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2011 Trends: Local Food, Electronic Menus, Healthy Things

Whatever will happen in the restaurant world in 2011? We could wait to find out, but that's for suckers. Instead, let's turn to market research group Mintel Menu Insights!

So next year, you will want to be healthy. But not, like, too healthy. Or at least, you don't want to know that you're being healthy. Mintel cites Taco Bell's recent secret sodium reduction experiment as an example of this trend. They also mention that while you generally like seeing calorie counts on menus, you won't want to see them when you're choosing to indulge.

Thankfully, they also foresee high-tech menus in your future. Even mobile applications! Maybe they will be able to tell what kind of mood you're in and display health information accordingly?

In terms of actual ingredients, Mintel sees restaurants "incorporating more traditional or authentic ingredients to their ethnic or globally-positioned entrees," like Frontera Grill's Panucho Yacateco, which uses traditional Yucatan ingredients. Also: Local "as an ingredient marketing claim has grown by 15% from Q2 2009 to Q2 2010."

So, to be clear: in 2011 you'll be ordering secretly healthy traditional authentic dishes made with local ingredients on an iPad. The future is bright!

· Restaurants Will Have to Serve Two Masters in 2011: The Government and Their Customers [PRNewswire]
· Predictions for 2011 Trends Include Food Truck Rodeos [-E-]
· 2011 Restaurant Trend List Includes, Well, Everything [-E-]
· All Trendwatch Coverage on Eater [-E-]