Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg may have won after all. Several of the major soft drink makers have now pledged to reduce calories in their beverages by some 20% within the next 10 years. How? Companies like Pepsi intend to offer smaller portion servings, bottled waters, and low calorie choices.
Restaurants Cope With Higher Citrus Prices
It wasn't long ago that lime prices went through the roof. Thanks to the continuing drought in California, lemons are now more than 40% higher than they were only a year ago. What to do? Some restaurants are swallowing the increases, others are asking tourists if they wish to have a slice with their tea, while many others are simply not carrying the fruits at all. To make matters worse, lemons have become very popular items, reports Restaurant News, since lemon added to water is a hot commodity these days, pushing exports some 150%.
Top Three Food Items Among Consumers
Based on recent research conducted by Today In Food, the top three food items are chocolate, olive oil, and cheese. Somewhere out there is a winning recipe for a true entrepreneur. Chocolate cheese brownies made with olive oil, anyone?
What You Serve To Drink Can Make Or Break Restaurants
In a study undertaken by Technomics, researchers found that consumers value what restaurants serve to drink, especially fast food and full-service outlets. Consumers want more choices across the refreshment sector, from more healthy choices to more cold alcohol beverages. In the fast food sector, consumers want more drink-only choices at the drive-throughs without having to also place a food order.
Millennials More Likely To Eat Breakfast Foods Anytime
Not known as early risers, Millennials do like their waffles and eggs - only not at breakfast, Dataessential reports. According to the research report, 20% of Millennials order breakfast items for lunch and even dinner when they dine out. Maybe that is something you want to keep in mind when you are thinking about running your next special geared toward the younger set. And one more thing: they also like to eat their breakfast items late into the evening, diner style, even at higher priced restaurants.
Blended Burgers Become Fashionable
How do you spice up a beef burger? Try adding a bit of mushroom, chopped turkey, and some spices and you have a more flavorful burger, Restaurant News reports. Already popular in non- commercial accounts such as schools, the blended burger concept is set to explode in fast food and even sit down restaurants by the end of 2015, Restaurant News says. Flip Burger, some Daren restaurants, and Applebee's are already on the blended bandwagon, noting that chopped mushrooms are in the near future for round beef on a bun.
Thanks to heavy rains across the Bread Belt, pumpkin harvests have been delayed and in some cases ruined by heavy rains, reports The Wall Street Journal. While up to 50% of pumpkin crops were ruined in Michigan, the remaining crop is considered excellent, but will likely be delayed to market. As you plan your fall menus, check with your supplier to make sure what you need is available as Halloween approaches.
Farmed Salmon Goes Upscale
According to The Wall Street Journal top chefs are beginning to order certain farmed-raised salmon over fresh water salmon for their restaurants. The reason? It costs less and tastes better. Historically, fish snobs have steered clear of farmed-raised salmon as not only being offensive to the environment, but also lacking taste, the Journal reports. No more. With advances in the fish farming industry to establish "green" practices, as well as closer monitoring for diseases and bacteria, the farmed-raised version of the pink, fatty fish is raising eyebrows in some of the U.S.'s poshest restaurants.
D.C. Food Trucks Crashing The Party With New Lottery System
Washington, D.C. restaurants are concerned that gourmet food trucks allowed in the mall area of Washington will end up hurting traditional businesses, The Washington Post reports. With a new lottery system going into effect for cherished places along the Mall, The food trucks plan to feature such items as made-to-order crab cakes, barbecue, and Vietnamese dishes, to specialty cupcakes that will actually rival the quality of long-established restaurants. According to the Post, the first new food truck lottery system reflects the new reality of food tastes, which may be good for consumers, but not so good for traditional eateries in need of a radical makeover.
Federal Trade Commission May Challenge Sysco, U.S. Foods Merger
The Federal Trade Commission is considering a possible challenge of the pending Sysco-U.S. Foods merger, The Wall Street Journal reports. Nearly 12 states and countless private parties have logged complaints with the FTC against the merger based on complaints that it will harm competition in national food distribution by controlling wholesale prices across the country. Some critics say if the $8.2 billion merger is allowed, it will control between 25 - 35 percent of the national distribution market. Sysco insists that it does not compete on a national scale, but in local markets. However, it also notes that it is prepared to divest up to $2 billion of its assets in order to proceed with the merger. Analysts are divided on the issue, some saying it will not proceed, while others feel it is doable, The Deal reports.