If the National Restaurant Association is right — theirtrack record is spotty — you can expect to be eating more arcane cuts of pork and breeds of salmon this year, along with more plant-based entrées and quick-serve pasta. Those are the highlights of the organization’s recently released annual forecast.
But some entrepreneurs aren’t riding the obvious trends — they’re pushing into unknown territory in hopes of finding a food craze that’s still under the radar, where they could get in on the ground floor and cash in big.
What are entrepreneurs putting their effort behind? Here are ten of the most interesting new food ideas emerging in 2015, along with my take on their chances:
1. 3-D Printed food
When you want an unusual dessert, soon your chef may grant your wish by stepping into the kitchen — and over to his 3-D food printer. The first food-safe printers were unveiled this month at the Consumer Electronics Show. 3D Systems' DDD +4.02% CocoJet (a collaboration with Hershey HSY +1.81%) and ChefJet machines enable entrepreneurial chefs to print out designs in chocolate or sugar.
3D Systems’ 3D printers can create custom designs in flavored, colored sugar and chocolate.
A 3D printing pioneer, 3D Systems plans to open its first Digital Kitchen “3D printed food experience” in Los Angeles later this year. And 3D Systems is bringing its machines to the Culinary Institute of America, which recently announced the first training program that will teach chefs to print confections. This should spread the trend to many new, innovative eateries in the next year or two.
Outlook: Sky’s the limit. Put the 3D printer out where customers can see it, and this has the “wow” eatertainment factor that’s sure to draw crowds…until the technology becomes commonplace. As 3D printers improve, hopefully we’ll eventually hit the Star Trek instant-food level. This will rock. … (read more)