Consumers and Operators alike are Hot for the Mediterranean Diet
The chefs have spoken: 83% of chefs polled in the most recent NRA/ACF culinary forecast called out Mediterranean cuisine as either a “hot trend” or perennial favorite.
There are several reasons for this consistent growth. Mediterranean cuisine is becoming more and more associated with healthful and satisfying options on a menu. Mintel Menu Insights has tracked successful trends in menuing and found that consumers respond positively to information about a dish’s geographical origins and it’s nutritional claims. Stating that a Mediterranean dish or ingredient hails from Italy or even a specific region such as Tuscany is in line with what the more discriminating and demanding consumer wants; more and better information about the menu items they buy and consume.
Barilla America Executive Chef Lorenzo Boni states that the traditional Mediterranean diet hails from parts of the Middle East, Southern Italy and coastal Greece. Chef Boni lists the top characteristics of the Mediterranean diet as being:
- Herbs and spices are used to flavor dishes instead of salt, making the Mediterranean diet extremely low in sodium
- Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes and nuts are at the center of the plate rather than a protein
- The consistent use of olive oil which keeps dishes low in saturated fat
For protein, dishes focus on fish and chicken. Red meat is served no more than once per week
By PlateOnline on behalf of Barilla