Newswise — CHICAGO – One-third of consumers say they are eating more small portions than they did a few years ago. In the May issue of Food Technology magazine, Elizabeth Sloan highlights this and seven other trends related to consumer preferences for small plates and appetizers.

1. Garlic bread is America’s favorite appetizer, with 39 percent of consumers saying they “love” it. (Datassential 2014). Other favorites include fries, shrimp cocktail, fried cheese sticks, chicken strips/nuggets, potato skins, crab cakes, deviled eggs, crudité, cocktail meatballs, franks, sausages, sliders and bruschetta.

2. Fried appetizer items have declined on the Top 500 limited-service menus over the past two years. Product categories that showed sharp declines include breaded proteins, cheese sticks/fried cheese, breaded vegetables and fries.

3. Lettuce wraps, ahi tuna, hummus, meatballs and flatbread were the fastest-growing appetizer dishes on restaurant menus in 2015 (Datassential 2015).

4. Millennials are the demographic most likely to have a dinner-time meal of appetizers (Gallup Study of Cooking Knowledge and Skills 2014).

5. Two-thirds of appetizers were eaten away from home in 2015 and three-quarters were consumed hot (Datassential 2015).

6. Cheese, guacamole, quesadillas, hummus, other dips and chicken strips were the appetizers chosen most frequently for at-home consumption. (Gallup Study of Cooking Knowledge and Skills 2014).

7. At home, 46 percent of appetizers were made or assembled from scratch, 29 percent were prepared using prepacked/refrigerated items and 25 percent were frozen (Datassential 2015).

Read the article in Food Technology here.

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