What's Hot? Instagram Summer Food Trends

Revel Blog | Revel | June 27, 2018 |

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Warm days, long nights, and plenty of out of towners makes summer a perfect time for restaurants to draw crowds. And with Summer Solstice just behind us, we compiled the necessary summer food trends to help you refresh your menu. But these aren’t just any trends, these are the trends propelled by Instagram. Whether you love it or hate it – Instagram has become an undisputable force in the restaurant industry.

Here are the hot Instagram #foodtrends shaping summer menus:  

What's On the Menu?

More Matcha

Matcha lattes took the world by storm, and now chefs are looking to incorporate matcha in new, inventive ways. For example, we are seeing matcha cheesecakes, macarons, popsicles, pancakes and even cocktails proliferate our feed.

Beyond the antioxidants, the bright and vibrant green lends well to photography. Sweet and savory – matcha adds a little color to your menu!


The Raw and Real Trend

Hailing from Hawaii, poké is a raw fish salad that incorporates ingredients like cubed fish (often Ahi Tuna), seaweed, green onions, and soy sauce. Just as quickly as this popularized on Instagram, poké fast-casual concepts spread from coast to coast. The colorful poké bowls and customizable fare makes this fan favorite.


Foods For the Gut

So this might not sound like the most delicious trend to hit your feed – but we have a gut feeling this trend is here to stay. Fermented and pickled veggies like kimchi and miso are known to aid with gut digestion and help conquer bloating, so with promises like such, health enthusiasts are incorporating a new type of veggie into their diet.


Charcoal, Activated! 

One of the more bizarre trends on social media is activated charcoal. The charcoal, which is actually the ash from coconut shells, is seen in foods like ice cream, pizzas, and smoothies.

What makes these recipes so hot on Instagram? The charcoal activated foods result in a deep black color and juxtapose nicely among the typical bright fruits and veggies of summer. But like all the recent trends over the years, the demand for charcoal extends beyond its eye-catching color and lies in the health benefits of activated charcoal. Activated charcoal is seen to boost energy and decrease the number of toxins in the body.


New Trend? Ancient Grains  

According to Innova Market Insights, 2.5% of new products launched during the period of June 2016 to June 2017 featured ancient grains, a significant jump from the 0.05% of products that featured the grains in 2007. What distinguishes an ancient grain from other wheat? Ancient grains are higher in fiber, protein, and minerals than modern wheat, and have been popularized by grains like farro, quinoa, chia, and millet.


This One Is a Little Corny

From creamed corn to street corn – this side dish is taking the spotlight. Kara Nielsen, the vice president of trends and marketing at CCD Innovation, shared that Mexican corn is a trendy item, especially at fairs and festivals. Thanks to the tasty add-ons and its portability, pics of street corn are popping up as people share photos of their experiences at festivals and fairs.


Eye-Opening Influence of Instagram

Social media is not just a tool to spread your message and market your restaurant, but it is a critical tool to identify trends in the space. Listen to your customers, influencers, and fellow competitors to keep a pulse on what’s driving people to your restaurant. Take advice from the 'gram and refresh your menu this summer! With Revel Systems, making changes to your menu can be a breeze. Utilize a spreadsheet upload in the Point of Sale app, or enter items into your Managment Console to tailor a menu that best reflects your business.