Creative ways with veg and low waste top chefs' menu priorities, report finds
Serving up new ways with vegetables and less common proteins through low-waste menus are set to dominate chefs' thoughts, according to a new report from Unilever Food Solutions.
The foodservice business has released its first Future Menu Trends Report 2023, in which it has identified eight trends set to influence menu development based on feedback from 1,600 chefs and analysis of social media analytics.
Unilever presented its finding to chefs and food industry experts at an event at Hive, its Foods Innovation Centre in Wageningen, the Netherlands.
They were given insight and practical applications for the eight trends, which were presented as being irresistible vegetables, modernised comfort food, low-waste menus, wild and pure, flavour contrasts, feel-good food, the new sharing and mindful proteins.
Unilever Food Solutions chief executive Star Chen said: "Trying to create a great menu to satisfy guests is a big task. Now there are even more challenges with labour shortage and raw material inflation. We recognise these are big issues for owners. So since we have a footprint in over 75 countries we can contribute and as such have created a report that we will publish every year.
"This report doesn't just identify trends, it offers practical solutions. So many owners down have the resources, so we can play a role in helping them."
Alex Hall, executive chef at Unilever Food Solutions UKI, added that the eight trends reflect the focus of leading operations.
He said: "Tom Kerridge is a great example of modernised comfort food playing out in the UK market too – and we're delighted that he's recently joined our Knorr Professional brand as creative director. With Tom's support, we're already helping chefs right across the UK to feel inspired to put these trends into practice on their menus, to ensure they are delivering what the future consumer wants.
"The Future Menu Trends Report 2023 really serves to highlight what we as chefs need to do in order to inspire our guests for years to come."
All eight trends featured in the report include suggested recipes such as pork belly with nettle purée and pine oil; roast celeriac with chocolate mole and ginger; and parsnip mini ice-cream and panna cotta.