PARIS, Sept 29 — Menus developed with neurologists to draw out different emotions, restaurants that offer 3D dining experiences and meatballs — yes, meatballs — are a few of the dining concepts predicted to trend across Europe over the next five years.
Based on interviews from a thousand food and restaurant experts across 10 countries spanning the UK, the US, France and Japan, authors of a wide-sweeping report have come up with 20 restaurant concepts that could become fashionable in Europe.
That’s to say, sustainability, economy and seasonality will be the guiding principles of future restaurant trends, harkening a culinary past when scarcity compelled people to eat modestly and frugally.
Instead of bakeries that mass produce breads and pastries for example, consumers will, perhaps, use their smartphones to place customised orders in which they can pick up a freshly baked loaf, made to their liking, on their way home.
In a concept that recalls the nose-to-tail phenomenon currently enjoying steady popularity in the UK and the US, analysts also predict that meatballs in all its forms — keftas, kibbeh, arancinis and dumplings — will also trend. The reason? Meatballs allow restaurants to use inexpensive cuts of meat and stretch it out with fillers, an exercise in economy for both restaurateurs and consumers.
‘Neurologist-designed, emotional eating’
Building on the notion of eating as a sensory experience, other possible trending concepts include menus developed in association with neurologists and scientists to bring out emotions like optimism, relaxation, excitement and even love, the report say s— not a huge stretch from comfort foods and emotional eating.
And restaurants that use augmented reality and 3D projections are also thrown out as potential trends that could likewise enhance the dining experience.
Meanwhile, the lighter, more balanced flavour offerings of Southeast Asian cuisines from Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam are poised to become even more ubiquitous than they are now, with pop-up and mobile pho outlets — traditional Vietnamese noodle soups — rivalling the popularity of take-out Chinese food.
Overall, the future of dining will be simplified, relaxed, frugal and modernised, Loeb said — at least among restaurants that survive the long haul.
The full 1,200-report on global restaurant trends will be released at a major industry food and hospitality fair SIRHA in Lyon, France next January. — AFP/Relaxnews