Food Trends for Farmers, Foodies and Food Producers: Part 1


| 12/14/2018 10:12:00 AM


Frontier Coop Spices and Herbs

More meals than ever before are being eaten outside the home. That’s great news for small operators and farmers like ourselves, who might supply farm-to-table restaurants in town. We’ve seen this trend even come to our rural area of Wisconsin with the recent opening of the local-food-sourcing restaurant, Black Walnut Kitchen, on Monroe, Wisconsin’s Historic Downtown Square. This restaurant regularly buys our Inn Serendipity Farm and B&B’s summer squash, basil, garlic and potatoes. The seriously dedicated chef and owner sources ingredients from other farms in the area, too. They recognize these farms as “local partners” on their website and in their menu.

Earlier this year, I traveled with my husband-photographer John Ivanko to Chicago to attend the National Restaurant Association Show, the largest annual gathering of foodservice professionals in the world. The event drew 65,000 attendees and covered more than 700,000 square feet of exhibit space, so there was plenty to taste, sample and drink. It’s an invaluable experience for us to get off the farm and experience what’s new on the national food scene. And good news: those bigger national food trends support and celebrate all things local and small farm!

“Local, vegetable-forward, and ethnic-inspired menu items will reign supreme on menus in the upcoming year,” says Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of research of the National Restaurant Association. “Guests are implementing these trends in their own lifestyles and want to see them reflected in the food they eat at restaurants. In response, chefs are creating more items in-house and turning to global flavors to infuse their menus.” This means more restaurants than ever before might be cruising the local farmers’ markets or exploring ways to buy direct from your farm.

Here’s a few of our new culinary finds we’ve seen this past year, found both at the National Restaurant Association Show and popping up at grocery stores and restaurants around the country.



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