Another Shout Out for Rice as Top Culinary Trend for 2019

Collages with four colorful rice dishes, gold circle in the center of the photographs with text "2019 Top Trends, Rice Reimagined"
Rice creates harmony with on-trend ingredients
Jan 30, 2019
ARLINGTON, VA – The accolades for rice keep adding up as Flavor & The Menu released its Top 10 Foodservice Trends for this year with rice claiming the seventh spot.  The digital and print foodservice publication titled the trend, “Rice Reimagined,” and wrote about how consumers’ familiarity with rice and its versatility to match every flavor profile and diet preference is giving the grain a big boost in 2019.

“There’s a rice for almost everyone,” said Maeve Webster, president of Menu Matters consultancy.  “It’s a universally familiar, broadly accepted ingredient that is almost infinitely versatile, either through the varieties available, the preparations used, or the flavors included.”
“This trend should come as no surprise as rice is transitioning from a side dish to center of plate,” said USA Rice Domestic Promotion Manager Cameron Jacobs.  “Rice provides a platform for the creativity of both professional chefs and home cooks who are exploring new cuisines and recipes.”

The growth opportunities for rice are fueled by the rising popularity of food bowls and the expansion of gluten-free options.  “Bowls have allowed rice to come to the forefront again,” said Shane Schaibly, vice president of culinary strategy and corporate chef for First Watch Restaurants.  “And rice helps us push the envelope in bowl builds because it’s a familiar comfort food.”   

“The ‘reimagining’ of rice definitely is taking it to the next level and that’s a trend our industry can get behind,” said Jacobs.

Flavor & The Menu’s top ten trend list was compiled by a 34-member panel of experts that included chefs, food & beverage experts, and industry analysts.

Go here to read the six-page feature on rice and view the rest of the 2019 trends.