That’s where many new flavors will be debuting, according to the consultants. Ambitious bartenders are using farmers market ingredients and exotic elements such as yuzu bitters and cardamom to create artisan cocktails, such as “sangria variations no one’s heard of in Spain,” according to B+W.
Unfortunately, that also means bar inflation will soar, with many drinks passing $15 a pop, $12 wines-by-the-glass being poured from $10 bottles and local craft beers being poured into 12-ounce glasses instead of the standard 16-ounce servings.
But the beverage obsession won’t stop there. Between the ban on large sugary drinks in New York and growing interest in products that are deemed fresh and healthful, “consumers are abandoning colas in droves,” according to B+W.
That has McDonald’s, Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks -- which B+W refers to as “the three big gorillas” -- scrambling for new drink options.
Starbucks this year alone has launched fruit-flavored energy drinks called Refreshers, launched bars serving cold-pressed Evolution Fresh juices, opened Tazo Tea outlets and spent $620 million buying mall tea purveyor Teavana.
Other chains are jumping in too, including Taco Bell with its mimosa-like Mountain Dew and Tropicana concoction Mtn Dew A.M. And homemade sodas, hard ciders, fruit-topped drinks and local brews will also contribute to the beverage evolution, according to Technomic.
Other restaurant trends surging down the pipeline?
- Gluten-free menus, which will give rise to more dishes such as polenta and bulgur using healthful-seeming grains such as quinoa, amaranth, millet and buckwheat.
- Better noise control (sound-absorbing artwork, anyone?)
- Standalone shops -- such as Chobani yogurt bars and a Smithfield Foods pork restaurant -- from companies that traditionally supply foods directly to supermarkets.