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.

Not too many years ago, the phrase “vegan restaurant” could conjure up images of spartan, tasteless and distinctly unsatisfying fare. Now, veg-savvy chefs are hitting the mainstream, winning over herbivores and omnivores alike with sophisticated, surprising plant-based menus.

Fine-dining eatery Vedge beat out all of Philadelphia’s other restaurants to take the Best Food title in Zagat’s most recent survey of the city’s eateries.[…] Continue Reading »

Two trends have come together to drive the growth of new snack foods — consumers are snacking more and sometimes using snacks to replace meals. Meanwhile, they’re also trying to avoid empty calories and seek out convenient snacks that pack a nutritional punch without packing on the calories.

The new year began with news on the high-protein snack front.[…] Continue Reading »

“Advanced Asian” tops Sterling Rice Group‘s list of Culinary Trends for 2015, as increasingly sophisticated American palates embrace international flavors.

Sterling Rice Group Culinary Director Kara Nielsen and her team spend their days poring over trend data, scouring the aisles of the Fancy Food Show and Natural Food Expos, and studying consumer behavior, food blogs and news sites, all with the goal of identifying the next hot culinary trends and the bigger underlying trends that drive them.[…] Continue Reading »

Consumers may mark the passing of 2014 with a midnight glass of bubbly, but odds are they’ll begin and end the evening with cocktails boasting a burst of cinnamon, a dash of ginger or a hint of mint. Flavored spirits grew more popular this year, and the trend is set to continue growing in 2015 with the rise of more artisan and small-batch products.[…] Continue Reading »

Those of us who shop seasonal farmer’s markets have learned that the bumpy apples, misshapen eggplants and two-pronged carrots fresh from the fields can taste better than their perfect peers on the grocery store shelves, but the vast majority of us still judge our food on looks alone, bypassing ugly produce in our quest for the best-looking fruits and vegetables.[…] Continue Reading »