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An Eleven36 Trend Report

Trenderizer

Summer 2024

Discover

5 trends that will impact the restaurant industry this summer

non-dairy milk
Non-Dairy Milk

From Special Request to Regular Guest

Reconstructing Indulgences
Reinventing Favorite Foods:

New Styles for Classic Tastes

The New Nightcap
The New Nightcap

Slightly Sweetened, Not Stirred

Peach Fuzz and Butter Yellow
Peach Fuzz and Butter Yellow

Soft and Subtle Colors for 2024

Food Rescue
Food Rescue

Less Waste, Same Taste

Non-Dairy Milk:

From Special Request to Regular Guest

With supporters from the health, environmental, and food worlds, plant-based milk has taken center stage in a case for equality in menu variety.

Quick Bite

Current court cases against Starbucks® and Dunkin’® coffee chains claim that the equal retail price between animal and plant-based milk should mean an equal price when ordering their coffee with a dairy alternative.

Chefs are getting creative with milks made from nuts, grains, and fruits. Some companies, like Almond Cow®, even sell machines for making these milks at home for people wanting to improve their health, food costs, and the environmental impact of their food choices.

Plant-based milk isn't just an extra option anymore—it's becoming a standard choice at restaurants and cafes. This change shows that everyone should have equal choices for enjoying their food.

Food for Thought

So much of who we are is tied to the food on our plates. It can be tough to stay true to your brand as a restaurant while also helping guests stay true to themselves.

How can your restaurant let customers know that all are welcome while also creating a menu that you love serving?

Reinventing Favorite Foods:

New Styles for Classic Tastes

Chefs everywhere, from social media stars to those behind the line at well-known restaurant chains, are mixing up old favorites to create exciting new dishes.

Quick Bite

Pizza Hut® partnered with bagel brand Yeastie Boys in March to create a full-sized pizza bagel, while bakeries across the country are selling their handmade takes on Pop-Tarts®. These treats were popular in the 1990s and show a trend of bringing back things from that decade—a natural follow-up to the return of 1980s culture seen in recent years through shows like Netflix’s Stranger Things.

Other chefs are putting new spins on classic dishes, like chopped sandwiches and cookie croissants, which have become really popular online. These creations are all about combining different flavors into one tasty bite—like putting everything you love about a sandwich into each mouthful or combining the best parts of both chocolate-chip cookies and croissants.

Food for Thought

We all have foods we love, but sometimes we want to try something new too. By giving your guests a fresh twist on familiar flavors, you can introduce new ideas without taking big risks—it’s a great way to connect with people through shared food memories.

How can your dishes be both new and comforting for your customers?

The New Nightcap:

Slightly Sweetened, Not Stirred

As mocktails continue to have their moment in a carry-over of their 2023 trend, consumers are turning to a new breed of soft drink to replace both hard and sugary drinks.

Quick Bite

Drink-makers everywhere, from big companies to local bars, see that people are drinking less alcohol and less soda. As costs for these products increase and people learn more about potential long-term health risks that come with these drinks, prebiotics are an attractive zero-alcohol, low-sugar replacement.

From opening a Little Beverage at work to mixing a Sleepy Girl Mocktail before bed, consumers can enjoy the flavor profiles of mixed drinks along with the convenience of a canned drink whenever they want a flavor escape. Thanks to low sugar levels and prebiotics, which support our immune system and help digestion, beverages from brands like OLIPOP® and Poppi® are a hit with an American market more and more focused on healthy choices.

Food for Thought

Even though many people are choosing drinks without alcohol or lots of sugar, going out to a bar or restaurant is still a big part of our annual food budget. So, the challenge is making your menu appealing to people who want a drink after work but don’t want alcohol or sugar.

How can your restaurant or bar make everyone happy—those who want a beer or Coke and those who want something healthier?

Food Rescue:

Less Waste, Same Taste

Bloggers, charities, and start-up companies alike are using ingredients that would normally be thrown away to add flavor to their menus and help feed the hungry.

Quick Bite

Saving food has always been important for anyone looking to save money or help the environment. Now, more people are using social media to share ideas and start businesses that help reduce waste.

A startup called Too Good to Go lets restaurants buy fresh but unused food from local markets at a lower cost, which helps restaurants save money and reduce waste. Meanwhile, non-profit groups like Sharing Excess take extra food and give it to people who don’t have enough to eat. For food rescue in your own home, bloggers like Zero Waste Chef give tips on how to get the most out of every part of your vegetables or how to forage for mushrooms, all with the goal of cutting down on your family’s weekly grocery bill.

Food for Thought

Every year, the food industry in the U.S. throws away about $25 billion worth of food. Cutting waste not only saves money, but also shows eco-friendly customers that your business cares about the environment.

If you run a catering business or food truck that regularly sells out of food, could your company benefit from being known as a food rescue brand?

Peach Fuzz and Butter Yellow:

Soft and Subtle Colors for 2024

No industry pushes trends quite like the fashion world. Last year, it was all about bright pinks and magentas, but this year, fashion is taking a gentler color approach with Peach Fuzz and Butter Yellow.

Quick Bite

Pantone®, a group that sets color trends, chose Peach Fuzz as their Color of the Year. They picked this color because it represents ideas like community, quiet, and touch. Peach Fuzz aims to show how people are looking for calmness in their lives and how we can feel more connected to our surroundings. It's a soothing color that tries to bring together our home life, social life, work, and play in perfect balance.

In a similar way, Butter Yellow is adding a pop of color to outfits that usually stick to more neutral tones. This cheerful yellow is meant to lift people's spirits and bring a bit of happiness to a busy world—it’s like adding a comfort food to your wardrobe.

Food for Thought

In the foodservice industry, it's important to stand out and make a strong impression on customers. Your restaurant should be bold, colorful, and so unforgettable that people can’t wait to come back—this can make it difficult though to use softer colors for a cozy and welcoming atmosphere.

How can restaurants use fashion trends to decorate their tabletops and dining rooms?