With each year comes new food trends. And while industry enthusiasts may be eager to adopt these trends, it’s essential to consider how they may impact kitchen design and equipment needs. If you’re designing a new kitchen space, make sure to stay ahead of these 2019 trends so that you can plan your space accordingly.
1) Plant-based entrees: Whether it’s plant-based burgers or plant-based pastas, veggie-forward dishes are all the rage. To accommodate more vegetarian options, consider incorporating multi contact grills into your kitchen design. These high-performance grills are built for precise cooking of meats and fish, but they’re equally well-equipped for preparing vegetables. Because of their versatility, they’re an efficient way to use your kitchen space, since they can accommodate vegetarian options while still keeping the protein lovers happy.
2) Imperfect produce (and less food waste): As restaurants are keeping their food costs in check, they’re starting to bring more “ugly” or misshapen produce to the table. And consumers don’t seem to mind, as they’re becoming more conscientious about food waste. While less-than-perfect produce can now pass on its own, inventive chefs are finding resourceful ways to incorporate it into fresh menus. For example, novel soups with exotic spices can be a tasty solution that gets right down to the “bones” of waste and imperfect produce. Make these speciality soups a menu mainstay by designing an attractive counter with countertop soup warmers or built-in round wells.
3) Healthy comfort foods: Comfort foods aren’t going away anytime soon (phew!). But, as people are becoming more health-conscious, they’re swapping out traditional comfort foods for lower calorie ones, such as chickpea pizza crust and cauliflower gnocchi. Whether restaurants plan on incorporating this new wave of comfort food into their menu, or they’re dead set on sticking with their tried-and-true mac n’ cheese, it’s smart to allocate kitchen space for drawer warmers. They can keep a high volume of comfort foods hot and flavor-fresh for meal rushes.
4) Gut-healthy foods: The trend of fermented foods has been on the rise for a while, and it’s not going away anytime soon. As consumers make healthier choices, they’re “going with their gut” and opting for gut-healthy fermented foods such as kombucha and kimchi. If you plan on buying into this trend, make extra space for cold shelving so that you can keep fermented foods their freshest.
5) Seafood snacks: Salmon skins, kelp jerky, pokecado toast — you name it, they’re coming up with it. As with many food trends, consumers are seeking out healthier alternatives to their old ways, and snacks are no exception. Because they’re healthier substitutes for carb-loaded snacks, there’s a growing market for from-the-water snacks. If you’re planning to make way for this trend, you’ll want to cut down on your deep fryers and beef up your baking capacity.
6) Fire-roasted foods: An increasingly popular way to cook fruits and vegetables, fire roasting creates a depth of smoky flavor. While this method of preparing food has been around since the beginning, it’s gaining more popularity, as it brings out intense, complex flavors. If your clients are interested in bringing fire-roasted foods on board, it’s a good idea to plan for strip heaters to keep them at just the right temperature without drying them out.
7) Globally-inspired flavors: Thanks to flavor-rich sauces and spices, consumers don’t have to get on a plane to experience a world of cuisines. West African, Pacific Rim and Latin American flavors are especially popular right now, so adding internationally-inspired options to the menu is a worthwhile consideration. Since this trend spans the globe, there’s not a one-size-fits-all kitchen solution. But, if ethnic options will be added to the menu, make sure you plan for the appropriate equipment in your design.
Design with trends in mind, but use equipment that stands the test of time.
Trends come and go, but equipment should be durable, versatile and long-lasting. With the right equipment, you won’t have to keep reinventing the wheel with your design. Check out our diverse range of equipment here, and if you’d like to learn more about solutions that will work with your space, contact us today.