In the past couple of years, consumers have become increasingly aware of – and eager to ingest – foods that can best support their health. Fermented foods and beverages, which regulate healthy gut bacteria and support immune system functioning, continue to be in high demand. They are also smart choices for restaurant operators looking to make the most of excess produce and other ingredients on hand. This winter, is there room on your menu for additions like sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, yogurt or kombucha?
The Speciality Food Association expects fermented condiments – and particularly Gochujang – to be among the top food trends to take off in 2020. Gochujang, the Korean red chili paste made from fermented soybeans, rice and seasonings, gives a kick to marinades, dipping sauces, soups and stews. How can you use it and other fermented condiments on your menu in the coming year?
Wouldn’t it be great to know what your guests will want to eat and drink not just next month or next season, but for the next two years? A recent Technomic forecast can tell you. The company has a menu predictive tool that includes machine learning, social listening tools and historical menu trends designed to map out consumer taste predictions for the next two years. Five items rose to the top: Is there a place for any of them on your menu? Two fiery sauces, Nashville hot and gochujang, will likely become widespread on menus in the coming months and years, according to Technomic’s findings. Nashville hot is a cayenne-based sauce that is associated with fried chicken – though the coming months may bring new applications. Gochujang, the Korean sauce made from fermented soybeans, dried chilies and garlic, manages to be spicy, salty and sweet. There were three beverages flagged for their anticipated rise in popularity: Ginger beer, Shochu and Mezcal. Ginger beer, which is made by fermenting ginger, yeast and sugar, is often non-alcoholic but has versatility as a mixer with alcoholic beverages. Shochu, the Japanese alcoholic beverage that can be made from ingredients as varied as sweet potatoes and barley, has a stronger taste than sake. Mezcal, a tequila relative, has a smoky flavor that is rising in popularity in both sweet and savory applications (one Washington, D.C. restaurant carries 35 varieties of the beverage).