Food trends for fall

September 22 2014

As much as we'd maybe not want to admit it, the seasons are changing and fall is very much on its way. While the summer may be behind us and won't grace us until next year, there's much to be gained from fall, including some new food trends that operators could include on their menus to try to entice customers through their doors.

Here is a look at some of the predictions for the latter months of 2014:

Mini desserts

While the hubbub around healthy eating is definitely having an impact on how consumers approach the topic of dining out and what they choose to order, it's an interesting debate because operators don't always see such dishes sell like hot cakes. This could be because individuals like to treat themselves when they're out, deciding to make more of a conscious effort to eat well when they're cooking at home.

In light of this, mini desserts could easily gain traction over the coming months as they combine the best of both worlds - still allowing consumers to indulge their sweet tooth at the end of a meal, yet not add on excessive calories that could skew their healthy eating regime. This option also allows those who are feeling quite full from the main course to still have a little something extra if they so wish, without being gluttonous.

ChefWorks points out how "upscale restaurants are offering sweet treats like cheesecake lollipops or desserts small enough to fit into a shot glass" at the moment.

Ancient grains

We've heard a lot about them recently, but it looks as if they're not leaving anytime soon. Ancient grains - such as quinoa, spelt, polenta and amaranth.

This rise in popularity has come about for a number of reasons - two of which include the increase of gluten-free products and the added appeal of healthy items.

It could be that the addition of mashed potatoes or carrots as side options for meals will diminish, to make space for ancient grains. They're also frequently touted as superfoods, meaning there is a certain appeal about them, due to their impressive nutritional profile. Quinoa, for example, is high in fibre and iron, but low in fat, cholesterol and salt.


Yoghurt has been slowly rising in popularity, perhaps due to the fact it's a lot creamier and richer in texture than what used to be produced. Because of this, it can be easily used in a wide variety of dishes - from curries to stews, and from cheesecakes to salad dressings.

It's not just Greek yoghurt being used - although that is definitely a popular option at the moment - but many different types of this dairy product. It's also being used lots in smoothies and yoghurt bars, which are healthy items for those on the go.

Oily fish

Sometimes touted as 'brain food' on account of its rich nutritional profile, oily fish is emerging as a key food trend that consumers across the country are desperate to try out. Whether it's sardines, trout, anchovies or mackerel, there's a real demand for this so-called superfood, partly because one study in 2002 from the British Medical Journal showed how it could reduce the chances of developing dementia. While a lot of these claims are contested by professionals, the reality is that they are high in certain nutrients that are good for your body, such as omega-3, protein, zinc, selenium, vitamins A, D and some of the B vitamins.

While it can sometimes be pricey, consumers tend to be willing to spend more on items that warrant it. Using terms such as 'signature' or 'premium' on the menu can help to persuade patrons to part with their cash.