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[Trend Spotlight] 6 Hot Menu Trends

Posted by janethelm
May 11, 2015
Featured in: Trend Spotlight
[Trend Spotlight] 6 Hot Menu Trends

by Janet Helm, MS, RD

Food trends often originate with chefs, no surprise.  That's why I love to see what's trending on restaurant menus.  One source I rely on is Technomic, a firm in Chicago that offers a service called MenuMonitor that tracks menu trends at chain and independent restaurants in the U.S.  Here are six hot menu trends from the first quarter of 2015, along with some creative interpretations of these trends from Healthy Aperture bloggers.

1. Melt Sandwiches
The top flavors with sandwich melts include garlic mayonnaise, cilantro, horseradish mayonnaise, pineapple, banana pepper, chipotle, cucumber, gravy, fontina and horseradish.  Pictured above is Country Ham Melt by Southern Fatty.

2. Maple Dressing
The top proteins paired with items featuring maple: turkey, bacon, ham, chicken, sausage, pork, salmon, pork chop, crab and shrimp.

[Trend Spotlight] 6 Hot Menu Trends

Shredded Kale and Pear Salad with Maple Tahini Dressing by The Corner Kitchen

3. Plethora of Peppers
Peppers to watch: shishito, habanero, serrano, poblano, sweet chili, ancho and cayenne.

[Trend Spotlight] 6 Hot Menu Trends

Shishito Peppers by Bourbon and Honey

4. Sunchokes
Also called Jerusalem artichokes, sunchokes are a knobby, tannish-brown root vegetable that's a member of the sunflower family.

[Trend Spotlight] 6 Hot Menu Trends

Sunchoke Chips and Guacamole by Stasty

5. Fish and Seafood Stuffings
Top seafood items in "stuffed" entrees: shrimp, crab, lobster, salmon, scallop, tuna, flounder, tilapia, mahi mahi and prawn.

[Trend Spotlight] 6 Hot Menu Trends

Roasted Poblano Peppers Stuffed with Warm Shrimp and Corn Salad by The Wimpy Vegetarian

6. Blackberry Cocktails
Beyond blackberry, the fastest growing fruits in specialty drinks:  olive, guava, blueberry, cucumber, apricot, watermelon, passion fruit, grapefruit and peach.

[Trend Spotlight] 6 Hot Menu Trends

Blackberry Mint Mojitos by Tastes Lovely


Janet Helm is the author of the FOOD TRENDS Feature on HealthyAperture and is a registered dietitian who wears multiple hats – as a public relations executive, blogger and nutrition journalist. Currently, she is the Chief Food and Nutrition Strategist in North America for Weber Shandwick, a global public relations firm. Janet is also the co-founder of Healthy Aperture, founder of Nutrition Blog Network and author of The Food Lover’s Healthy Habits Cookbook. She blogs at Nutrition Unplugged and for WedMD and is a former media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She received a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and nutrition, and a master’s degree in dietetics from Kansas State University. Janet lives in Chicago with her husband and 10-year-old twins.
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