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The most familiar, tried-and-true flavors may have impressive staying power on menus, but Technomic's most recent flavor findings also signal the need for operators and suppliers to stay on top of flavor trends by reinvigorating classic offerings with new and unique twists. Three-fourths of consumers (73 percent) say that if they try and like a menu item with an innovative flavor, they would be highly likely to return to the restaurant for the same menu item.
Earlier this month, McDonald’s announced that it was partnering with the Clinton Foundation and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation in a commitment to provide more nutrition-minded choices in its top 20 markets. Representatives from the mega-chain came to New York City on Sept. 26 to promote the partnership and update the media, nutrition community and franchisees on their latest initiatives.
In light of today’s cronut craze, donut mania and pie palooza, capitalizing on America’s sweet tooth is a no-brainer. In fact, the Technomic Dessert Consumer Trend Report found that 70 percent of surveyed consumers eat dessert at least once per week away from home. There are a variety of ways that you can get in on this sweet action, whether you are looking to update your offerings or you are considering adding dessert to your menu.
The drinks side of the menu—especially the beer list—is becoming as important as the food in attracting and retaining restaurant customers, according to CNBC's Tom Rotunno. In his latest "Consumer Nation" piece, he quotes David Decker, president of Consumer Edge Insight: "Alcoholic beverages can be a key driver of traffic, differentiation and loyalty." Two factors keep customers coming back: "selection" and "pricing."
According to Technomic, grab-n-go meal offerings are now key elements of many successful food service venues, on both the commercial and noncommercial sides. Although restaurants may have started the trend, supermarkets and other retail operations are offering stiff competition and upgrading their to-go offerings.
Barbecue is as American as apple pie. Available in the North, South, East and West, chefs and pitmasters from fast casual to fine dining continue to redefine barbecue beyond the well-known regional styles like Memphis and Texas. By using innovative preparation techniques, unique sauces and surprising sides, today’s barbecue may be unrecognizable to your grandparent’s generation.
Thousands of fast-food workers and their supporters beat drums, blew whistles and chanted slogans Thursday on picket lines in dozens of U.S. cities, marking the largest protest yet in their quest for higher wages. The nationwide day of demonstrations came after similar actions organized by unions and community groups over the past several months, reported the Associated Press.
When they're trying to keep a toddler from throwing food on the floor or prevent restless children from running around a restaurant, it would seem that dining out with kids is not the most rewarding experience for parents. But moms and dads surveyed recently by Restaurant.com claim that they enjoy going to restaurants as a family.
For centuries, whole cultures have been sustained through the use of a variety of food preservation practices such as fermenting, pickling, conserving, canning and drying. And while these practices fall in and out of favor year after year, today they are enjoying a revival on menus in surprising new ways. “Pickling” is no longer reserved for the infamous dill spear that is a diner plate standard, and “conserves” are no longer made up of only fruit and sugar.
It seems breakfast can be the most important meal of the day—especially for restaurants. A recent Technomic MarketBriefing revealed that nearly 9 out of 10 consumers surveyed eat brunch at a restaurant at least occasionally. What’s more, Mintel predicts breakfast sales will increase 22.1 percent between now and 2017. 
Among the items listed within CNN’s American Food: The 50 Greatest Dishes, the American comfort food landscape is spelled out in popular food items, ranging from a full Thanksgiving dinner to a side of tater tots; from Delmonico’s Steak to California Roll; from Chicago-Style Pizza to Barbecue Ribs; and everything in between. It is obvious reading through this list that although health is on the mind of consumers everywhere, comfort is still king. 
Widespread discounting has conditioned restaurant customers to hunt for deals, but price isn’t always what lands the bargain chasers’ business, according to a new report from Technomic. The sales clinchers can also be menu or service cues that have little if anything to do with price, the researcher found in investigating consumers’ definition of value. For instance, about half of the study participants said the ability to customize their meals is “important” or “extremely important” when they’re looking for value.