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


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

Sodexo aims to reduce carbon emissions by 34% at its foodservice and facilities management sites by 2025, a goal it says it will reach through such changes as converting cooking oil into biodiesel fuel and using energy-efficient HVAC systems.

In announcing this endeavor toward sustainability, Sodexo—which manages more than 32,000 sites globally—noted that over 7,200 of its sites in North America recycle aluminum and paper, and 8,640 recycle cardboard.

Ideas and Innovation
sushi plate

We wanted to add sushi, but that’s not really my expertise. So we found a great local company that offered to put three sushi chefs on-site every day. They supply the ingredients, and if we meet the minimum revenue each week, than we receive a percentage of sales. We have been exceeding the weekly minimum sales, which we track in our POS, in two days.

Managing Your Business
coffee barista

Whether it’s a morning routine, an afternoon pick-me-up or an evening social ritual, few things are as universally appealing as coffee. Sixty-five percent of respondents in Technomic’s 2016 Beverage Consumer Trend Report say they ordered a cup of hot joe from a foodservice location in the past month, and 59% say the same about cold coffee. Everyone has an opinion about what makes it good, whether it’s a low price, a unique blend or a friendly barista.

“Coffee is so personal. There are a lot of people that are Dunkin’ fans. There’s a lot of Starbucks people,” says James Dravenack,...

Ideas and Innovation
star wars storm trooper

My favorite event—because I’m kind of dorky—is our “May the fourth be with you” (aka “Star Wars”) day on May 4. The whole dining team dresses up, and we offer things like Chewbaklava, Boba Fettuccine and BB-8 Buckeyes. We had a guest cry because they got to take a picture with Chewy.

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