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Technomic’s Menu Predictions—Tastes Every Restaurant Should Know

Through the use of artificial intelligence that includes machine learning, social listening tools, and historical menu trends, Technomic forecasts the upcoming flavors and dishes that consumers will be leaning towards. Their Menu Predictive tool recently took a look at the next two years. Here are just a few of their predictions and the restaurants that are ahead of the curve.


All tequilas are mezcals, born of the agave plant that grows in abundance in the rich and sandy soils found in parts of Mexico. Tequila comes only from the blue agave plant.

Not all mezcals, however, are tequilas. These are derived from more than 30 different varieties of agave with espadín being the most common. Because of how this agave-based liquor is produced, cooked in pits lined with lava rocks that are filled with wood and charcoal, before distillation, it has a smoky quality that defines the difference between these two liquors.

Tequila and Mezcal, a restaurant found in the D.C. area, has embraced both. According to the Washington Post, they offer about 35 different varieties of mezcal with some that taste of honey and tropical grasses while others leave a savory sense that comes from its distillation with chicken.


This Japanese beverage differs from its popular cousin, sake, in numerous ways. For one, sake is fermented whereas shochu is distilled. Sake is derived from rice while shochu is made from various ingredients that range from sweet potatoes to barley or rice, with a taste that significantly changes dependent upon its origins. Shochu is usually stronger, falling in the 25 to 30 percent alcohol category.

Kemuri Japanese Barú specializes in new Japanese cuisine that is meant to be shared and paired with drinks from their full-service bar that includes rare sake, shochu and whiskey from Japan. You can find this restaurant in Redwood City, California.

Nashville Hot

If you’ve gone to any food brokers conventions in the last two years, you’ve undoubtedly come across this term and taste that is all the rage. In the coming years, it will be difficult to not find it on a menu. Nashville hot is a cayenne-based sauce that is usually associated with fried chicken.

Why Nashville, you may wonder.

According to The New Yorker, an African-American-owned restaurant called Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack on the northeast side of Nashville started the craze of fried chicken bathed in fiery spices about 80 years ago.

Nashville hot can now be found across the globe—from Los Angeles to Melbourne to Singapore. Search “Nashville Hot” in Chicago, and you’ll find several eateries including Gus’s World-Famous Fried Chicken, Roost, A’s Nashville Hot Chicken, Leghorn, and Budlong.


This Korean sauce, made with fermented soybeans, dried chilies, and garlic, is a hot pepper paste that can’t be missed. It’s thick, dark red, and provides an extraordinary spicy punch that’s also laced with a little salt and sweet. If you know Korean food, you’ll recognize it in the classics such as bibimbap and ssamjang.

Some in the industry have declared it the next Sriracha—but not in front of a Korean chef.

You can also find it at P.F. Chang’s. Just order their Cauliflower Tempura, or Kimchi Fries that are topped with cheddar, mozzarella, kimchi, edamame, Korean ketchup, and gochujang mayonnaise.

Ginger Beer

This naturally sweetened, carbonated, usually non-alcoholic beverage is produced by fermenting ginger, yeast, and sugar. What began in the 18th century has definitely made a comeback, mainly due to cocktails that count on its flavor. These include the Moscow Mule—a cocktail made with vodka, spicy ginger beer, and lime juice—and the Dark n’ Stormy which adds dark rum to the mixture.

P.F. Chang’s makes their own ginger beer from ginger, lemons, simple syrup, and soda water. You can find it in Chicago at The Garage Bar & Sandwiches, Pret A Manger, Chef Luciano, Moneygun, Pub Royale, and Elixir Lounge, to name a few.

There we have it, just a few of the unique tastes and spices that are sure to increase their presence in restaurants around the world. Add one or two to your menu and increase your presence in the search engines when people look for one of the popular trends.


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