TORONTO, February 23, 2018 – Canadians’ love for craft beer continues to grow as craft beer/microbrews is once again the hottest trend on Restaurants Canada’s 2018 Chef Survey, with food smoking and pickling taking the second and third slots.

Each year, we ask chefs from across Canada to identify menu items and cooking methods at the peak of popularity. Here’s what’s brewing in restaurants:

Top Ten Hot Trends

1. Craft beer/microbrews

2. Food smoking

3. Pickling

4. House-made condiments/sauces

5. Sustainable seafood

6. Gluten-free/food allergy conscious

7. Fermenting

8. Dark Leafy greens (e.g., kale, Swiss chard, mustard greens, collard greens, beet greens)

9. Sous vide

10. Locally sourced foods (Locavore)

“Once again, craft beer is on top of Canada’s foodservice industry,” says Shanna Munro, President and CEO at Restaurants Canada. “Canadians’ thirst for locally brewed beer appears unquenchable and their desire to find rich, original and local flavours continues to gain popularity, with no signs of slowing down. The other hot trends paint a clear picture that healthy eating and fresh products are top-of-mind for Canadian consumers.”

Top Ten Up and Comers

1. Algae (e.g., seaweed)

2. Filipino cuisine

3. Artisan/house-made ice cream

4. Imperfect/’ugly’ produce

5. Ancient grains (e.g., kamut, spelt, amaranth, freekeh, lupin)

6. Drinkable desserts

7. Ethnic cheeses (e.g., queso fresco, paneer, lebneh, halloumi)

8. New cuts of meat (e.g., shoulder tender, oyster steak, Vegas Strip steak, Merlot cut)

9. Gourmet lemonade (e.g., made in house, freshly muddled)

10. Specialty iced tea (e.g., Thai-style, Southern/sweet, flavoured)

It was a welcome surprise to see algae claim this year’s top spot in the Up and Comer category, which was closely followed by Filipino cuisine and artisan/house-made ice cream.

Innovative beverages also made a strong showing, with gourmet lemonade, specialty iced tea and drinkable desserts all breaking into the top 10. This could be the beginning of a growing trend where beverages, and not solid foods, reign supreme on menus across the country this summer.

Don’t forget, you can see the latest industry innovations, trends and ideas at RC Show 2018 at Toronto’s Enercare Centre from Feb. 25 -27.

Detailed results: Available to Restaurants Canada members only.

About the survey: More than 430 professional chefs participated in Restaurants Canada’s ninth annual Canadian Chef Survey, conducted in January 2018. Members of the Canadian Culinary Federation, Terroir and Restaurants Canada participated in the survey.

Restaurants Canada (formerly CRFA) is a growing community of 30,000 foodservice businesses, including restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and suppliers. We connect our members from coast to coast, through services, research and advocacy for a strong and vibrant restaurant industry. Canada’s restaurant industry serves 18 million customers every day, and directly employs 1.2 million Canadians.

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