Trends at the 2013 NRA Show

I always know where to find pizza on the show floor at NRA.
Here I am enjoying a slice made by Spacca Napoli owner
Jonathan Goldsmith.
(Photo: Tracy Morin)

Yesterday was the second day of the four-day National Restaurant Association Show, and after two days of perusing more than 2,000 booths, some clear trends became evident. I’ll cover each trend in more depth in future blogs.

The number of gluten-free and allergy related products this year is staggering. I remember when we used to search for a handful of gluten-free products on the show floor; this year is a Celiac’s dream come true.

If you’ve been considering adding flatbreads to the menu, I saw a countless number of companies offering the ready made variety.

Sustainable products are a big focus at the show, and several companies have microgreens on display. There’s even a hydroponic garden on the show floor so that attendees can watch how the plants grow.

Probably the best, and most promising, trend I’ve seen is a growing restaurant industry, evidenced by the fact that NRA show organizers reopened another hall to accommodate 400 more exhibitors–something they haven’t done since 2008.

Are you feeling a surge of growth in the industry? How is it affecting your pizzeria? Let us know in the comments section.