Customization top of list for 2012 trend predictions, Kraft Foodservice reports.
Fast casuals are currently succeeding in this department, such as Panera Bread's "You Pick 2," according to the Kraft Culinary Centre chefs, who offered 12 different trend predictions. But independent restaurants, namely boutique burger joints, are getting in this game.
Choosing how diners want their fish, chicken or other protein prepared also offers room for added customization. Number 2 on the list was vintage desserts in the form of retro favorites like funnel cakes and caramel-apples, cotton candy and red velvet cakes.
Number 3 was specialization -- with more concepts focusing on one specific food or idea, followed by casualization of menus (4), with more value-added items like layered, authentic flavors and smaller, street-food like options at lower prices.
The list continued with better-for-you options, though not necessarily labeled "healthy" (5); restaurants with retail options such as markets or expanded take-out sections (6); food as experience like street food and pop up restaurants (7); fusion 2.0 (8), or reinvented combinations of flavors and cuisines (8); ethnic desserts (9); salt in the form of reduced sodium or use of premium salts (10); unusual pairings like caramel and lemon (11); and healthier kids' menus (12).