Salad Trends of 2023 for the Foodservice Market

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Salad Trends 2023

As a foodservice provider or supplier, you know it is becoming increasingly more difficult and costly to stay competitive in the market, and you need new and innovative ways to reach and expand your customer base. With an eye towards driving insights, leveraging data and making industry-focused decisions, it’s important to recognize the Salad Trends of 2023 in the foodservice market.

Recent salad trends have included appetizing entrees such as Fattoush, Quinoa Power Bowls and Taco Salads, with more and more inventive dishes showing up on menus across the world. Healthy salad options are being increasingly popularized – kale, roasted peppers and quinoa being the “go-to” for many restaurant diners hungry for sustenance, nutrition and flavor. In the not-so-distant future – 2023 restaurant menus will be following many of the same trends, driving innovation and bringing plant-based salads to the forefront.

The salad market is massive and ever-evolving: modern healthy Takes on traditional salads, salads with ethnic, Asian and Mexican influences, and chef-created seasonal salads are being increasingly popularized globally. Salad bowls, mix-and-match items at no-fray restaurants, or ones prepared by the diner at on-site bars, are also popping up rapidly. As diners seek out wholesome, flavorful and interesting options, the salad trend is not just staying, but growing ever stronger.

Below, we examine the top salad trends of 2023 – especially as it pertains to foodservice providers, restaurants and suppliers. These trends are driven by an ever-changing culinary landscape featuring healthier options and rising demand for food sources with fewer processed ingredients.

1. Sustainable Salads

From breakfast bowls to superfood salads, sustainability is becoming an overall lifestyle choice and dietary staple. Healthy salad dishes are featured on various Instagram accounts, making sustainability all the more accessible. Even burger joints and pizza chains are offering salads with leafy greens, oats, and quinoa for their customers to enjoy. Restaurants and chefs are focusing on making healthy meals accessible and sustainable salads are key parts of these popular menus.

To meet consumer’s demand for healthy and sustainable options, food service providers need to stay ahead of the curve and focus on including ingredients that are native to the area. In doing so, food service providers can offer their customers locally sourced salad ingredients, promoting the mantra of buying local and adding flavor from the land.

2. Plant-Based Salads

Plant-based products and plant-forward dishes are a rising trend on restaurant menus. Research shows that the number of vegan items available on restaurant menus has risen by 21% percent in just the past two years. Plant-based salads offer an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Salads that put a spin on other traditionally meat-based dishes, such as taco salads, are growing in popularity. These plant-based recipes can be found on both health-focused and fast-casual restaurants. Food service providers should keep in mind that plant-based eating isn’t just a trend itself, but is becoming the norm and offering customers creative ways to incorporate plant-based dishes into their diets.

3. Seasonal Salads

Seasonal salads are becoming increasingly popular as restaurants focus on making their menus change with the seasons. To keep the menu relevant, restaurants and bars must take advantage of the local seasonal produce. This creates a unique flavor for seasonal dishes and an incentive for customers to keep coming back.

In order to provide customers with the most delicious and fresh salads, food service providers must stay up to date on the ingredient availability in their area, and make sure to source local, organic produce in order to maximize the flavor of seasonal salads.

4. Regional Salads

Similar to seasonal salads, region-specific salads are all about taking advantage of local resources and ingredients to offer customers a new flavor. Restaurants and bars are trying to create unique dishes that feature ingredients from the region. It has become quite common for restaurants to feature globally-inspired salads, many of which have taken on their own unique approach to a tried-and-true dish.

In order to stay competitive, food service providers must pay attention to local ingredient availability, upcoming trends, and regional flavor combinations. For example, in the Southwest, a customer might expect a frybread salad with southwestern spices and classic flavors, or in the Midwest, dishes featuring seasonal cream of mushroom soup.

5. Do-It-Yourself Salads

Do-it-yourself salads are becoming quite the popular item in health-focused and fast-casual restaurants. DIY salads and salad bars are an especially popular meal option for health-conscious diners. Customers get to put together a salad with their own creative spin, deciding which toppings they want to include. The buffet-style set up is also a great way to get customers to try new ingredients that they may not have tried before.

Food service providers should make sure they are providing customers with an assortment of vegetables and fruits to choose from. Offerings such as roasted squash, peaches, charred corn and beets, are a great way to keep customers coming back for more.

6. Salad Bowls

A spin on the classic dinner bowl, salad bowls are becoming a popular trend. Sweet or savory, often grain-based, the meal is easily modified and paired with spices or even ice-cream for a more dessert-like finish. Combining flavors of different cultures to create ‘ethnic-fusion’ dishes, these colorful bowls and platters can be found on various menus. Customers love the wide range of flavors and options and the bowls encourage them to eat healthier and are often seen as a nutritious and filling option.

Food service providers should focus on including ingredients that are unique to the region, and focus on creating a flavor profile unique to the restaurant while also offering customers an opportunity to mix-and-match various ingredients to their liking.

The main takeaway

As the foodservice market continues to develop and food trends continue to change, foodservice providers, restaurants, and suppliers must stay ahead of the curve and focus on offering customers healthier and sustainable options. By being mindful of the trends, flavors, and ingredient availability from the area, it is possible for foodservice providers to provide customers with unique and delicious salads that keep them coming back for more.