Emerging Trends: August 2013

Published in FSD Update

> 84%

The percentage of online ads displayed to children that were for products with high amounts of fat, sugar or sodium, according to a new survey conducted by the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale University. The study looked at food ads that were displayed on popular children’s websites to determine how many met the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, a program where companies pledge to advertise only healthy foods to children. The researchers also found that breakfast cereal and fast food ads were the most frequently displayed advertisements to children. 

> Edible Education

Want to know how sustainable your sushi is? If you’re dining at Harney Sushi, in San Diego, just pull out your cell phone. The restaurant will be posting edible QR codes on its sushi, which will take diners to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s FishWatch website where they can find information about the fish they are consuming. The QR codes will be printed on a rice paper wafer and a water-based edible ink will be used. The restaurant says it sees the project as a way to “further engage their customers in the movement by providing modern tools by which to become educated about sustainable seafood.”

> 20%

The amount that U.S. shrimp prices have increased in recent months, according to Thailand’s leading exporter. The hike is due to a bacterial infection that is killing shrimp in Asia, which has reduced output in Thailand by as much as 40%, according to The Wall Street Journal. The bacterium isn’t harmful to humans, but it is deadly to shrimp. The U.S. relies on Thailand for most of its imported shrimp. U.S. restaurants are feeling the crunch. Landry’s is considering menu changes or price increases to combat the shrimp shortage. 

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Industry News & Opinion

Hutchinson Middle School in Hutchinson, Minn., invited students to help serve lunch in an effort to encourage their peers to try new, healthy recipes, Hutchinson Leader reports.

The students, who are part of the school’s Students in Action Club, created posters to advertise the new meal and helped serve it to students during lunch.

The school’s kitchen manager, Janet Schmidt, said that around 37 more students than normal got in line to try the meal. The school plans to have students from the club help serve lunch once every month.

Read the full story via Hutchinson...

Industry News & Opinion

In an effort to trim costs, the country’s largest senior living company laid off 100 staff members, including regional dining services directors, reports Senior Housing News .

Not all employees who were laid off will technically leave the company, Senior Housing News notes, as some will be reassigned to alternative positions. Brookdale recently posted third-quarter earnings that fell short of analysts’ expectations and that the company’s CEO called disappointing.

At the end of last year, the Brentwood, Tenn.-based company employed 53,000 workers on a full-time basis, and...

Industry News & Opinion

After receiving mixed feedback from parents, Randolph County School District in Asheboro, N.C., is inviting parents to tour the district’s kitchens and cafeterias to see how the food for school meals is made, Fox 8 reports.

School officials say that the tours, part of the district’s first Food Day for Parents, will give parents an inside look at the upkeep of the facilities, as well as enable them to sample some food and see how the district is upholding USDA guidelines.

Officials also hope that the tours will provide them with more guidance on what parents and students are...

Industry News & Opinion

After fielding complaints from parents and students, Sodexo is launching an initiative to improve dining services at Emerson College in Boston, the Berkeley Beacon reports.

The initiative will kick off this month with an event dubbed Fresh Start, marking the start of several moves aimed at improving service—including the hiring of a new executive chef, the addition of a second sous chef, and retraining current staff on food preparation and presentation.

Members of the Emerson community will also be able to share feedback through the introduction of monthly forums, as well...

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