The Changing Foodie Trends & How Cafes are Adapting by Sara Mariani

The Changing Foodie Trends & How Cafes are Adapting

New generations mean new tech, new points of view, and of course, new health habits. Millennial have become all about complex tastes, organic and natural ingredients, and keeping it simple while putting twists on the classics. This generation is focused on sustainable agriculture and a unique incorporation of meats, seafood, and yes, vegetables! For restaurants and cafes, it took some time for them to catch onto these growing and changing food trends but, over the past few years, it’s been proven time and again that the craving for mushroom burgers, dairy alternatives, and organic meats isn’t going anywhere.
If restaurants and cafes intend to attract and maintain this huge sector of the economy, they need to adapt their menus to make offerings that fit this crowd’s flavour. And, it’s about more than just being environmentally conscious and offering vegetarian/vegan offerings. The taste of millennials ranges wildly, from seafood and meats to stews, soups, and new creations that many places haven’t even attempted to conquer.
Here are some of the hottest food trends of this generation that restaurants need to begin warming up to.

Food Fast
Bring it home. With an emphasis on freshly made meals, more and more start-ups are starting a chef-made delivery system where people can order a professional prepare meal and bring it right home to enjoy. Most of these food services let people order fresh, fridge-safe meals for an entire week, and some will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
Fast can’t be slow. Everyone wants everything right now. Who has time to wait in line? Most cafes are now offering order-ahead options so their drink and meal will be ready before they even arrive. Pick it up at the window or counter and they’ll be on their way!
Fast means now. Some people can’t even sacrifice the time to takes to drive to the restaurant, order, wait, and drive back. They need delivery to their doorstep. While this used to be unheard of outside of pizza joints, now all sorts of restaurants are offering delivery programs to dorms, homes, and offices.
Delivery not by car. With the evolution of drones, food is being flown in to many customers rather than suffering through traffic delays and high gas prices. Drones will take food right into the hands of the customer.

Hot Flavours
It’s not just how people are ordering that’s changing, it’s also what they’re eating. Conscious efforts to promote environmental sustainability and the welfare of animals has propelled these food trends into the new norm:
  • Meat should be organic, fresh, and farm-raised with no chemicals added.
  • Eggs should be free range and chickens should be fed good, nutrient-rich feed (not industrial farm leftovers).
  • Veggies should be grown organically in nutrient-rich soil—same goes for fruits!
  • Everything should be fresh, not frozen.
  • People want to see companies supporting local farmers, not shipping in mass-produced ingredients.
  • Everyone should offer options to fit gluten-free diets and vegan/vegetarian diets. That means vegetable-based foods and “veggie burgers”
  • Seafood is gaining traction for its complex flavour options and nutritional benefits, so don’t get left behind!
  • Dairy options should be varied to be mindful of those watching their calories and for people who can’t drink dairy (i.e., soy and nut milks).

Cool Desserts
Dessert has managed to grow on the foodie scene despite all the obsession with healthy food options, but cafes have to be offering low-cal deliciousness alongside full-fat ice creams and classics.
Milkshakes, frozen yogurt, and ice cream remain among the most popular dessert options. Use more than just dairy to service the entire population fairly.
Rolled ice cream is all the rage, originating form Thailand and spreading around the world. This delicious, customisable trend isn’t going anywhere
Local and artisanal flavours are also a big hit in the category of cold treats. Source coffee from a local producer, ingredients from local farms, and more to encourage millennials to jump on board.

Marketing Hacks

When it comes to marketing a business, it’s all about trends and buzz words. Here are some of the top tactics businesses are using to market to this hugely diverse generation:
  • Superfoods. Paint a picture of local and healthy ingredients that incorporate a variety of vegetables in a flavourful way for the “feel good food”
  • Transparency. With all the allergies and generally health-conscious individuals out there, restaurants are now openly sharing nutritional information and ingredients. Keeping it simple is a must.
  • Naturally coloured. Chemical dyes are going out the window in exchange for natural colouring like fruits and plants.
  • Restoration. People know soils are being depleted by over-farming and over-grazing. Sustainable and regenerative agriculture shows a company is focused on helping the planet refuel itself while staying true to the values of their customers.

Upcoming Trends
As far as the eye can see, new trends are popping up across the food industry. These are still in their infancy, but they’re expected to take the industry by storm in the coming year:
  • Cake for breakfast…Yes! Your heard that right. Savoury cakes and a few healthy twists on the sweet favourites.
  • Food waste needs to come to an end, which is why seeds and rinds should be expected to be incorporated into new dishes.
  • Noodles are never going anywhere. New twists include Asian-inspired favourites and totally new flavour combinations.
  • Mixology took bars by storm, but now it’s taking a non-alcoholic turn and widening the interests of all ages.
  • Goat meat and cheese is taking over for it’s protein content and low calorie makeup.


As you can see, all sorts of options are planned to be cropping up on the food scene in the next year. As millennials continue to make their voices heard about being healthy yet delicious, restaurants will continue to adapt their offerings to fit the growing and changing needs of this diverse generation of foodies.

Changing Foodie Trends

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