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TORONTO – Jan. 4, 2017 – Giving diners some food for thought, RC Show 2018 – Canada’s largest foodservice and hospitality event – presents the top trends you can expect to see on restaurant tables in the new year.

From NeuroNutrition to floral flavours and even medicinal mushrooms, here’s what will be blooming and shrooming all over menus:

  1. Coffee with Kick – Turmeric syrup and protein powders, anyone? Canadian consumers are upping their coffee game and their breakfast order along with it. These coffees take beverages to a whole new level as they provide amazing nutrients and an extra kick of energy. Move over smoothies, an amped-up joe is in town.
  1. Ghee – Ghee offers an exotic butter alternative to lactose-intolerant Canadians. Originally from India, this clarified butter is high in vitamins A, D and E, as well as omega-3s.
  1. Vegan Desserts – Long gone are the days vegans have to pass on the best part of a meal! 2018 will usher in a new era of vegan-friendly creative baking, boosting taste buds and alternatives.
  1. NeuroNutrition – A well-fed brain allows for emotional resilience, so say goodbye to the dreaded food coma. This year will bring a greater focus on nutrition plans that align with our brains’ neurotransmitters. Take that one step further and you’ll see mood-based menus and mood food pairings. I’ll have a Niçoise salad with a side of joy please!
  2. Blooming Flavours – Fruity flavours have long dominated chef’s palates, for good reason. But in 2018 floral flavours, such as wild hibiscus and honeysuckle, will blossom on menus and be integrated into bar and beverage offerings.
  1. Much Room for Mushrooms – Cauliflower was the new kale and now mushrooms are the new cauliflower. Chaga to Reishi to Tremella mushrooms – all are known for their super nutrients and immune system benefits, not to mention their unique textures that make them perfect for chef creations. Innovative products like powerful mushroom extracts (the new oil of oregano) will dominate menus in the coming year.
  1. Build your Own _____ –  Those with dietary restrictions don’t need to stay in any more. Expect to see restaurants offering up customized menus as the “build your own” concept moves out of home renovation territory and into the restaurant. Look for more add-on options and less waste on unwanted ingredients.
  1. The Revolving Door – The traditional restaurant and chef’s role will continue to evolve in 2018. Businesses will grow beyond their walls with establishments featuring changing menus and a revolving door of exciting, cutting-edge guest chefs that will keep customers waiting to see the next menu.
  1. Mock it Up – Did you know that 85% of customers don’t order alcohol when they go out to dinner at full-service restaurants? Restaurants have noticed, and they’ll be upping their bar and beverage menu to please – think fun mocktails and designer bevies.
  1. Alternative Fats – From good-quality butter to non-GMO cold-pressed canola and soy oils, fats are where it's at. Whole, non-processed fats such as whole butters are good for you and delicious!

“RC Show 2018 is about unleashing innovation, so we’re excited to share our insights on the top restaurant and hospitality trends,” says Shanna Munro, President and CEO, Restaurants Canada. “The restaurant industry is a hub of creativity and inspiration. We’re excited to see what the future of food will look like at the upcoming show.”

Check out these trends and more at RC Show 2018, February 25-27 at the Enercare Centre in Toronto. To learn more, and to register to attend the show, visit rcshow.com.