So What? February 2017 Edition

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Beverages: Coffee & Tea Trends

Summary: On premise foodservice coffee and tea is a $21.6 billion category (Mintel) exhibiting growth, but constantly being challenged by new retail products. Future category innovation:
• Nitro Coffee – Nitro added to cold brew to create a creamy mouthful.
• Harvest to Cup – Coffee houses will focus on the entire process of making coffee, including using waste/byproducts (e.g., Starbucks Cascara Latte).
• Adult Coffee Beverages – More coffee cocktails.
• Functional Teas – Teas packed with health benefits (e.g., energy boosting, etc.).

So What: Coffee and tea remains a high margin, innovative category that will drive foodservice sales and guest traffic.

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Bakery: Benchmarking 2017 Retail Bakery Trends

Summary: Retailers are catering to consumers’ health concerns including gluten-free, but also offering more sprouted grain varieties of artisan breads. According to Nielsen, only 3.1% of in-store sales come from items with health claims leaving the door open for opportunity since corresponding sales dropped in the last 52 weeks ended October 2016 (-3.5%). In addition to bakery items with health claims, clean labeling is also gaining importance among consumers.

So What: Benchmarking retail bakery trends are always a great way to develop new bakery items in foodservice (e.g., carriers, desserts).

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Snacks: Healthy Future

Summary: Healthier snack items are projected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 6.2% and reach total sales of $1.7 billion by 2019 (Packaged Facts). The percentage of consumers that graze on healthier snack foods has grown from 24% to 30%. Consumers looking for great tasting, “good-for-you” products are consuming more fruit based snacks. In addition, alternative ingredients like pulses (e.g., chickpeas), kale and sweet potato are gaining momentum.

So What: It is important to recognize that snack foods are evolving from traditional favorites (salty) to healthy and represent a huge opportunity for the food-away-from-home channel.

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Produce: Salad Power

Summary: Salads are no longer considered diet, rabbit food. 90% of all restaurant menus (Datassential) have salads listed. Green salads still have the greatest penetration – over half of all consumers, report eating a green salad at least once every three days. In addition, a wide range of ingredients that add flavor and a crispy texture are now becoming an integral part of the overall salad experience (e.g., kale, brussels sprouts, herb falafel, chimichurri, etc.).

So What: Salads have become a menu stable. In addition, salads can be customized and delivered in a bowl, two important consumer attributes.

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Dairy: Butter Innovation

Summary: Thanks to innovation, butter is making a comeback in foodservice among chefs. Back to basics (“cultured”) the way butter was traditionally made (cream left to age before churning) is regaining popularity since the final product taste profile is sour, sweet and salty (a bitter unami). Some culinarians are experimenting by infusing butter with unique flavors and revisiting brown butter with its nutty and caramelized overtones for baking/desserts.

So What: Butter as an ingredient with a dash of innovation (e.g., flavor) represents a new area of menu differentiation (e.g., utilized in conjunction with breakfast items) for creative operators.

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Consumerism: Campbell Soup Trendscape Report

Summary: Food leader, Campbell Soup published its annual Trendscape Report based on data from their Global Culinary & Baking Institute. Most of their research forecast addressed items we have already written about – the condiment rage, grains have become more established, global flavors are more mainstream (e.g., curry), mission driven products (e.g., local), etc. A new culinary item still in its infancy is Marine Greens (e.g., kelp, algae oil).

So What: The big question most food experts are now trying to answer: “Is seaweed the new kale?”

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Consumerism: Bonus 2017 Trends

Summary: Consumer trends identified by Euromonitor International, plus those that emerged at the Winter Fancy Food Show we believe worth taking note of are as follows:
• Wellness – The rise of boutique health. Exhibited in S.F., a plethora of beverages and snacks (low carb, savory and frozen).
• Personalization/Indulgence – Includes global flavors.
• Faster shopping – Convenience, convenience, convenience!
• Consumers in Training – Children will be given more decision-making power.

So What: In addition to food & beverage innovation based on the latest health and wellness trends, global flavors and the demand for convenience, Perrino & Associates believe that it will be important to better understand what young consumers (children) are thinking since they are going to have a major impact on the future of foodservice.

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Technology: Mobile Consumers

Summary: Hershey’s offered some insight into their mobile marketing strategies at a one day conference (Mobile FirstLook 2017). They shared some mobile consumer behavior data/analytics, specifically how some demographics (Millennials) are checking their phones 150 times per day. Consequently, it is important to create content that connects with consumers; a unique, engaging experience across all platforms/mediums that converts into sales. Their speaker indicated: “We’re in a world where everything is media, even a car bumper sticker.”

So What: We now live in a mobile first world. Accordingly, train your employees and provide them with the resources needed to keep up with all the latest mobile technology including data analytics.

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