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Four U.S. Foodservice Trends for 2018

Mintel predicts that 2018 will see the blurring of retail, foodservice and social media, as well as health and indulgence.
December 7, 2017

​CHICAGO – Mintel revealed this week four key trends set to impact the U.S. foodservice market in the coming year.

Mintel predicts that 2018 will see the blurring of retail, foodservice and social media, as well as health and indulgence. Food incubators will foster creativity, with shared kitchens and small spaces giving chefs the ability to let their creativity flourish. Automated order and delivery processes will meet the need for convenience as consumers become more comfortable with and reliant on restaurant technology. As Americans prioritize self-care, food and drink offerings that are both functional and flavorful will rise to the top. Finally, the routine use of social media will impact the creation of next-level menus and food presentation.

Here are Mintel's foodservice trends for 2018:

  • Co-op Cuisine: The high cost of entry for new restaurants will drive chefs to concept test in shared spaces.
  • The Need for Speed: Time-strapped diners value convenience and affordability more than ever and operators will respond by leveraging technology advances, all in the name of food—fast.
  • Foodceuticals: The intersection of food and function will become more apparent as menu items focus on consumers' well-being from the inside out.
  • Feed the Feed: The blurred line between social media aspiration and reality is challenging foodservice operators to create a menu that can live up to both expectations.

Amanda Topper, associate director, foodservice research at Mintel, said: "While the dining out landscape is in a state of continual evolution, what is clear is that Americans want innovative and convenient dining out options that are nutritious, but also enjoyable to eat and photograph. In the year ahead, expect to see operators across segments shift to meet diners' various needs as speed, innovation, and category competition become more pressing in 2018 than ever before."

Mintel's Foodservice Trends 2018 are available for free download here.