Hyper-local sourcing was ranked the number one chef-driven trend in a recent survey put out by the Restaurant Association of New Zealand.

The Restaurant Association, an industry body that represents more than 2300 hospitality businesses nationwide, asked its members to weigh in on which food and beverage trends they expect to become mainstream this year.

The survey of hospitality business owners highlighted the growing demand from diners for local, sustainable ingredients and reduced packaging with conscious consumerism ranked as the number one consumer-driven trend.

Interestingly, in the US, 38 percent of adults and 50 percent of millennials have stated that they regularly have food delivered, here in New Zealand it appears there could be a possible turn away from home delivery with only 8 percent of respondents predicting that menus would be driven by their suitability to home delivery.

Kiwi diners should expect to see a continued focus on ingredients from local growers and producers on the menus of more establishments this year with hyper-local ingredient sourcing ranked as the number one chef-driven priority.

‘Flexitarian’ is the word of the moment with many consumers moving towards a plant-based diet, limiting or completely cutting out meat products. This trend is already starting to be reflected in the mainstream market, many large QSR brands such as Burger King and Domino’s Pizza are already offering plant-based (excluding animal products) or plant-forward (focused on plant-based but without removing all animal products) options.

Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois said “The global trend towards wellness coupled with a focus on environmental concerns and animal welfare is having an impact on consumer interest in more plant-based menu items, particularly from younger diners. “

In 2020 it looks like the environment will come out on top along with Kiwi produce.