7 Things We’re Looking Forward to at this year’s National Restaurant Association Show 2018

The Evening Networking

Beyond the lineup during the day of exhibits, on-floor education sessions, bar star and world culinary demos, the evenings during the National Restaurant Association show are filled with networking and social activities. Rock out for the night on Saturday with Keith Urban or dine and mingle with industry buffs at an exhibitor planned after party. Had enough networking for the day? Explore all the culinary expertise Chicago has to offer with the travel tips and insights from the show hosts here.

Booze Exploration

Last year, frosé slushies were the talk of the aisles. With new innovations in liqueur and a continued interest in hand-crafted brews, we’re interested to see what other boozy beverages become front and center.  In recent news, we’ve seen trends of brewers’ experimenting with dairy and a continued interest in rosé. What will this year bring?

Kitchen Robotics

From robots taking up a spot behind the grill (Hi Flippy) to sushi rolling machines (Suzomo Sushi Maker), robotics seems to be making their way into the kitchen. The KI awards already acknowledge award recipients like Peel-a-ton that “automates labor-intensive fruit and vegetable peeling” but the rest of the tech seems to step away from heavily programmable tech. Is there a push back to enhancing the tech we already know? Or will we see more robotics front and center at the show?

Best Supplemental Lunch Booth

Where’s the aisle to be? That’s what we’re excited to find out at this year’s show. From smoked salmon samples (Duck TrapRiver) to full pints of beer mapping out who’s who and what they’re bringing is always fun during the show. Last year, we loved the focus global snacks like Chaat and Think Jerky, and the meatless bites from Beyond meat and Upton Naturale. Will the trend of meatless snacks and entrees continue to take center stage? At a show this large, exhibitors, manufacturers, products, and more will be utilizing the full breadth of their marketing teams to get people to stop at their booth. Follow the weekends hashtag #NRAShow18 and #FiredUp to see all the booths that are hot and get a taste of what’s new.

Pizza Aisle

As QSR recently noted, we are in the middle of a pizza-boom! And beyond the ingredients, we all know what makes a good pizza great is the cooking method. We’re looking forward to seeing some of the electric brick ovens and spinning brick ovens featured in this year’s KI awards in action as well as other exhibitors showing their best stuff. The big question is, will we see an influx of cauliflower and alternative crusts as options?

Chobani Booth

Serving up some of the freshest and quickly rotating snacks and beverages throughout the day, Chobani had a large presence that extended beyond their booth last year. As restaurants continue to trend towards healthier dining, we’re curious to see how they will continue to innovate this year.

Meeting with Clients

Are you headed to NRAShow18? We’re #FiredUp to connect!