TORONTO, February 25, 2015 – There’s no doubt that beer is dear to Canadians. Craft beer/microbrews is the hottest trend on Restaurants Canada’s 2015 Chef Survey, with local foods and leafy greens coming in second and third.

Top 10 hot trends
Chefs across the country identified the menu items and cooking methods at the peak of popularity. Here’s what’s brewing in restaurants:

    1. Craft beer/ microbrews
    2. Locally sourced foods (locavore)
    3. Leafy greens (e.g. kale, Swiss chard, mustard greens, collard greens, dandelion, beet greens)
    4. Food smoking
    5. Charcuterie/ house-cured meats
    6. Gluten-free/ food allergy conscious
    7. Quinoa
    8. Sustainable seafood
    9. Inexpensive/ underused cuts of meat (e.g. beef cheek, brisket, pork shoulder, skirt steak)
    10. Ethnic sauces (e.g. sriracha, raita/raitha, chimichurri, soy sauce)

“This is craft beer’s time to shine,” says Donna Dooher, Interim President and CEO at Restaurants Canada. “Canadians are seeking out niche, local flavours, and it’s a trend that’s moved beyond the plate and into the glass.”

New this year
After taking the top spot last year, gluten-free fell considerably to No. 6. While restaurateurs will always be mindful of food allergies, gluten-free may no longer be top-of-mind for diners looking to try something new.

Sustainable seafood is new to the hot trends list, and reflects Canadians’ growing love affair with greener, healthier choices. The debut of ethnic sauces shows chefs are not afraid to spice up their dishes with bold, new flavours. In tandem with this trend, ethnic appetizers and unusual herbs make the top 10 up-and-comers list of menu items gaining popularity.

Infographic: Top 10 hot trends and top 10 up-and-comers.
Detailed results: Available to Restaurants Canada members only.

About the survey
More than 400 professional chefs participated in Restaurants Canada’s sixth annual Canadian Chef Survey. The survey was conducted by independent market research firm BrandSpark International in January 2015. Special thanks to the Canadian Culinary Federation for their participation.

Restaurants Canada (formerly the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association) is a national association comprising 30,000 businesses in every segment of the foodservice industry, including restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and their suppliers. Through advocacy, research, and member programs and services, Restaurants Canada is dedicated to helping its members in every community grow and prosper.

Canada’s restaurant industry directly employs more than 1.2 million Canadians, contributes $68 billion a year to the Canadian economy (including commercial and non-commercial foodservice), and serves more than 18 million customers every day.


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