The NRA recently came out with 100 hottest food trends. Our solutions and food products touch multiple points in the top 100: #79 Mediterranean Flavors, #56 Ethnic Dips and Spreads (Hummus), #36 Middle Eastern Flavors, #21 Ethnic Spices, #13 Authentic Ethnic Cuisine, #9 Ethnic Condiments, #3 Street Foods (Kebabs) and Ethnic Inspired Kids Dishes
Middle Eastern Cuisine is Poised To Take Over America, and It Reveals a Huge Change In How People Like To Eat
Middle Eastern and Mediterranean restaurants seem to be popping up on every corner. Taïm, Cava, Hummus & Pita Co., and Roti are among the fast-growing restaurants that have been serving fresh Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food in a fast-casual style, with more and more national chains and local businesses hopping on the trend all the time. Follow the story to see why people are obsessed with Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food, and how fast-casual chains are capitalizing on it.
Middle Eastern flavors and ingredients are becoming more familiar — and more desirable — to consumers, Mintel said. Sixty-six per cent of U.S. consumers are interested in Middle Eastern foods at restaurants, and growth of Middle Eastern cuisine on U.S. restaurant menus grew 32% between 2015 and 2017.
AMERICANS ARE WAKING UP TO THE DEEP NUANCES OF THIS AROMATIC, WHOLESOME, VEGETABLE-HEAVY FOOD, WHOSE ORIGINS LIE WITH THE START OF CIVILIZATION. A group of countries spanning from North Africa to Asia, the Middle East is at the crossroads of rich cultures, fallen empires, and centuries of migration. It encompasses wide-ranging geographies, from vast, empty deserts to lush countrysides, long coastlines, and rocky mountains.
Specialty Food Association created a Hall of Fame for the Specialty Food Industry in 2015 and has been inducting industry leaders ever since. At the upcoming 2018 Summer Fancy Food Show, eight additional inductees will join the Hall of Fame. These individuals pioneered and shepherded change in the industry. They created product categories, launched companies, provided livelihood to employees and have built the specialty food industry into the food leader that it is today.
As more restaurants and chefs rally around these bright, simple, and wholesome cuisines, the crossovers with Israeli, Greek, and Middle Eastern influences shine through on modern menus. Here are a few ingredients trending at the moment.
Tahini is a potent paste made from toasted sesame seeds; it’s similar in texture to natural peanut butter. Apart from being a core ingredient in hummus, tahini is often thinned with water or lemon juice and drizzled over falafel, kebabs, pilaf, and roasted or raw vegetables in Middle Eastern recipes. Sesame seeds are generally the sole ingredient—so how different could competing tahinis be? To find out, we tasted seven products, priced from $6.44 to $11.99 and sold in 15- to 16-ounce containers, plain and in hummus.