Mintel foodservice trends 2016
Personalization and blurring of traditional foodservice segments will shape the foodservice industry in 2016.

CHICAGO – We are a few weeks into 2016, but there are already some exciting trends to check out for the consumer, including the effects for companies and brands.

At the moment, the American consumer is looking for interesting dinners and brands to try and expand their pallets.

“This year is off to an exciting start with foodservice brands looking to consumers for direction and inspiration more than ever before,” Paul Pendola, director of foodservice at Mintel, said. “In 2016, we’ll see personalization, authenticity and revolutionary new food and drink concepts shape the industry with diner preferences and perceptions front-and-center. Restaurants and brands must continue to understand what motivates consumers to dine out and how to attract those who plan on spending less in the year ahead.” 

The Chicago-based Mintel Foodservice team has identified and analyzed five trends set to hit the mainstream in the US foodservice industry in 2016.

Mintel foodservice trends 2016
Consumers are embracing the power of protein.

Unpredictable Proteins

A rising number of consumers are turning to high-protein diets, and while the use of alternative protein sources is on the rise, an American classic still holds a prominent place on menus.

Anywhere and Anytime

Consumers are increasingly eating restaurant-quality food outside of “traditional” mealtimes. When delivery isn’t an option, novel foodservice offerings are stepping in to fill the void.

Messaging over Marketing

While some consumers view the majority of food and beverage claims as nothing more than marketing talk, progressive brands are embracing a fresh approach to meaningful menus to better engage with audiences.

Mintel foodservice trends 2016
Flavor adventures are key to attracting multi-faceted consumers.

Extreme Living

Brands are recognizing that rather than undecided, consumers are multi-faceted, and they increasingly find balance by going to dining extremes.

New Bar Stars

The sport of cooking isn’t the only game being played in foodservice, as the same flavor-blending and ethical sensibilities behind the dinner plate are at a bar in the glass and cup.

These trends shine a light on how Americans’ ever-developing tastes are driving customization, dichotomy, authenticity and innovation across menus, into restaurant kitchens and onto store shelves like never before.