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2019 top F&B trends

The first quarter of 2019 is closing with some colourful activities in the F&B industry. A typical consumer doesn’t think the same way compares to the last 10 or even just 5 years, not to mention millennial trends popping up every 2 to 3 months.

Everyone is hustling as we’ve kicked off 2019 with new trends within consumers and restaurants themselves. Let’s look at our predictions for the F&B scenic this year with us!

Fresh from the locals

Besides the obvious benefits when sourcing your food and ingredients locally which are freshness of your dishes, cutting environmental and financial cost in supply chain and support for local farmers. There are many ways that sourcing locally can benefit your restaurant business and why it’s becoming a thing in the industry.
The local sourcing wave started in America for a a few years now with big guys like PepsiCo and Subways joining the trends.
Freshness of food is very important to customers as anyone would appreciate a restaurant more if they know that their food comes with a transparent farm-to-table process. If anyone has watched Kitchen Nightmare by Gordon Ramsay would know the importance of fresh produce coming in everyday…!

Besides, it’s an experience enhancement and a competitive edge for a restaurant business by adding a local flavour to the menu, as a mental connection to customers before they actually taste the food. Your dishes themselves will begin to tell a story.

Sourcing local ingredients also strictly points to the Artisan trend. Artisan food is a big buzz with restaurants, bakery. And as the fundamental of artisan goes, they are food that made from fresh and higher quality ingredients, easily achieved with local sourcing.

Authentic experience

Local influence to international dishes is always interesting but if anyone’s an expat living abroad and just simply want a taste of their own home’s cuisine would very much appreciate restaurants that offer authentic experience. Or you’re a local and just want a little “food travelling” to other cultures / cuisine. This is where an authentic restaurant comes into the play.
Let’s see how the trend has been settling in Vietnam!

A steak house that brings you the authentic Argentina flavour from the appetizers like CHORIZO, SALCHICHA to homemade desserts like DULCE DE LECHE – signature ice-cream of Argentina. Blended in with local and other international flavours, El Gaucho is in for an authentic Argentinian journey.

Lots of places carry Western and American food in HCMC, a pancake or hot dog is more than easy to find. But to satisfy your craving for a true American pancake flavour or just a simple New York dog, the Elbow Room is catered for that!

Refined menus

A menu as thick as a shop’s catalog is no longer impressive to customers in this day and age. A restaurant with a smaller menu but can offer a speciality dish and focus on perfecting their menu is very much appreciated by customers.
Instead of a big menu with everything being mediocre, a single item menu concept is more popular now. For example, mastering your pastas can be much more competitive and can become a restaurant branding than trying to include some more pizzas and loads of burger.

Jane’s Bistro in Saigon stands an example for this as their menu is short and sweet but packed with home made recipes for pasta and desserts. Anyone who comes to Jane’s Bistro doesn’t come for a huge range of choice but for the pastas that they know going to be in good quality.

Plant based dishes

Millennials are really making vegan and healthy foods become a must on most cafes’ and restaurants’ menu in the last 3 years. Plant based protein and vegan foods first turned into a “big wave” in Australia, with more than 2 million Australians have gone meat-free and Melbourne might become the capital of vegan food very soon. Plant based options aren’t just vegan pasta and stir fried any more. Plant based fine dinning is now in business to variety of plant based dish as complex and creative as meat choices such as vegan burgers or zucchini falafel.

This trend is slowly putting on pressure for most average restaurants to be inclusive when it comes to plant based dishes. Think of the restaurants you’ve recently visited and how many of them would have at least one or two plant based choices.


E-commerce is a fairly new word but it has been changing the way the world doing shopping. Online shopping in particular, is taking over the traditional ways which paves the way for so many e-commerce platforms to come to life.
It is no different is the F&B industry. Ingredients suppliers don’t just set up stalls at the market or just sell in store / supermarket any more. Like for consumers, e-commerce platforms for F&B businesses are emerging, from food delivery to supplies / ingredient sourcing, it is preferred to be done with minimal time, through the screen with a few clicks.

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Taku Tanaka

Taku Tanaka