The National Restaurant Association has released some of their new industry trends for 2016! Here are some of our favorite highlights to keep you current with your business:

Guava: a long time staple of Latin American and Caribbean cuisine, the guava is going mainstream. Featured in multiple national lines, including a GS Gelato which was the recipient of a FABI award, guava is breaking out as an unusual flavor which almost any palate can appreciate. Guava empanadas, also known as pastelitos, are an easy and fun way to incorporate this trend into your restaurant menu.

Craft Soda: big company names are getting behind a trend that the folks at Avery and Browns Soda have been doing for years: providing higher quality, lower batch soda options. Coca Cola recently released the Blue Sky line to stay competitive with smaller, more boutique offerings. Much like craft beer, craft soda appeals to those who seek higher quality and more local options than the typical 'big batch' stores. This is a great opportunity for bar menus to get creative with favorites such as Jack and Coke - perhaps a Black Cherry Coke and Bourbon?

Clean meat: recent outbreaks of ecoli and the clean eating trend have customers asking for smaller batch, antibiotic free, grass fed options on their dinner table. From cage free chickens to ethically treated cows to more exotic, smaller produced wild game, ethical meat is all the rage. Although markedly more expensive, if marketed correctly the higher cost can be passed on to the savvy consumer who isn't afraid to pay a premium for a higher quality product.