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. 

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
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As many of our residents are required to eat only modified food due to their health, we have stepped up to the challenge of creating appetizing and visually appealing meal options through our puree program. Using only fresh ingredients, proteins are pureed in a raw state and then baked in a mold. We have discovered that the taste is far more pleasing when fresh ingredients are used, and this provides the resident with a healthy, nutritious caloric valued meal.

Ideas and Innovation
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I started a Nutrition Promoters program to encourage kids to eat healthy. The current lunch assistants are now titled and trained as Nutrition Promoters. As they work in the lunchroom, they hand out prizes and give motivation and encouragement to students to try new foods, especially fruits and vegetables. One of the prizes is a trading card series called the Superfood Squad for kids to collect and learn more about the amazing powers and benefits of superfoods.

Managing Your Business
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According to the Wall Street Journal, new artificial intelligence technologies are designed to assist HR each step of the way, from recruitment to retention. They scour the internet for suitable job candidates; they take new employees through the onboarding process; they answer benefits questions; and they even scan employee correspondence for signs of unhappiness or counterproductivity. But do they make sense for foodservice operators?

“Anything that can help technology-wise, why not?” says David Hill, director of dining hall operations at the University of New Hampshire . “It...

Industry News & Opinion

Amherst-Pelham Regional School District in Amherst, Mass., is updating its lunch debt policy to no longer single out students, MassLive reports.

Under the new policy, students with lunch debt will be given the same meals as their peers, regardless of how much they owe. School officials will also be communicating directly with parents of students who have accumulated debt instead of through the students themselves.

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