May 2014 Emerging Trends

This month: USC's burrito vending machine, top 10 dessert trends for 2014 and pizza's brave new world.

Published in FSD Update

43%

The decrease in obesity rates in 2- to 5-year-olds in the past decade, according to a new study released in The Journal of the American Medical Association. The study’s authors tempered excitement surrounding the news by cautioning that this data set makes up a very small portion of the overall population, and that rates for society as a whole have remained flat or even increased in a few segments.

Top 10 dessert trends for 2014

The Food Channel has released its Top Ten Dessert Trends for 2014, which examined behaviors of consumers, foodservice professionals and manufacturers to determine what made the list.

  1. Spoon desserts: Pudding and other soft desserts
  2. Layers
  3. Hand pies: Mini versions of the whole pie
  4. Midwestern influence: Cobblers, pies, crisps and tarts
  5. Mash-ups and muffins: Think duffins, a combination of muffins and doughnuts
  6. Pepper, flavored salts and international spices
  7. Dessert butters: Ground up cookies that are turned into soft fillings that can be rolled into a truffle or added to a sandwich cookie
  8. Crêpes
  9. Nuts
  10. Small-batch desserts

Nearly one in five Americans struggle with food insecurity

For the sixth year, Mississippi ranked as the state where residents are most likely to be food insecure, a Gallup study released in March shows. A whopping 25.1% of Mississippians—one in four—struggle to afford food. Rounding out the top 10 are: West Virginia (23%), Louisiana (23%), Alabama (22.9%), Arkansas (22.5%), North Carolina (22.2%), Kentucky (21.8%), Georgia (21.5%), Oklahoma (21.2%) and Arizona (21.1%). The state with the lowest percentage of residents who are food insecure was Alaska at 11%. That’s more than one in 10 people in the state who say they struggle to afford food. And that’s the best. The average nationwide is 18.9%, up slightly from 2012’s 18.2%.

More From FoodService Director

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...

Industry News & Opinion

The University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., will soon switch over from magnetic strip-based student ID cards to chip-based ones, The Observer reports.

Along with being more secure, the new cards will allow students easier access to dining halls, enabling them to simply tap their cards on a reader to gain entrance. Students will also be able to add flex points and Domer Dollars—which can be used at eateries on and off campus—to their accounts via a mobile app.

The new cards are expected to be available by the time school begins next fall.

Read the full story...

FSD Resources