What a year 2019 has been for the foodservice industry! We were fortunate enough to travel the country to check out the latest trends, greatest tools, as well as the movers and shakers in the hospitality space. It was a delight to engage in person with others and to get hands-on experience with restaurant innovation. Our Chef, Anne Haerle and Synergy co-founder Dean Small, were invited to share their knowledge and expertise in workshops, specifically on menu innovation techniques and how to increase sales. We want to take this opportunity to share with you our insights from our trips to food shows and restaurant discoveries.
During our trip to the International Restaurant & Foodservice Show in New York and the Healthy Food Expo, we learned about many new products and several tech-driven device demonstrations. Notable robotic devices included the Suzumo automated sushi maker and a very impressive salad-making vending machine called Sally The Robot by Chowbotics. Sally is a robot that vends fresh salads, bowls, and snacks 24/7 in just a 3×3 space.
Eco-friendly packaging and plant-based foods made a consistent splash at the restaurant and foodservice conventions we visited. Zero-plastic straws made from brown rice from Edible Ecoware, as well as spoons you can eat made by Planeteer, were a couple of innovative items we came across. In the beverage space, “CBD-infused” certainly abounded, be it in sparkling water or water-soluble CBD powder that can be mixed into your coffee! More in drink trends: plant-based alternative milk like oat milk, collagen, mushrooms/adaptogen powders and draft lattes. Healthy food in the form of microgreens has been something we’ve seen a lot of this year with an emphasis on how to grow your own in-house.
There were some exceptionally memorable gadgets we found to be unique such as Snow Van’s machine that made a snow dessert out of virtually any liquid. Over at the IAAPA Expo in Orlando, we also checked out technology that printed custom selfies on drinks! At the NRA Show, Dean was especially impressed with Peel-A-Ton from Astra Inc., a machine that quickly and efficiently peels veggies and fruits.
We are excited to see what 2020 has in store for the restaurant industry! Please follow us on social media to keep updated on the latest trends in food and hospitality as we traverse the globe on our culinary discoveries.