About the author: Janet Forgrieve | SmartBlogs

Janet Forgrieve Janet Forgrieve is a freelance writer and SmartBrief contributor who writes for restaurant and retail briefs. A former business journalist, Janet spent several years covering the restaurant and retail industries for the Rocky Mountain News in Denver. She earned her bachelor’s degree in mass communications from the University of South Florida and spent six years covering business at The Tampa Tribune.

Breakfast has long been called the most important meal of the day, and the cliche is proving increasingly true for packaged food makers and restaurants looking to serve consumers’ growing craving for morning meals that balance healthy, yummy and easy to eat on the go.

“Consumers have really absorbed the message for awhile now that starting your day with a bowl full of sugar is not the best way to sustain your energy and be your best,” said Kara Nielsen, culinary director of Sterling Rice Group.[…] Continue Reading »

Spaghetti, mac-and-cheese and other indulgent noodle dishes have been perennially popular foods that work with the wallet when times are tight. Pasta proved an affordable comfort food during the recession, but an improved economy that has people dining out more often, combined with trends toward eating low-carb and gluten-free are fueling a decline in retail sales of dried pasta in the US and other global markets.[…] Continue Reading »

Descriptions including “craft”, “small batch,” “custom,” “limited edition” and “artisan/artisanal” are more likely to influence the purchasing decisions of millennials than they are to sway older consumers, according to a recent Harris Poll. Chefs and restaurateurs are finding ways to feed the trend — the Culinary Institute of America will hold a Crafting Beer and Food Summit in October, bringing together master brewers and chefs to create menus that complement craft beers.[…] Continue Reading »

Eateries from white-tablecloth restaurants to casual chains have been on a mission to improve their bar menus for several years, with new twists on familiar fried favorites and original exotic dishes designed to keep patrons sipping and spending from happy hour to late night.

Chains have been spicing up their offerings, with bar menus like Applebee’s new Apps & Bar Snacks menu, BennigansCrowd Pleasers and Chili’s extensive appetizer list.[…] Continue Reading »

From fresh fruits and raw nuts to processed bars and packaged chips, consumers’ demand for convenience and flavor as well as beneficial nutrients are fueling the latest healthy snack trends. Adults and children are snacking more often during the day, and replacing meals with snacks more than in years past, making healthy snack options more important than ever.[…] Continue Reading »