March 4, 2013

TORONTO – Variety is the hottest trend in Canadian restaurants this year, according to CRFA’s annual survey of Canadian chefs. Chefs identified trends from all over the menu.

The top 10 Canadian menu trends consumers will see in restaurants this year are:

  1. Locally produced and locally inspired dishes
  2. Gluten-free/ food allergy conscious
  3. Sustainability
  4. Farm-/ estate-branded ingredients
  5. Food trucks/ street food
  6. Ethnic/ street food inspired appetizers (e.g. tempura, taquitos)
  7. Greek yogurt
  8. Simplicity/ back-to-basics
  9. Non-wheat noodles or pasta (e.g. quinoa, rice, buckwheat)
  10. Ancient grains (e.g. kamut, spelt, amaranth)

Locally produced food was the top item for the fourth year in a row.

Top 10 up and comers for 2013
Up and comers are menu items that could be the next hot trend, as interest in these items is quickly increasing.

  1. Red rice
  2. Digital menus
  3. Goat
  4. House-made soft drinks
  5. African cuisine
  6. Gluten-free beer
  7. Kid-friendly versions of adult dining options
  8. Underutilized fish (e.g. mackerel, bluefish, redfish)
  9. Drinkable desserts
  10. Black/forbidden rice

Detailed survey results are available here and The document breaks down the top five results in 14 categories, including this year’s most popular preparation methods, side dishes, spices and non-alcoholic beverages.

Cooking with tea, fermenting, dairy-free milk and Brazilian cuisine are some of the rising stars on the detailed up and comers list.

The chef survey also outlines what items chefs have seen decline in popularity. For the first time, liquid nitrogen chilling made it onto both the Up and Coming trends and Yesterday’s news lists, indicating that chefs are divided on the status of the molecular cooking technique.

About the survey
More than 350 professional chefs identified what’s hot in the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association’s (CRFA’s) fourth annual Canadian Chef Survey. The survey was conducted by independent market research firm BrandSpark International in January 2013. Chefs were asked to rate the popularity of a variety of menu items and cooking methods and identify hot trends. A special thanks to the Canadian Culinary Federation for their participation.

CRFA is one of Canada’s largest business associations, with more than 30,000 members representing restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and other foodservice providers. Canada’s restaurant industry employs more than one million people in communities across the country.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *