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

Ideas and Innovation
vote buttons pins

On every other Thursday of our four-week cycle menu, we allow K-8 students to pick the entree choices. The media center specialist for each of the participating schools sets up the list of entree items on a computer for voting, and the winning entrees are given to cafeteria managers two weeks before the upcoming month to put into production. Students really like this, as it promotes ownership of the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
chalkboard

We highlight our North Carolina products on a large chalkboard in our dining halls, and also list any produce we bring in from our own agroecology farm. It helps tell our story—positive and local.

Ideas and Innovation
raised garden beds

We have raised garden beds that residents can reserve and use to grow their own plants. Whenever a resident brings me fresh produce from their own garden, I try and incorporate it into a dish. If I do end up using it, I will display the resident’s name and what the produce was next to the dish on the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
chartwells teaching kids

Curriculum for the mobile teaching kitchen centers around a single kid-friendly recipe, using ingredients that can provide talking points for nutrition, sustainability and food origins. “The recipe is the lesson,” Saidel says. “Every ingredient is an opportunity to talk.”

Earlier this year, Saidel, Perkins and Harvey did a student demo featuring roasted chicken and white bean tacos with greens and citrus salsa. “We can say, ‘Why are we using chicken instead of beef? Why are there some beans in here?’ You can talk about plant proteins and the sustainability and health message around...

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