5 Seafood Restaurant Trends To Look Out For This Year

Although, significant overall growth is not in the forecast for seafood dishes in the foodservice sector according to Datassential’s Seafood Keynote report, there are five trends to look out for in 2018.

As covered by “SeafoodSource,” Datassential, a food industry market research firm, released a Seafood Keynote report which signaled that seafood is being incorporated in more breakfast and brunch dishes. Consequently, seafood is rising in popularity along with patron’s willingness to explore various kinds of seafood.

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1. Customers Know More About Seafood & Would Like To Try New Varieties

Although salmon and tuna are still the top two species when it comes to popular seafood served at U.S. restaurants, operators should consider introducing “new varieties of fish and shellfish that consumers may not be as familiar with in dishes,” Jackie Rodriguez, senior project manager at Datassential told “SeafoodSource.”

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2. Seafood Breakfast Dishes Are In

According to Datassential, 17 percent of restaurants offer breakfast or brunch with a seafood protein incorporated— from shrimp and crab to salmon. The research firm attributes this trend to the growing popularity of Southern cuisine across the country.

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3. Slight Upscaling

Casual dining and midscale restaurants are seeing a slight increase of seafood dish penetration in their menus. In the meantime, there is a move away from these offerings out of fast casual dining establishments by an 18 percent decrease. “Overall, if you look at fish and shellfish menu penetration collectively, it has been relatively steady,” Rodriguez told “SeafoodSource.” “There are pockets of growth and pockets of opportunity, such as fish tacos and breakfast items.”

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4. Operators Relying on Seafood Suppliers’ Knowledge in Sustainability

Although the topic of sustainability has become a little more mainstream now, Datassential found that “only 21 percent of restaurant operators and 16 percent of consumers consult sustainability guidelines before purchasing seafood,” as reported by “SeafoodSource.” Rodriguez points out this may be due to a reliance by operators on their seafood suppliers to have sustainable practices.

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5. Freezing Fresh-bought Seafood

This trend may seem counterintuitive, but maybe it’s pointing to a missed opportunity of educating operators on the benefits of seafood that can be purchased frozen fresh. When seafood is frozen directly after harvest at ultra-low temperatures, it will preserve its fresh-caught taste, texture, and nutrients. The Seafood Keynote report also points to “the difficulty of planning seafood purchases that match customer demand.”

To learn more about the Seafood Keynote report by Datassential, read “SeafoodSource.”