Metz Culinary Management has released its annual list of culinary trends it expects to see in the upcoming years for its education, healthcare and commercial cuisine sectors.
“Our chefs and dietitians study the direction our industry is poised to take every year,” said Maureen Metz, executive vice president of Metz. “We listen closely to what our guests are saying and then create new recipes and employ technologies that they will enjoy and engage with.”
Here’s what the foodservice provider believes will be trending in 2024.
1. Nostalgic foods
Diners will be craving a hit of nostalgia next year. Metz anticipates guests will be drawn to dishes that remind them of their favorite foods growing up, including old-school comfort dishes like cheeseburger casserole and retro candy flavors and cereals.
Old-school recipes and flavors will also be a hit with younger diners, according to the foodservice provider.
“The other day, I spotted my high school-aged daughters enjoying packs of Necco Wafers and Candy Buttons,” said Chef John Selick, director of culinary for Metz, in a statement. “The classic candies, cereals and dishes going back to the 1950s through 1990s are not only delighting those of us who remember these foods from our childhoods, they are also capturing the imagination of a whole new generation.”
2. A fusion of flavor
Blending different flavors from a variety of cuisines will be big in 2024, according to Metz, especially as the country continues to get even more diverse.
The foodservice provider aims to play up the trend in the upcoming year by introducing dishes such as corned beef reuben okonomiyaki and fried rice that is inspired by curries and ingredients from India.
3. Ancient Grains and Heritage Ingredients
Ancient grains will continue to grow on menus in 2024. The foodservice provider also anticipates the ingredients will be used to honor diverse cultures through food.
Metz recently partnered with food manufacturing company Furmano’s to develop new recipes using ancient grains. The new dishes, which include an ancient grain porridge and a house-made veggie burger, will be introduced to guests in the upcoming year.
4. Upcycling and Zero Waste
Operators will continue to further sustainability efforts by leaning on upcylcing (repurposing leftover ingredients in new recipes) and zero waste initiatives.
Metz, for example, is upcycling vegetable trim into tasty broths used in soups and to flavor plant-based dishes.
“As culinarians, we are looking at food scraps that could be repurposed as they still have a ton of flavor. For example, strawberry tops and pineapple rinds fit nicely into the infusers for our spa water stations,” said Brian Bachman, vice president of purchasing and culinary for Metz, in a statement. “We love the impact that upcycling has had on reducing greenhouse gasses and reducing our carbon footprint.”
5. Time-saving technology
Technology that saves diners time will continue to expand in the noncommercial sector.
Already, Metz has partnered with Mashgin to bring cashierless checkout technology to some of its high-volume locations. It is also planning to launch Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology at college campuses next year.
Cashierless checkout is also popping up at major league baseball stadiums and other sporting arenas across the country.