Food & Drink

What’s hot: 2016 culinary forecast

The popularity of kale has dropped a bit.
The popularity of kale has dropped a bit. Getty Image

It may be a fading trend people won’t miss in 2016: The popularity of kale salads has dropped 10 percent.

And for all those people who couldn’t pronounce quinoa (KEEN-wa), the grain is down 8 percent among the movers and shakers in trendy food from 2015.

Flatbread appetizers, coconut water and dark greens also have lost their luster among diners, says a survey from the National Restaurant Association.

On the rise in this new year, though, are African and Middle Eastern flavors, house-brewed beer and artisan ice cream.

Here’s some trendy news for 2016.

Top 20 food trends

1. Locally sourced meats and seafood

2. Chef-driven, fast-casual concepts

3. Locally grown produce

4. Hyper-local sourcing

5. Natural ingredients/minimally processed food

6. Environmental sustainability

7. Healthy kids’ meals

8. New cuts of meat

9. Sustainable seafood

10. House-made/artisan ice cream

11. Ethnic condiments/spices

12. Authentic ethnic cuisine

13. Farm/estate branded items

14. Artisan butchery

15. Ancient grains

16. Ethnic-inspired breakfast items

17. Fresh/house-made sausage

18. House-made/artisan pickles

19. Food waste reduction/management

20. Street food/food trucks

The National Restaurant Association surveyed professional chefs, members of the American Culinary Federation, on which food, cuisines, beverages and culinary themes will be hot trends on restaurant menus in the year ahead. The What’s Hot in 2016 survey was conducted in the fall of 2015 among nearly 1,600 chefs. Go to to see complete listings.