Restaurant, supermarket trends in parallel

December 29, 2010

The top three restaurant trends for 2011!

The top three restaurant trends for 2011, cited by more than 1,500 chefs of the American Culinary Federation, are:  locally sourced meats and seafood, locally grown produce, and sustainability. 

So say findings of a National Restaurant Association survey reported on by Nation’s Restaurant News.  

Indeed, much of what chefs forecast in the annual survey sounds a lot like what The Lempert Report has been finding in the nation’s supermarkets. People want more purity, freshness and nutrients in their foods, they want assurances of environmentally sensitive handling, and they want processes that will ensure future generations will be able to feed themselves off of a less-tainted Earth.

In this case, we believe it’s not chefs leading the way, but chefs listening to the same consumer concerns as supermarket operators and food manufacturers – issues The Lempert Report has covered extensively. It’s notable that chefs are responding to these concerns because it signals people want to eat this way more consistently, whether at home or out dining with family and friends. It indicates that consumers voicing the same demands of restaurateurs and therefore are more committed to these directions.

Among the top 20 trends cited by NRA, many others sound familiar as well, and have already taken off in food stores. They include:

  • Children’s nutrition
  • Sustainable seafood
  • Gluten-free food and food-allergy awareness
  • Simplicity
  • Organic produce
  • Nutrition/health
  • Fruit and vegetables as children’s side items
  • Artisan cheeses

However 2011 plays out with these particular forecasts, it seems clear to us at The Lempert Report that consumers view many of the nation’s supermarkets and restaurants through the same lens when it comes to food supply and other matters of substance.