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Food, Restaurant and Supermarket Trends: What’s Hot for 2012. By: Kaiti George, RD, LMNT Nebraska Beef Council. What is a Trend???. Definition: tend or move in particular way:  to show a tendency or movement toward something or in a particular direction

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Food restaurant and supermarket trends what s hot for 2012

Food, Restaurant and Supermarket Trends:

What’s Hot for 2012

By: Kaiti George, RD, LMNT

Nebraska Beef Council

What is a trend
What is a Trend???

  • Definition:

    • tend or move in particular way: to show a tendency or movement toward something or in a particular direction

    • prevailing style: a current fashion or mode

Food trends
Food Trends

  • Each year, numerous companies and organizations release their predictions on upcoming food trends.

  • How long does a food trend last??

  • What are your predictions??

This spud s for you
This Spud’s For You

  • 2012 will be the year of the potato!

  • Watch out for French Fry Menus that let guests choose the cut, crispness, and sauce; make-your-own mashers with mix-ins; or custom cut chips with dusts and dips to order.

  • Interactive Activity:


31 hundred flavors
31 Hundred Flavors

  • Everyone loves ice cream… creative chefs are taking advantage of its blank canvas to entice people to try unfamiliar flavors of all sorts and styles.

  • Examples:,

    • Candied Beet, and Sourdough Ice Cream at Murray Circle (Sausalito, CA);

    • Grass and Horseradish Ice Cream at Max and Mina’s (Queens, NY)

Melt in your hands
Melt in Your Hands

  • Restaurants devote special evenings or entire menus to this childhood favorite loved by kids of all ages.

  • From fast-casual to high end, expect more restaurants to develop their own signature sandwiches from high end to low.


  • Modern Thai cuisine are becoming some of the hottest destinations in town as diners become more adventurous and love the evocative flavors.

Turn over a new leaf
Turn over a new leaf

  • Chefs pine-ing for new flavors will use subtle infusions of pine needles, douglas fir and eucalyptus to flavor sauces, rubs, meats and broth.

  • Examples:

    • ‘Eat Your Christmas Tree’

    • Pine Needle Tea, Vinegar

Produce ing desserts
Produce-ing Desserts

  • Move over carrot cake, cutting edge pastry chefs are turning vegetables into sweet finales. They’ll make you eat your veggies with sweet satisfaction.

  • Example:

    • Goat Cheese with Celery,

    • Spinach cupcakes

    • Sweet Potato Crème Brule


  • Yogurt moves from snack to staple as it takes leading roles in sauces, dips, spreads and desserts.

  • Expect to see it in new form including: sundried, freeze-dried, smoked and pressed as well as cultural variations like skyr (from Iceland) and Lebanese labne. It does a body good.

How sweet it isn t
How sweet it isn’t

  • The new Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends reducing the amount of added sugars of all kinds (especially in soft drinks).

  • Reduced sugars will be the biggest health claim in the coming year along with a revised Nutrition Facts Panel that indicates whether the sugars are added, occur naturally, or are a combination of the two.

Food prices
Food Prices

  • We will continue to see food prices rise based on environmental conditions as well as higher costs of fuel, feed, packaging, food safety - coupled with a higher demand for export.

  • According to USDA data, in 2012, food costs will increase:

    • 2.0-3.0% , away from home

    • 2.5-3.5%, at home

Breakfast club
Breakfast Club

  • Breakfast is the new dinner. Everyone loves brunch and breakfast foods.

  • Restaurants are re-interpreting breakfast for lunch, dinner and late night menus.

    • Waffle sandwiches, savory turnovers, eggs in any manner of ways, pigs in a blanket, hollandaise topped sandwiches and French toast or bread pudding served either sweet or savory.

Increased emphasis on the farm to fork journey
Increased emphasis on the “Farm to Fork” journey

  • Shoppers have become increasingly interested in knowing where their food comes from, which is why 2012 will bring an added emphasis to a different kind of food celebrity – the farmer.

  • We’ve seen “buy local” become one of the most important supermarket offerings; now we get to meet the people who are the producers, farmers and ranchers.

Tech savvy shoppers
Tech Savvy shoppers

  • Many shoppers are learning to appreciate the tech-savvy nature of using their mobile device comparing prices at nearby retailers, scanners, QR codes, and mobile coupons - increasingly delivering information rich store visits.




The changing scene for campus cuisine
The changing scene for campus cuisine.

  • It used to be that college students lived on Ramen Noodles and other inexpensive food that provided some sustenance without breaking the nearly nonexistent budget.

  • Campus “cuisine” has now become part of the “clockless” world, where grocery stores are in student unions and you can charge food against your student account.

Food trucks
Food Trucks

  • What is a food truck?

    • A food truck, mobile kitchen, mobile canteen, or catering truck is a mobile venue that sells food. Some, including ice cream trucks, sell mostly frozen or prepackaged food; others are more like restaurants-on-wheels. Some may cater to specific meals, such as the breakfast truck, lunch truck or lunch wagon, and snack truck, break truck or taco truck.

The male shopper
The Male Shopper

  • It is all about “dad” and family; husbands who help out at home enjoy happier relationships.

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 41 percent of men are now cooking at home – double that in 2003.

The rise in you tube chefs
The Rise in You-Tube Chefs

  • Everyone is their own food TV star these days. All it takes is a simple camera and a YouTube account.

  • It came to the forefront with the book and movie, Julie and Julia, but today you can find everyone from precocious kids and teens to wiseacre twenty something dudes to Italian grandmothers, all cooking up a storm and teaching you how to do it.

In gredients
‘in’ gredients

  • Dates– Date syrups and glazes on meats and in drinks

  • Marshmallows – Home-made flavored marshmallows in exotic flavors

  • Gnocchi

  • Hibiscus flowers

  • Coconut oil

  • Green papaya

In drinks
‘In’ Drinks

  • On Solid Ground

    • Cocktails in solid form. Frozen sorbet and popsicles and jellies infused with alcohol.

  • Double Hitter – Bars are pitching double-hitters with offers of a cocktail or shot and a beer to chase it with. Call it a one-two shot.

  • Ounce by Ounce

  • Fram-Booze-le – Breweries are adding fruit to beers of all types.

Healthy indulgences
Healthy Indulgences

  • Health-conscious diners will be satisfied with more nutritious meals and drinks that offer real appeal.

  • Signature, whole grain salads and sides, a selection of plates available in smaller sizes, menu items that appeal to particular dietary needs, and high-fructose free sodas.

  • Examples:

    • Skinnylicious Menu at Cheesecake Factory


Customers want more information
Customers Want More Information

  • Consumers want transparency—looking for disclosure of everything from calories and allergens on menus to labor and local-sourcing practices.

  • A small but growing number are serious about nutrition, labeling, sustainability and community involvement, and they are using such knowledge to make purchasing decisions.

Restaurant chefs grow their own
Restaurant chefs grow their own

  • Along with health concerns, food safety concerns, and old fashioned flavor, you have a new breed of chefs that simply like to cook with what they’ve grown.

    • Expect to see this move beyond simple herb gardens or rooftop displays and into some full-fledged branded farms.

American regionalism
American regionalism

  • Consumers are not only more aware of global cuisine, they are also more aware and interested in the regional specialties that define American cuisine.

  • Whether it’s Kansas City or Memphis barbecue, New England Chowder or Low Country grits, more consumers and restaurants are looking at the regions and cities in the US to identify the "Best of" cuisine.

What s that crunching sound
What’s that Crunching Sound

  • As the economy crawls sideways, mom-and-pop eateries will be hit the hardest. Each time a big national chain cuts its prices, or flings a million half-off coupons into the market via social networks, independent restaurant numbers will take a dive.

  • With no turnaround in sight, the US could lose 8,000-10,000 restaurants in 2012, few of them belonging to chains.

Instead of bread
Instead of Bread

  • Stretching for even more differentiation, look for sandwiches piled on things other than bread.

    • Arepas

    • Flattened tostones

    • Bao

    • Waffles

    • Rice cakes

In a pickle
In a pickle

  • House-made vegetable and fruit pickles will appear on more and more menus as chefs concoct ever more complex ways of making these preserves.

  • They’re important because they:

    • Enliven all those ingredient-laden multi-culti sandwiches

    • they provide a foil for intensely flavored organ

    • They’re not your grandmother’s pickles -- chefs are going global with additions of Asian fish sauce, Mexican peppers, ginger, yuzu, smoked paprika, star anise.

It s fry time to eat your veggies
It’s Fry Time to Eat Your Veggies

  • It’s the revenge of the dreaded vegetable as we discover those yucky vegetables everyone loves to hate taste really good – fried.

  • New favorites include Fried Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts Chips and Kale Chips. Forget the potato chip – try it with turnip instead. Bet you can’t eat just one.

Forget skyscraper architecture
Forget Skyscraper Architecture

  • Chefs are shifting from stacking food as high as possible to stringing out ingredients in caterpillar-like lines along oblong or rectangular plates.

  • This may looking like “dribble art” but at least it keeps the flavors separated.

Wrong on hamburgers
Wrong on Hamburgers

  • We predicted last year that “gourmet burgers” would peak in 2011. But they haven’t and we may be premature.

  • Seems that a new burger chain launches every few weeks without regard for the growing density of competition.

Trendy restaurant ingredients
Trendy Restaurant Ingredients


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  • Pop Star