Every year several different writers try their hand at guessing what the emerging food trends will be. 2012 is no different, with lists coming from celebrity chefs, major news outlets, blog writers, magazines, and Food Network, just to name a few. Hospitals and acute care facilities have greater freedom in deciding what trends and new food items they will introduce, particularly within the cafeterias or updated “cafe” concepts. Updates in acute-care dining options are often celebrated, with an example being a recent blog post “Healthcare Goes Gourmet” which featured a cooking competition among hospital chefs.
The long-term care field has to be incredibly careful when deciding to try something new on the menu. Residents and customers may not like the new options. It is widely known that comfort foods and food choices that customers grew up with tend to be better received in long-term homes. There is also the concern with therapeutic diets. Food trends typically do not drift towards heart-healthy, diabetic friendly, or altered texture meals.
A few examples of the many predicted trends for 2012 can be found on Huffington Post Food, Nation’s Restaurant News publication, and The James Beard Foundation. A common theme seems to be different ethnic cuisines, such as Nordic or Asian, and local, sustainable ingredients. To read about one senior living establishment that is making local, from-scratch cooking work for them, click here.
Have you found any food trends you think would work in your establishment? Are you brainstorming creative ways to introduce change to your menu without your customer base balking?