New Water Beverages Compete for the Top Spot

New, improved, and pioneering water beverages are in high demand.

If you thought you were up to speed with what’s new in the water beverage industry – think again! The oldest and most natural drink in the world has been given a modern-day facelift – and not just a makeover. In recent years, water has been experiencing a seemingly endless stream of modifications, additions, enhancements, and embellishments.

Competition in the water industry is on the rise. On one end of the spectrum, food-and-beverage moguls are busy trying to one-up each other in the realm of innovation, while smaller, local foodservice operators are stocking their refrigerators and updating their menus with a plethora of diverse water offerings.

No matter what type of restaurant, catering service, bakery, coffee shop, pizzeria, ice cream parlor, food truck, bar, fast-food joint, or other eatery you operate, staying competitive in the biz means keeping abreast of what H2O varieties your customers are craving and what ingredients and flavors your chefs can add to take your offerings to a new level.

A Waterfall of Varieties

Attributed in large part to the health-and-wellness movement and consumers’ shunning of artificial, synthetic, and sugar-laden products, the functional beverage sector (i.e. drinks that offer benefits beyond quenching your thirst) has experienced unprecedented growth and expansion. Walk down any supermarket drink aisle or scan a 2019 beverage menu and the choices are continually expanding. From bottled to canned, flavored, sparkling, collagen-infused, vitamin-infused, mineral-infused, protein-infused, alkaline-infused, carbonated, sweetened, and even chemically altered to increase the oxygen or hydrogen content, it is clear that the recent title wave of activity is more than just a trickling fad.

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How To Incorporate Figs in Your Restaurant Menu

Discover how you can add healthy figs to your restaurant menus.

Sweet and Healthy Figs Play a New Role on Restaurant Menus

Fig season is here and will continue through mid-November. If you work in foodservice and have not yet discovered the amazing flavors, textures, and array of colorful figs, it’s time to clear your plates and make room for a large serving of all thing’s fig-tastic. In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn about the history of figs, fig fun facts, fig nutrients, fig varieties, how to cook and bake with figs and dried figs and enjoy some recommended recipes.

Figs in the Food Industry

Did you know that the edible fig is thought to be the first plant ever cultivated by humans? Eaten fresh, dried, cooked, or added to baking recipes, figs are naturally sweet, a rich source of fiber, and contain trace amounts of vitamins and minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, and manganese. Dried figs are especially packed with dietary fiber and provide 26% of the recommended daily value of manganese.

While previously the fruit has been overlooked by chefs, fig flavors and dishes are growing in popularity and are increasingly appearing on restaurant menus. Recently, they made headline news when the Swiss company Firmenich named fig the 2018 “Flavor of the Year,” while Internet searches for fig wedding cakes have seen a 500% increase in recent seasons.

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The Rise of Probiotic Beverages

Discover gut-friendly probiotic drinks and start adding them to your menu.

If you work in the beverage business, it’s time to drink in the latest buzz word in the biz: Probiotics. Whether you are a caterer, restaurant owner, or operate another type of eatery, probiotic drinks are dominating the market. In this update for foodservice pros, we’ll delve into why the fermented products are being included on multiple “top beverage trends for 2019” lists, and why you should be adding them to your menu.

The Dish on Probiotic versus Prebiotic

If you recall, we previously visited the topic of probiotics in our blog “How to Cater for Clients Who Want Gut-Friendly Foods,” where we learned that the body is full of ‘good’ bacteria that serve as digestive aids, that help prevent disease, and that provide a plethora of other health benefits.

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The Wonderful World of Ginger

Feature sensational ginger in your recipes and discover how to incorporate it in your recipes.

Welcome to the Wonderful World of Ginger! In both its raw and powdered forms, ginger has been named a ‘superfood,’ and for good reason. Well-known for its usage as a savory spice and as a medicinal plant, ginger is not only one of today’s top herbs for cooking and baking, it has also played a prominent role in Chinese medicine and Ayurveda nutrition for over 3,000 years where it hailed as both a potent anti-inflammatory and flavor enhancer.

From its origins as one the first spices exported to Europe from the Orient during the spice trade, and up until today, where ginger’s sharp, pungent taste and aroma is a star ingredient in many main course and dessert recipes – there are countless reasons why ginger should be at your chefs’ fingertips and why ginger recipes should feature prominently on your restaurant menu.

Ginger Quick Facts

Although the ginger plant has been around for millennium, its plethora of benefits continue to astound, so let’s indulge our taste buds with some juicy ginger facts.

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Snacks Take The Food Industry by a Storm

Last updated on September 17th, 2019

Update your menu to cash in on the booming snack and all-day breakfast food market

If you’re wondering what’s new in U.S. foodservice these days and what popular items are filling consumers’ plates – well, you can start by putting the plates aside because it’s snack time, America!

Indeed, snacks have become one of the largest and fastest growing segments in the food-and-beverage biz with no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Replacing traditional meals are small grab-n’-go items, portable cups and bowls, single serving-size eats and treats, and miniature – well – just about everything.

And there’s more. The estimated $100 billion-plus snack market is anything but conventional. While the traditional fanfare is still holding its own (think potato chips, pretzels, nuts, and popcorn), the once narrowly defined market has expanded to include the likes of microwaveable soup cups, fruit kabobs, yogurt parfait cups, cut veggies, smoothies, and pancakes on a stick as consumers reach for small snacks that offer big taste and anything that can be marketed as portable. The largest percentage of snackers are Millennials at 66%, with Gen Z and Gen Xers close behind. However, since all age groups and demographics enjoy snacking, a plethora of service opportunities are now available to providers.

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New in Smoothies 2019 – Just in Time for Summer

New smoothie ingredients add flavor to foodservice menus this summer.

Smoothie season is here! With summer upon us, now is the perfect time to update your restaurant and foodservice menus and learn all there is to know about what’s new in the smoothie industry. And one thing we know for sure is that the smoothie market is flourishing. With food trend predictions forecasting sunny skies for the future of smoothie sales, what began as an obscure concept and simple fruit juice and ice drink in the 1930s, has become a booming business and a modern-day success story.

Smoothie Expansion

Offering lucrative growth opportunities for industry players, smoothies continue to gain traction and are riding the wave of popularity as:

  • a healthy snack option;
  • bona fide meal or breakfast replacement;
  • an energizing pick-me-upper;
  • a versatile, alluring, fun, and decadent dessert.

Moreover, 2019 smoothies are comprised of an expanding smorgasbord of ingredients. From pureed raw fruit mixed with crushed ice and sweeteners (honey, sugar, syrup, and stevia) to the addition of vegetables (carrots, spinach, seaweed, and even hot peppers); dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheese), and non-dairy alternatives (oat, pea, and coconut milks), the selections abound.

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Your Complete Foodservice Guide to Dragon Fruit

Dragon Fruit popularity continues to rise in U.S. restaurants and food venues.

Attention all Foodservice Professionals! If you are looking for a business-booster and menu game-changer, set your sights on what is promising to be a rising star in the food-and-beverage industry: Dragon Fruit.

Even if you have never heard of dragon fruit before or have never prepared a dragon fruit recipe, now is the time to get on board because as this standout ingredient continues to gain traction in the U.S. and abroad, this is one business opportunity you do not want to miss out on.

So take a load off your feet, clear your trays, and prepare your palates for the full scoop on one of the coolest, strangest-looking, nutritious, and delicious tropical fruits on the planet.

Adventurous Consumers Love Dragon Fruit

If you work in the biz, you know that today’s daring diners are hungry for exciting and exotic tastes, for foods and beverages from around the world, and for ingredients with a wow factor. Moreover, they are willing to pay top-dollar at restaurants and food venues that provide them with unique experiences and dishes that they can post on Instagram and share online.
If ‘off-the-wall’ and ‘off-the-charts’ are what your customers are clamoring for, you can easily satiate their appetite by introducing them to the enticing world of dragon fruit.

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How to Cater to Your Keto Customers

In response to demand, U.S. restaurants create ketogenic-friendly menus.

If you’re looking for information on how to make your restaurant keto-friendly, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you own a catering service, fast-casual restaurant, pizza shop, bakery, food truck, hotel, or fine dining establishment, the popularity of ketogenic diets is soaring – and so is demand for menus that cater to the keto community.

Read on and help promote your business by learning all you can about keto-friendly foods and beverages, what is allowed and not allowed on the meal plan, and what menu choices will serve the needs of your keto customers.

The fact is that for most people, keto is more than just a diet; it is a lifestyle. And given the limited number of appropriate eating-out accommodations currently available, your restaurant can become the service they rely on, which will have a positive impact on your brand reputation and hopefully pave the way for a loyal, returning customer base. Moreover, since the majority of today’s diners do their food research online, you can further cash in on this opportunity by posting keto-friendly tips and menu selections on your website or Facebook page.

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New in Ice Cream – The Full Scoop

Get the scoop on trending ice creams and far-out flavors to add to your menu.

Ice cream is once again making food industry headlines, with old flavors being reinvented and an entire menu of new dairy-free, fat-free, and low-cal options generating excitement – as well as controversy. On the table are questions such as: Are the so-called healthier alternatives really better for you? Can you trust what you read on the label? And how can you update your foodservice menu to meet demands for fabulous, far-out ice cream flavors served in unusual cones or new-fangled dishes?

As foodservice pros, it’s critical that you follow industry trends to know what’s hot and what’s not in the food-and-beverage landscape. This guide to what’s new in ice cream was specifically designed to give you the full scoop on what manufacturers are delivering and how consumers’ taste buds are responding in the land of frozen desserts. So let’s take a peek inside the freezer to see what the 2019 world of ice cream has in store.

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Clean Label Do’s and Don’ts

Clean Label a Food Industry Standard

Clean Label a Food Industry Standard

Attention Foodservice Pros: Clean label is here to stay! If you thought it might be a passing phenomenon, fad, or trend in the food industry, it’s time to get with the times because clean label is no longer the exception but the expectation. Consumers are demanding that you provide them with transparency, authenticity, and sustainability – and they are willing to pay top dollar to restaurants, catering services, and manufacturers that respond to their demands. According to the clean-label strategy experts at Food Insider Journal and Vitafoods Insights, the latest stats in the nutrition space reveal that a whopping 73% of consumers are willing to pay more for foods and beverages made with ingredients they recognize and trust and that do not contain undesirable ingredients. (What constitutes ‘undesirable’? Hang onto your chef’s hats — that answer coming shortly…) Forty percent also said they would switch from their current brand to another if it offered more transparency.

2019 Consumers Want to Know

What does all this really mean? Put simply, it means that health-conscious consumers want to know what they are putting into their bodies. This accounts for the ever-expanding list of foods and beverages they deem acceptable – and what’s on the menu these days are ingredients that are dairy-free, gluten-free, fat-free, preservative-free, sugar-free, nut-free, alcohol-free, non-GMO, organic, all natural, and minimally processed. They also have a preference for vegetarian, keto, and paleo-friendly diets, plant-based sources of protein, authentic foods, ‘kitchen-cupboard’ ingredients, and ingredient sourcing. Translation: Consumers want to know where their food comes from!

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