CHICAGO — Comfort food, cocktails, fresh ingredients, and Mediterranean food will thrive in foodservice in 2009, according to Mintel Menu Insights, which tracks US restaurant menus.
“This recession will persist into early 2009 and potentially much longer, so restaurants need to be ready for customers who feel tired, overwhelmed and tapped out financially,” said Maria Caranfa, director of Mintel Menu Insights, which predicts that restaurants will make comfort food new by increasing their use of slow-cooking, slow-baked, slow-grilled, braised and poached foods.
Caranfa also predicts 2009 will feature an explosion of new cocktails. Ginger, cucumber, chili pepper and even beer could gain a strong presence paired with gin, tequila and other liquor.
Meanwhile, restaurants will stretch beyond familiar items like tapas, gyros and hummus. Menus will begin to call out the specific country of origin for Mediterranean foods like Spanish olives, Greek cheese and Middle Eastern yogurt sauce.
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