfast salad. All of these, could pass for lunch or possibly dinner menu items.

Plant-based choices

Plant-based food is an exciting emerging market that uses plant protein for meat such as hamburgers. Food manufacturers, like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat, are attracting traditional meat eaters, vegans and vegetarians. There are also new companies creating dairy products without dairy, e.g. Edlong and Daiya Foods. Their scientific concept is to reduce human dependence on animal products and the farmland required to feed them, reducing global carbon emissions.

Fast casual and Pop-ups

Chef-driven fast-casual, features customers ordering at the counter, ingredients to create their own healthy meal to take-out or eat in a casual seating restaurant. Restaurant sharing is popular in German cities like Cologne and Munich, where a new restaurant concept opens bi-weekly. It is a fast-casual setting e.g. a sausage café is then replaced by a Peruvian restaurant with different staffing; foodies love the diverse culinary offerings!

Pop-ups are temporary restaurants in factories or vacant spaces, marketed via social media. Food trucks are mobile units, specializing in specific cuisine, that pull up to a business area or empty parking lot for a limited slot of hours or days e.g. lunch hour or events. Food halls are found in warehouse buildings where a variety of eateries (e.g. sushi, craft brewery, gourmet ice cream, Italian, wine bar etc.) rent space. Customers order, then take their own food to tables in public seating areas.

Hybrid food

Hybrid food combines traditional foods to create a distinctive urban food and flavor. For example: croissant + donut = Cronut, Burger + Ramen noodle flour = Ramen Burger in a rice bun, or Sushi + Burrito = Sushirito, a combination of Japanese and Mexican ingredients wrapped in a large sheet of sushi nori.

You can implement some of these new trends at your hotel, or send your guest foodies exploring the neighborhood for unique dining pleasures. Millennials and Generation Ys will appreciate your savvy advice.

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