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27 March 2024

Cuisine Trends. Unilever Food Solutions presented eight Future Menus 2024 trends from chefs for chefs with recipes and recommendations, such as tips for implementing AI and low waste cuisine.

This week, Unilever Food Solutions released the 'Future Menus 2024' report, which identifies eight trends for the foodservice industry. Written by chefs for chefs, each trend is explained and presented with a signature recipe that is unlikely to be the everyday dish prepared by a home chef in an average kitchen. The tricky culinary highlights are modern and have a futuristic appeal, based on the trends developed from interviews with chefs from around the world, third-party data from companies of the food business, and social media analysis of 77,000 keywords from over 21 countries.

Today took a closer look at the report, which can be downloaded at The first trend presented is a wild one - a rule breaker. It is called 'Flavor Shocks' and propagates the discovery of new culinary delights by challenging the taste buds. The second trend in the report is called 'Low-Waste Menus' and is a call to maximize creativity. The brief introduction to the trends explains this trend with survey findings that profitability is not the only reason. 54% work with waste or leftovers to be more sustainable. In the chapter on this trend, Brandon Collins, Corporate Executive Chef at Unilever Food Solutions, offers tips such as using broccoli stems, which are often thrown away, to make soup, or a tip on banana peels, which can be prepared and combined with other ingredients to be used - for example - over oysters.

'The New Sharing' is another trend in the report that comes with recommendations and a recipe. In this case, the recommendations are titled 'A.I. and the Future of Restaurants,' such as how inventory management can be driven by AI to minimize food waste and predict restocking, or how AI can be used to generate new ingredient pairings - to name just two from a longer list. The recipe for the digital chapter: Rosewater-infused panna cotta decorated with butterflies.

The report focuses heavily on Generation Z (born between the mid-90s and early 2010s). It's argued that this group is currently influencing the dining experience with their penchant for eating out and making choices based on social media content. Additionally, with 48% of Gen Z prioritizing environmental responsibility in their purchasing decisions, there's a growing demand for 'low waste' menus. Chefs are expected to fully utilize ingredients, including leftovers and trimmings, to create secondary dishes. Similarly, despite reports of the decline of veganism - keyword 'flexitarianism' (vegetarian diet with occasional meat) - there's continued interest in plant-based options, especially among Gen Z.

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