CNIC: 2012 food trends

Jan. 15—At the Child Nutrition Industry Conference in Orlando Phil Lempert, founder/editor of SoupermarketGuru.com, shared eight food trends for the coming year.

The trends are:

Food prices: Prices will continue to rise, and shoppers are buying less meat and seafood and more vegetables and grains

Never ship or eat alone: There will be more food blogs and mobile marketing. Communication and community are important in the dining experience

Increase in farm to fork: The farmer is the new food celebrity, and people want to know where their food comes from

• Ethnic food revolution

New role of the male shopper: Forty-one percent of at-home prepared meals are prepared by men

• Sugar is out

Sound of food: Freshness and readiness are being designated by sound

Lempert also talked about food trends as they pertain to kids. He said children have more taste buds in their cheeks and palates than adults and that texture is more important to children than taste. According to research by Cornell University and London Metropolitan Universities, kids prefer to have their entrées in the lower portion of their plates as opposed to adults’ preference of the center of the plate; kids prefer to have six to seven food colors ontheir plates as opposed to three for adults; and kids prefer figurative designs of their food.

In addition, Lempert said foodservice directors need to make food more enjoyable and make the cafeteria in to a community. He also said food trucks are influencing students’ preferences by introducing more exotic and ethnic items.

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
sam kass talking menu directions

Sam Kass, former White House senior policy advisor for nutrition policy and executive director of the Let’s Move campaign, spoke at FSD’s MenuDirections conference in February.

Q: What’s one of the biggest food-related problems facing our country?

A: Obesity is the No. 1 threat to national security—20% of what we’re spending on healthcare is due to obesity. This isn’t a policy problem. The root of our challenge is culture, and what we value in our food. The healthy choice needs to be the easy choice.

Q: What are some important steps to modeling healthy eating and creating...
Menu Development
three sisters salad

“Everyone is doing Thai in college dining,” says Patrick McElroy, campus executive chef for Bon Appetit at Washington University in St. Louis. So he set out to “push the envelope” on ethnic cuisine and offer Native American dishes—a move that had support from the American Indian Student Association. But McElroy didn’t realize the challenge ahead. “I wanted to maintain the integrity and tradition of the food, but there were very few recipes,” he says. “I had to do a lot of research.” To develop the menu, he enlisted the help of chef Nephi Craig, founder of the Native American Culinary...

Menu Development
chili spaghetti

Iconic local dishes like Cincinnati chili may not be entirely healthy, but they are incredibly popular. Across the country, K-12 operators are finding ways to add these foods to their lunch menus while still meeting their nutritional requirements. How are they adapting popular recipes and bringing them to schools—and is it worth it?

Cincinnati chili has been a staple of Mason City Schools lunches for as long as anyone can remember. Located just outside of Cincinnati, the school system serves its chili in two traditional ways: covering a pile of spaghetti, or atop a cheese Coney dog...

Managing Your Business
dancing fruit happy

When editor Jill Failla and I sat down to discuss ideas for this month’s cover story, data from FoodService Director’s sister company Technomic was the spark that lit the flame of conversation. She told me the most recent Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report had found that consumers are more willing to order and pay more for items they think are both healthy and tasteful. My questions: OK, what does that look like in practice? How does it factor into operators’ decision-making processes? And what the heck do we call that phenomenon?

After tossing around some ideas, we had it: the...

FSD Resources