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Put down that double bacon cheeseburger or the trend police will fine you for being behind the culinary curve.
Believe it or not, bacon is dead. Yes, Homer Simpson will need to find a new meat to worship, because according to a survey from Zagat on the National Dining Trends of 2015, that spine-tingling pork product is being moved to the past-date shelf. Also out of style? The decidedly healthier food kale.
Of the 10,700 American diners surveyed, 34% said they were over fried pork bellies. The most bacon-averse city is Minneapolis (half are declaring themselves non-bacon lovers), with Austin hanging on to its pig products with pride (49% of Austinites still love all things bacon).
Just 27% of U.S. diners still love kale, a food fad that seems to have had a brief stay in the spotlight. Food pundits have declared 2015 the year of the cauliflower, which, depending on your point of view, is more accessible to a majority of diners. Of course, these same trend-spotters predict that 2015 will be the year we eat more insects, so follow the voice of the future (and average American diners) at your own risk.
The Zagat survey also revealed that 81% of restaurant-goers have sent a dish back to the kitchen, half have stiffed a waiter for bad service, and 34% of diners in Miami have bribed a maitre d’ for a better table.
The best news for those in the restaurant business is that only 4% of people polled admitted they dined and dashed. But, then again, who would ever admit to such a transgression? Probably someone who’s still ordering bacon in 2015.
Allen Weiner has been a market research analyst in the area of new media and technology since 1994. He’s worked as writer, publisher and newspaper executive. He is the co-founder and publisher of Kombucha Network and the former managing vice president of Gartner.