Trend Tracker

Bookmark and Share
Chocoholics are rejoicing! Chocolate is showing up everywhere, sometimes in unusual places, pairings and products. The Food Channel, CultureWaves and International Food Futurists took a deeper dive into chocolate trends, identifying 10 that are making waves.
How trustworthy is your restaurant concept? According to "The Trust Factor" study released by About.com, trust is crucial to consumer-brand relationships and is a key driver in decision making.
Move over carrots and broccoli. A variety of “new” vegetables is showing up on restaurant plates. And it’s not happening in fine dining alone. Many chain and casual concepts are incorporating items like kale, beets and Brussels sprouts on their menus—inspired by chef-driven dishes at more upscale spots.
The following verbatims are from a study conducted by Y-Pulse LLC of nearly 1,800 kids between the ages of 5 and 15. For kids that picked fast food restaurants as their favorite place to eat, many mentioned convenience as their primary reason.
Snacks have become a customer-driven demand in foodservice. New data from Mintel show that while consumers snack at almost every time of the day and night, snacking patterns do vary by gender and age. Convenience, pricing, portion size and portability drive snacking decisions.
Americans and Brits are eating out more often, according to two reports released this week. The NPD Group, a Chicago market research firm, delivered the upbeat news that the industry posted a 0.5% gain in restaurant counts in Spring 2012. And the latest QuickBite survey by London-based Horizons found that the average British adult had eaten out 2.77 times during two weeks this June, compared with 2.02 times in July, 2011.
The National Restaurant Association has created a new foundation to help military personnel, veterans and military spouses get training and other forms of assistance for pursuing careers in foodservice. The group didn’t specify the new support that would be provided or how those services would be offered, but indicated in Monday’s announcement that the new NRA Military Foundation program would foster opportunities for jobs and small-business ownership.
The natural food and beverage market—now valued at $127 billion—has reached a new stage in its maturity. “The world of health and wellness is changing dramatically and rapidly, and the natural products industry is positioned as a leading crucible through which we can watch this world unravel and rebuild itself,” says Carlotta Mast, chief author of NEXT: The Natural Products Industry Forecast, compiled by Nutrition Business Journal and the Sterling-Rice Group. Some trend highlights of the report include:
An impressive 82% of Americans plan to enjoy ice cream this July as the industry celebrates National Ice Cream month. This figure came out of an independent survey commissioned by Baskin-Robbins, the world’s largest ice cream chain. Here’s what else was revealed about consumers’ ice cream eating habits:
Today's vibrant cocktail culture seems to be sparking growth in the spirits market. According to the Technomic 2012 SpiritsTAB report, spirits now account for 6.4% of total alcohol, or adult beverage, up from 6.1% the year before.
In recent years, consumption of ethnic foods has increased—both in and out of the home—and market researcher Mintel predicts steady future growth. Global cuisines and flavors are a constant craving for Americans. However, certain factors go into creating a successful ethnic menu.
Year round, hot coffee is the most frequently purchased beverage in foodservice operations; 49% of consumers buy it regularly, according to a survey by American Express MarketBriefing. But as the weather gets hotter, the sale of cold beverages also heats up.