Unilever Food Solutions reveals the top Future Menu Trends in the Middle East and the rest of the world

  • July 3, 2023
Unilever Food Solutions reveals the top Future Menu Trends in the Middle East and the rest of the world

Unilever Food Solutions, the global leader in professional food service, has revealed its first Future Menus Trend Report 2023, which has been developed to provide tomorrow’s menus for today’s chefs showing the latest trends with insight and collaboration from more than 1,600 chefs in over 25 countries.

The report was launched locally in the Middle East at the W Dubai – Mina Seyahi, during which more than 60 leading chefs and food industry experts had the opportunity to learn more about future trends while tasting evolved menus as part of a culinary showcase.

The report identifies the top eight trends: Modernized Comfort Food, Irresistible Vegetables, Wild & Pure, Flavor Contrasts, Feel-Good Food, The New Sharing, Mindful Proteins, and Low-Waste Menus.

“Identifying the hottest global trends is critical in our quest to provide solutions for chefs, who are contending with challenges ranging from labour shortages to tackling sustainability issues like food waste,” said Hanneke Faber, President of Nutrition Unilever.

“With the release of the Future Menus Trend Report 2023, Unilever Food Solutions is not just sharing future trends but also offering solutions-based insights and adaptable recipes to inspire chefs and help them feel prepared for the future,” she added.

Unilever Food Solutions anchored the report around the eight core themes based on global data, extensive inputs from more than 1600 chefs, global social media analytics and the expertise of hundreds of chefs who offer practical, real-world applications.

Speaking at the event, Unilever’s Executive Chef for the Gulf & Indian Ocean Islands, Chef Joanne Limoanco Gendrano, addressed the growing trend of Low-Waste menus that make clever use of ingredients to help reduce food waste and cost while maintaining maximum flavours in dishes.

She said: “There’s a lot to learn from various cuisines in the world where the whole animal or the whole vegetable is used in a dish because people need to be resourceful with the food available. That means maximising every piece of an ingredient and not just keeping the ‘good or premium cuts.’ This positively impacts your profit, too; it’s a win-win.

“Techniques that have been around for centuries, like fermenting, pickling, and curing, not only extend the life of ingredients but also create great complexity in flavours. And most importantly, efficiently planning the workflow in both back and front-of-house can significantly reduce food waste.

As part of the report, all eight trends include suggested recipes, ingredients and techniques to provide tangible solutions for chefs and food operators. Chef Joanne developed a Middle Eastern flavour with her Mezze Maze, incorporating a chickpea waffle, avocado hummus, beet pickle juice jelly, and moutabal.

“The concept is a savoury waffle combined with popular cold mezze. Often, mezze is served with a tonne of saj. In this recipe, the say is replaced with a gluten-free option, and the avocado hummus and moutabal are piped in the crevices of the waffle. Each bite gives the diner a nice complexity of flavour and texture of the Middle East,” said Chef Joanne.

Fouad Sherine, Country Head Arabia, Unilever Food Solutions, added: “Our Future Menus Trend Report 2023 has been designed to empower chefs in the UAE and broader Middle East region to keep up with industry trends and customer expectations through recipes, techniques, and training.

“As part of Unilever's Nutrition Business, we are dedicated to being a world-class agent of positive change in the food industry. From delivering top financial results to promoting healthier eating habits, reducing the environmental impact of the global food chain, and leading the sustainable food service revolution.”