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Restaurant Menus to Focus on Quality, Not Just Cost, in 2010

CHICAGO, IL (Nov. 30, 2009)—Mintel Menu Insights announced five foodservice predictions for 2010, saying that the restaurant industry will focus on high-quality food and ingredients to lure diners, a sharp contrast to a year that featured $5 menus.

“Restaurants are redefining ‘value’ on the menu, moving away from the cost-savings that were so important earlier this year to incorporate high quality ingredients, classic flavor combinations and authentic, old-fashioned preparations," said Maria Caranfa, a registered dietitian and senior analyst for Mintel. "In 2010, we expect menus to go back to the basic roots of good food and drink."

Mintel's five menu predictions are:

  1. Classically simple: Chefs will harness simple, pure ingredients, with nostalgic, decadent pleasures dominating menus. Look for bacon, lobster, classic cocktails and donut desserts.
  2. Restaurant-grown: Chefs will add restaurant-grown touches next year, such as artisan breads and cheeses, house-infused spirits and locally sourced produce and meats. Think "rustic."
  3. Dining out . . . in: Expect more retail-restaurant connections in 2010, where restaurants sell their food in retail stores.
  4. Inherent health: 2010 will bring a sharp increase in healthy food and drink choices that feature fiber, omega-3, vitamins and antioxidants.
  5. Regional ethnic: The ethnic variety moves beyond Mexican, Chinese and Italian, as foods from Brazil and Morocco help shape next year's ethnic food landscape.

For more information on foodservice trends visit nacsonline.com/nacscafe.

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