Top restaurant menu trends for 2016 continue to run heavy to fresh and local foods.

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The National Restaurant Association’s “What’s Hot” culinary forecast, gleaned from a survey of 1,600 American Culinary Federation chefs, shows that local sourcing remains a top trend, according to a news release from the Washington, D.C.-based association.
Local sourcing is the food trend that has grown the most over the last decade, 44% of chefs said in the survey,. Looking to the future, 41% of chefs polled said the trend that will grow the most in the next decade is environmental sustainability, according to the release.
Chefs surveyed said the top produce menu trends for 2016 include:
  • Locally grown produce (77%);
  • Heirloom apples(65%);
  • Organic produce(63%);
  • Unusual/uncommon herbs (63%);
  • Exotic fruits (59%);
  • Hybrid fruits/vegetables (57%);
  • Superfruit (55%);
  • Dark greens (52%);
  • Micro vegetables/micro greens (51%); and
  • Extra hot peppers (51%).
The survey identified these top ten overall menu trends for 2016:
  • Locally sourced meats and seafood;
  • Chef-driven fast-casual concepts;
  • Locally grown produce;
  • Hyper-local sourcing;
  • Natural ingredients/minimally processed food;
  • Environmental sustainability;
  • Healthful kids’ meals;
  • New cuts of meat;
  • Sustainable seafood; and
  • House-made/artisan ice cream.