January Emerging Trends

This month: 10 trends for 2014, FDA curbs antibiotics in livestock and more.

Published in FSD Update

10 Trends for 2014

The National Restaurant Association surveyed nearly 1,300 professional chefs to find out what the “hot” trends are for 2014. It’s been a big year for child nutrition professionals with the implementation of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, and restaurateurs are feeling the impact as well—two of the 10 trends focus on kids and food.

  1. Locally sourced meats and seafood
  2. Locally grown produce
  3. Environmental sustainability
  4. Healthful kids’ meals
  5. Gluten-free cuisine
  6. Hyper-local sourcing (e.g. restaurant gardens)
  7. Children’s nutrition
  8. Non-wheat noodles/pasta (e.g. quinoa, rice, buckwheat)
  9. Sustainable seafood
  10. Farm/estate branded items 

FDA Curbs Antibiotics in Livestock

Farmers will no longer be able to use antibiotics to make their animals grow bigger, following a new policy put in place by the FDA last month. Farmers have three years to comply. The FDA is asking drug makers to change the labels on their medications to state that they cannot be used as a growth enhancer in animals. While the labeling component is voluntary, the FDA expects drug makers to comply, according to The New York Times. Two of the largest veterinary drug companies—Elanco and Zoetis—have stated they will comply with the policy. 

Hospital Cuts Salt, Pepper on Patient Trays

One hospital in British Columbia is dropping some tray staples in an effort to reduce costs. Items that patients will no longer find on their trays include salt, pepper, tea and coffee. The hospital said these items frequently ended up in the trash. For instance, providing salt and pepper for a year cost the hospital between $3,000 and $5,000, according to the Nelson Star. Tea, including the bag, cups and lids, cost $22,000. That doesn’t mean patients can’t get tea with their meal if they want it. The hospital is working on a way to identify which patients actually want the eliminated items.

Laptops Nixed in Michigan Cafeterias

Howell Public Schools had a foodservice surplus, so the nutrition department wanted to use those funds to purchase laptops to allow students access to a nutrition education program that enables them to track what they are eating as well as their body mass index. The Michigan Department of Education, which oversees spending in the state’s foodservice programs, nixed the idea. “Schools are required to use USDA funds to improve food-service (sic) program delivery. Laptops do not meet the federal regulations,” the state department of education stated in a release to the Daily Press & Argus. Ron Wilson, the district’s superintendent, says enabling students to access the laptops would help the district meet a provision in the Healthy, Hungry-Free Kids Act, which requires districts to have a wellness program.

By the Numbers 

36 - The percentage of diners at chain restaurants and fast food locations who read posted calorie counts, according to a new study conducted by the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotions. The good news: Those who look at nutritional information often use it to make better-for-you food decisions. Ninety-five percent said they use the information at least sometimes.

$1.50 - The increase in cost to purchase foods that meet a healthier diet, such as fruits, vegetables and fish, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. 

10 - The percentage increase in total sales volume of yogurt shipped through broadline foodservice distributors to foodservice outlets in the year ending in September, according to The NPD Group’s SupplyTrack. Greek yogurt was a major reason behind the growth. 

43 - The percentage of districts that purchased local produce during the 2011-2012 school year, according to the first-ever survey conducted by the USDA regarding farm-to-school efforts. Another 13% said they would participate “in the near future.” The survey said these buy-local efforts invested more than $354 million in farms and their communities.

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
storm

When preparing for inclement weather, we make agreements with all the foodservice providers in the area—not just our prime vendor—since you never know if one will cut off from resupply. For example, when Hurricane Harvey hit, we were ready to purchase from San Antonio and Dallas rather than Houston due to the high water.

Ideas and Innovation
tray

We decided to get rid of plastic trays 
and now offer cardboard trays in 
our cafeteria to support our district’s efforts to expand and improve our recycling efforts. The trays look great, and already schools are requesting more recycling pickups and fewer waste pickups. Recycling pickups cost less than waste pickups, so it’s a win for us.

Ideas and Innovation
nuts

We decided through focus group feedback that our freshmen struggled with the allergy-friendly options or options for students with diabetes on campus. In response, we decided to have a dinner the first few weeks of classes to let some of these students know what was available and let them network with their peers and others with allergies or diabetes. NC State Dining chefs prepared menu items based on foods from cultures around the world. ... From delicious sliced sweet potatoes to savory Ikarian-style roasted chicken, students were able to sample global dishes free of allergens.

Ideas and Innovation
coffee cups

We started a monthly Coffee Hour with just the department director. The goal is to gather 
staff feedback about their jobs and answer individual questions. After the first event, 
several staff members emailed stating they just wanted to meet with the director without 
their supervisors. Now, the meetings offer an opportunity for more of a one-on-one conversation without the presence of the supervisor they 
deal with day in and day out.

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