Spring Into The Season With These Latest Food Trends

Key points
  • Still-in-place restrictions are forcing us all to adapt and ‘think smarter’
  • Demand for a ‘back to basics’, wholefood-based approach is continuing to grow
  • Meals tailored to specific dietary requirements are still on the rise
  • Spring is a time of vibrant colour and using colourful ingredients to highlight your food is a great way to entice customers

Spring is typically the season when customers start dining out for longer, when outdoor serving areas are crowded, and when share plates are at their most popular with the arrival of the warmer weather.

But the tumultuous nature of the last few months and the various restrictions still in place across different parts of the nation have put a dampener on the usual routine and forced us all to adapt and ‘think smarter’ with our menu choices.

Spring is still the perfect time of year to take advantage of the abundant availability of fresh vegetables ideal for pizza and pasta – like fresh beetroot, asparagus and artichokes – as well long with light, fresh recipes like salads with lemongrass chicken and honey, baked vegetable lasagne or tomato carpaccio. And fresh seafood like scallops, mussels and oysters, or lightly crumbed pan-fried fish served with greens tossed lightly in butter, is sure to appeal to customers. But with dine-in customer numbers still lower than normal levels, businesses have had to pare back their menus to focus on core favourites.

Even before the restrictions hit, there was a clear trend towards diners looking for more simply prepared, natural produce with a minimum of processing and this has only been accentuated over the past few months. Demand for wholefood-based ingredients, a ‘back to basics’ approach, has continued to grow, along with the trend towards using native or ‘wild Australian’ ingredients. Think native spices and fruits along with ‘bush tucker’ style ingredients which can give your Italian themed menu a touch of contemporary Australian fusion.

Meals tailored to specific dietary requirements are also on the rise, and this may be fuelled in part by people’s imposed stays at home giving them the time to refocus on their diet and make decisions about what foods they want to eat less of. Gluten free, plant-based, sugar-free and nut-free are all becoming more prominent on foodservice menus as businesses respond to growing customer demand – so it’s time to make sure you’re catering to your local demographic.

Despite the changes we’ve experienced this season, one thing has remained the same – spring is a time of vibrant colours, and reflecting that in your food is a great way to attract customer attention. Fresh chutneys made from seasonal fruits such as peaches and berries, or fresh pesto to add authentic Italian flavour to your meals, will enhance not only the taste of your meals but provide a splash of spring colour that will help make meals ‘Instagrammably’ eyecatching!