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The 5 Foodservice Trends Rising to the Top

When it comes to industry change, one thing is clear: The consumer is in charge. The largest and most diverse foodie generation in history is stepping up to the plate, and with them comes a whole new set of rules. Operators hoping to elevate their awareness among the younger set will have to cater to their demands for real, health-driven ingredients, flavour innovation and exciting food experiences.

Trends number 1

Increased Innovation

Consumer expectation for culinary innovation is high—especially among the younger set who expect new offerings more often than average.1 Operators who want to stay at the top of must-eat lists need to innovate and introduce new flavours, products and concepts regularly to keep consumers who are hungry for fresh ideas frequenting their establishments.

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of consumers want new flavours, at least occasionally1

Consumers want new items

2X or more per year1


of younger consumers are more interested in new flavours today than they were a year ago1

Brand Names
Inspire Trial


of consumers are more likely to try new products from familiar brands1

Brand Bombshell: Boost trial of new dishes with familiar flavours like the rich taste of this on-trend Drinking Chocolate with Biscotti made with OREO Cookies.

Trends number 2

Foods & Function

In today’s wellness-focused world, consumers are paying closer attention to—and therefore expect more from—everything they eat and drink. Whether supporting physical, mental or emotional health, consumers expect ingredients to deliver flavour and function while contributing to their overall wellness.2

Bubble tea

Expect to see a shift in focus and description—on menus and in social media2—from highlighting nutrient-rich, remedial ingredients to ones offering functional enhancements.2

Functional Ingredients
Gaining Momentum2

Medicinal Mushrooms

Functional Benefit Buy-In

Consumers believe in the perceived healthiness of functional claims.3

65% High antioxidants
59% Containing probiotics
56% Aid digestion
36% Stress relief
61% Other functional benefit

Super Beneficial: The Vegan Matcha Tea Shake with OREO Cookie Pieces blends delicious flavour and antioxidant-rich, superfood function into one menu item with strong profit potential.

Trends number 3

International Flavours Land

Global flavours are hitting home with consumers as interest in diverse new taste experiences grows. The smaller portion size—and cost commitment—of appetizers, snacks and desserts offers operators easy and engaging forays for dishes that entice adventurous eaters across age demographics.4

Chicken and Biscuit Sandwich made with RITZ crackers

Exotic Flavor
Interest Is Up


for consumers 18-341


for consumers 35 and over1

Small Plates Promote Trial


of consumers are more likely to order new or unique snacks or apps vs. full meals4

Growing Global Taste Trends

+48% Ramen
+29% Vegetable Quesadilla
+8% Gazpacho
+5% Specialty Egg Roll
+13% Affogato
+11% Kulfi
+8% Mochi
+6% Churro

Trial Tip: Featuring fiery gochujang glaze and kimchi, the Chicken and Biscuit Sandwich made with RITZ Crackers makes it easy to incorporate exotic flavours into approachable foods and ease customers into new taste experiences.

Trends number 4

Uptick in Guilt-Free Eating

Mindful eating doesn’t mean consumers want to cut treats completely. Instead, they’re turning to snacks and desserts they can feel good about enjoying. Expect more dessert descriptors to include mentions of clean, real and reformulated ingredients to help boost appeal and enhance quality and authenticity perceptions.6

Chocolate Macarons made with OREO cookies

High-Protein Snacks Expected to Strengthen Sales


of consumers find high-protein snacks more appealing4

Healthier options will drive increased between-meal snacking4

Desserts Get Real


of consumers say they’d likely order desserts made with real ingredients, such as “real butter” or “real cane sugar.”6

Real Appeal: Foodservice OREO Cookie Pieces and Base Cake—used to create these delightful Chocolate Macarons made with OREO Cookies—are made with real cocoa.*

Trends number 5

Foodservice Standard Shake-Up

Driven by the demands of the under-35 set, food halls, food trucks, meal kits and eatertainment are taking over. Uniqueness and menu variety are crucial to staying competitive in this emerging and expanding space.

BBQ Pork Mac and Cheese Bites made with RITZ crackers

18- to 34-Year-Olds
Shaping New FS Landscape

26% visit food trucks monthly7
23% order meal kits monthly7
28% visit complimentary snack pantries monthly7

Eatertainment Is all About the Experience

Entertainment value is equally important as food and beverage quality for 43% of consumers who visit eatertainment concepts.7

33% of younger millennials say they’ll pay more for food hall eats than regular restaurants.7

Meal Kits Making Huge Strides

27% of consumers ordering more meal kits today than they were in 20177

Nearly 50% of consumers most often purchase meal kits from grocery stores7

Experiential Eating: BBQ Pork Mac & Cheese Bites made with RITZ Crackers are a tasty dish that brings the fun of street eats to any menu.


Stay on the forefront of innovation and help sales soar with these Top 5 Food Trends

1. Technomic Flavour Consumer Trend Report, 2019
2. Key Trends for 2020, Canada, November 2019
3. Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report, 2018
4. Snacking Consumer Trend Report 2018
5. Technomic Ignite Menu Data. Base 1,033 operators.
6. Dessert Consumer Trend Report 2018
7. Emerging Channels Consumer Trend Report 2019
*We use real cocoa in every chocolatey OREO cookie we make. Learn more about our commitment to sustainable cocoa farming at