However, we have to admit the trend has allowed us, in part, to have more selection of gluten free food.
In fact, did you see Vox.com’s Google Trend maps that went viral earlier this week? Google reports that the most googled diet trends by city is “gluten free”. I thought it was pretty impressive to see what the trends were 10 years ago (only a very select few cities were researching “gluten free” on Google as noted by the purple color). But by 2015 there is a huge swath of purple across the US.
But tell that to the restaurant industry. Just this month, two reports came out saying that gluten free is losing steam.
In an article posted November 5th, entitled 2016 Menu Trends to Watch, the National Restaurant Association (NRA) reported, “all good things must come to an end, and we may be approaching the end of the trends line for…gluten-free cuisine.” The article says the trend has been losing momentum for a a few years, but we shouldn’t expect it to go away completely. It is more likely that gluten-free options will become a menu staple in some fashion.
Then, this week, the NRA came out with it’s What’s Hot 2016 Culinary Trends Forecast. This one reported the gluten-free cuisine as a whole dropped down to #45 on the hot trends list and “non-wheat noodles” is in the top 30, but overall both are dropping in popularity. What does this mean? Will gluten free (sensitive, friendly) menus go away? That remains to be seen.
However, when you look the information on the What’s Hot trends list– there are many naturally gluten-free foods from which to choose. It may just be a matter of safe preparation. “Hot Trends” include locally-sourced seafood and meat, natural ingredients/minimally processed foods, new cuts of meat– those are all terms we like to hear. Although, depending on what you order, it still could contain gluten, so much investigation is needed by the consumer regarding preparation.
So it always is worthwhile to practice your gluten free ordering skills at a restaurant. Are gluten-free menus nice to have? Yes, but no matter what the trend, inquiring about your food and how it is prepared, is here to stay whether the restaurant has a specialty gf menu or not.