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.
Continue reading New in Ice Cream – The Full Scoop
Trending: Collagen Infused Foods and Beverages
Edible beauty is on the rise, and it is making its food industry appearance in the form of collagen. Already being hailed by Trendspotter as a bona fide 2019 trend, what is the collagen craze all about? If you are like most people, in or out of the foodservice business, you are likely hungry for answers to questions such as: What is collagen anyway? Can you actually eat and drink it? What’s the difference between collagen supplements and collagen-containing foods? And, given that collagen, aka ‘edible beauty,’ is supposed to enhance appearance and promote healthy-looking skin, does ingesting collagen actually work?
The Scoop on Ingestible Collagen
If your chef’s tray is loaded with unanswered questions about collagen-infused foods and beverages, get ready for a diverse menu of answers that may or may not quench your thirst or satisfy your palate. As with many new trends in the foodservice industry, the jury is still out on the pros and cons of collagen edibles. The good news is that there are a growing number of products to consider, and an equally large number of expert opinions to chew on. So, let’s take a closer look at trending collagen so that you can make an informed decision about adding them to your recipes, dishes and restaurant menus.
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Pea Protein Presence on the Rise
Why are pea proteins showing up in more products, recipes, and restaurant menus? If you are a savvy foodservice professional striving to stay on top of your game by keeping up with the latest trends in the industry, this guide to pea proteins is exactly the recipe you’ve been looking for!
Why Pea Proteins are Trending
The facts are in: Pea proteins are rapidly gaining popularity as consumers are hungry for plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy, as well as healthier food choices. Adding to their assets is the fact that pea proteins are naturally free of gluten, nuts, and wheat, making them the perfect pick for consumers with celiac disease and food allergies. Increasingly found in a variety of food products, from protein powders to veggie burgers to milk, pea proteins are easy on the digestive system and taste good to boot!
Continue reading How Pea Protein Is Capturing The Food Market
Beverage Trends 2019
What beverages will consumers be drinking this year? If you are a foodservice professional looking to ramp up your 2019 beverage menu, here are some of the latest food-and-drink trends to follow.
Exciting, New Drinks in Demand
According to the experts, there has never been a more exciting time to be in the beverage industry. As beverages are fitting into consumers’ lives in more areas than ever before, innovation is on the rise in every segment of the market. Fresh, exciting, new drinks are in demand, driven by increased consumer interest in convenient, functional, healthy, nootropic (brain-boosting) drinks; non-alcoholic, gourmet, sour, and fruity drinks; as well as new hot and cold brew options. This coupled with innovations in the water industry make the beverage industry a force to be reckoned with. Moreover, expect to see a direct parallel between 2019 beverage selections and food industry trends, which are playing a role in what consumers are drinking.
Beverages with a Benefit
Demand for functional beverages are on the rise, with consumers thirsty for drinks that not only quench their thirst, but which offer some kind of health advantage as well. According to the research firm Mintel, this includes probiotic drinks that are good for your gut and that feature ‘superfood’ ingredients such as kava, maca, and mushrooms, as well as low-alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks; drinks with anti-flammatory properties; and ‘adaptogenic’ beverages containing health-boosting herbs, such as medicinal mushrooms. These are increasingly found in drinks, teas, powders, and tinctures.
Continue reading Ramp Up Your 2019 Beverage Menu With These New And Exciting Beverages.
Seaweed Consumption on the Rise
If you run a foodservice business and want to know what’s trending in the industry and what is expected to increasingly appear on 2019 restaurant menus everywhere, it’s time to learn all about the seaweed, aka sea vegetables. Recent Nation’s Restaurant News headlines reveal that seaweed is experiencing a tide of popularity, while James Griffen, an associate professor at Johnson & Wales University, reports that consumption of seaweed is growing 7% annually in the United States – and for good reason. Bursting with a rich array of nutrients and associated with multiple scientifically proven health benefits, the growing appetite for sea vegetables such as nori, kombu, and wakame is not expected to wane anytime soon.
What are Sea Vegetables?
So, what exactly are sea vegetables and how can you add seaweeds to your recipes and menus? Neither plant nor animal, sea vegetables are classified under a group known as algae. Also referred to as edible seaweed, they grow in marine salt waters as well as fresh water lakes and seas and are commonly found on coral reefs or in rocky landscapes. While relatively new to the Western palate, seaweed varieties have been a staple of Japanese diets for millennium. Remarkably, while some types of sea vegetables require soaking for 5-10 minutes before adding them to your recipes or dishes, most require no cooking or sautéeing whatsoever. Due to growing demand, while once available only in specialty shops and health food stores, you can now increasingly find seaweed varieties in local supermarkets and grocery stores as well.
Types of Edible Seaweed
Seaweeds are categorized into three main groups, based on color:
- Green Seaweed: Rich in chlorophyll; found in dark leafy greens and other green vegetables
- Red Seaweed: Especially high in carotenoids; known to have anti-inflammatory properties
- Brown Seaweed: Formidable source of iodine; popularly referred to as ‘kelp’
Continue reading How To Add Trending New Sea Vegetables and Edible Seaweeds To Your 2019 Menu
What’s New in Chocolate?
Attention chocoholics, chefs, and anyone working in the foodservice industry: If you’re wondering what’s new in chocolate these days, you are in for a treat! There is a new kid on the choco block and the decadent temptation has a new look, a new texture – and yes, even a new flavor!
But before we indulge in the latest sweet sensation, let’s take a quick walk down memory lane and look at the state of an industry which has more than passed the test of time and taste…
In the words of Charles M. Schulz: “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” Ah, the sweet sound and flavor of even just hearing the word “chocolate…” By far one of the worlds’ oldest and most beloved aphrodisiacs, it’s no wonder that the current staples – dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate – are a part of almost every menu and a feature item in so many desserts. In fact, according to market research firm Datassential, eateries continue to use chocolate in new and innovative ways, a fact indicative of its enduring popularity.
Larry Wilson, vice president of customer relations at the National Confectioners Association (NCA), further notes that whether as a stand-alone food or as a recipe ingredient: “Chocolate is a very popular product …It grows in demand during good economic times and is recession resistant.”
Currently, dynamics in the chocolate industry are reflecting general food trends for 2019, where consumers are increasingly interested in the content of what they are eating: “People are looking more at specific types of foods,” says Maeve Webster, Datassential senior director. “It’s not just tomatoes, but heirloom tomatoes; not just coffee, but dark roast. People want to know the specifics of what they are eating, so generic chocolate is not as impactful as it was.”
Continue reading Learn The Latest in Chocolate News
Food Presentation Gets a Modern Facelift
Attention Caterers and Restaurant Owners: Did you know that the catering industry is now a $1.7 billion/year business? Given these National Association of Catering Executives statistics, it is no wonder that new methods of catering and diversified styles of food presentation are on the rise. In this dynamic, competitive milieu, you have a unique opportunity to rise to top of your foodservice game. Stay up-to-date with the latest service styles and keep your ear to the ground – and your eyes on the prize – for food presentation sensations that are turning heads in 2019.
Creating a Wow Factor
The success of your business, as always, depends in large part upon your understanding of the costs, efficiencies, and logistics of planning a catered affair and how to orchestrate each event to resounding success. How you plate your menu offerings and decorate your tables are another known success strategy in the biz.
In recent years, however, food presentation has experienced a modern-day facelift, and it is creating a ‘wow factor’ that has now become the point of differentiation between services. Standing out from the crowd by presenting classic dishes in novel ways or by concocting tomorrow’s next pièce de résistance is the recipe for culinary stardom, as well as a key to customer satisfaction.
Continue reading Creating a Wow Factor With The Hottest Trends in Catering and Food Presentation Styles
New in Wedding Dessert Trends
What’s trending in wedding desserts for 2019? If you are planning on catering weddings in the coming year, you have to come to the right place. Our blog last year highlighted the hottest wedding foods for 2018; this guide will give you an updated scoop on what sweet concoctions the experts predict will appear on reception tables everywhere. To cater a memorable event that is guaranteed to make your foodservice memorable, read on for some of the most innovative, wacky, and wonderful wedding dessert ideas your palate has ever imagined.
Wedding Desserts Expected to Be Huge in 2019
What wedding desserts are expected to climb the charts in 2019? Creating a ‘wow’ factor is what it’s all about. From creative confectionary displays in unconventional shapes and sizes to personalized treats in groundbreaking flavors and textures, tomorrow’s wedding desserts are a perfect way to showcase your chef’s culinary talents and to keep your clients wanting more.
While traditional wedding desserts are not entirely out of the picture, new on the horizon are some of the following scrumptious selections, including some rather avant-garde choices:
- Customized Ice Cream Stations
- Pie Buffets
- Mini Pie-Pops
- Exotic Fruit Trees
- Donut Towers
- Piña Colada and Strawberry Daiquiri Donuts
- Waffle and Cookie Bars
- Champagne Flutes
Continue reading What’s Hot in Wedding Dessert Trends?
Although when you think of cheese, you may think immediately of hard, yellow cheeses with their many uses and great varieties, don’t overlook soft cheeses when you’re looking to infuse your next catered event with a tray-ful of flavor. The difference between the many soft cheeses on the market can be subtle, but to the experience palate they are distinct and significant. Some versions of soft cheese work better in certain settings and for many people they are an acquired taste. In any case, learn about soft cheeses here so you can use them at the next possible opportunity.
A Guide to Soft Cheeses
Many people – including caterers – are not that proficient about using a full range of soft cheeses. Beyond putting out a plate of Brie and crackers on a buffet table, many caterers – even those who consider themselves cheese-savvy – don’t give soft cheeses much thought.
Soft cheese can be made from cow, goat, or sheep’s milk and come from countries and places around the globe. Common types of soft cheese are feta, Brie, ricotta, cream cheese, Camembert, Chevre, Roquefort, and gorgonzola, and – of course – cottage cheese. All these cheeses have a special tangy creaminess that no other food imparts.
Hard Cheese vs. Soft Cheese
Soft cheese is un-ripened cheese made by coagulating casein (milk proteins) with acid. Hard cheeses, on the other hand, are aged (ripened), and made by coagulating milk proteins with rennet and culture acids. The ripening process is aided by bacteria or mold. Cheddar, Swiss, Colby, brick and Parmesan are types of bacteria-ripened hard cheeses. Because aging reduces the moisture level in the cheese, hard cheese is drier (and harder) than soft cheese. And, because, bacteria doesn’t grow as easily in dry conditions as in moist ones, hard cheeses keep longer than soft cheeses.
Continue reading Soft Cheeses Come in a Variety of Types and Can be Used in a Range of Ways
Butter is Back
Butter is having a renaissance. As a growing number of consumers try to avoid foods that are perceived as artificial and unhealthy, such as vegetable oil-based margarine, butter is experiencing a revival. The food pendulum is always swinging and what is shunned one year can be embraced the next. So it’s not surprising that butter – natural, fresh from the farm, and simply delicious – is staging a comeback. And, like many foods of late, the fancier the better. Premium innovations from national brands, as well as from regional family-owned creameries and artisan culinary professionals, are helping drive the better-butter business and it seems like the sky is the limit.
Americans Love Butter
Back in 2014, food author/expert Mark Bittman wrote in The New York Times that “Butter is Back,” and the trend that he predicted is continuing. Consumers are buying more butter at the retail level and chefs are cooking more with butter, as well. Recently, McDonald’s announced that it would switch from vegetable oil to real butter to grill eggs and to spread on toast, English muffins, and bagels. Signs in branches now state, “We cook with real dairy.”
Butter is at a 40-year high in per-capita consumption, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In 2016, volume sales for butter were more than 735 million pounds, representing a significant increase from the previous year. Volume sales of margarines and spreads, on the other hand, were down 7.1%. In terms of dollar sales, butter was at about $2.8 billion (up 2.7%) during the same period, while margarine showed a decrease of 7.8%, down to $1.4 billion. These stats are even more surprising when you consider that ordinary butter is about two or three times the price of margarine, while premium butters often command more than five times the price per pound of margarine.
Continue reading Learn About Butter’s Renaissance and How You Can Make Your Own