About the author: Tricia Contreras | SmartBlogs

Tricia Contreras Tricia Contreras edits food, beverage and CPG briefs and manages SmartBlog on Food & Beverage. A former intern and writer at SmartBrief, she graduated from the Philip Merrill School of Journalism at the University of Maryland in College Park. You can follow her on Twitter @SB_Food.

On-the-go eating is a big business in the US, with many busy consumers opting to grab packaged foods and snacks when there isn’t time for a sit-down meal. Often, the choices for on-the-go eating leave much to be desired in the health department. Potato chips, pizza and burgers are plentiful, and options like conveniently prepped vegetables and lean proteins are growing but still far from ubiquitous.[…] Continue Reading »

Restaurant news topped the most-clicked list this week. A story about White Castle navigating New York’s higher minimum wage was most popular with readers, followed by news that Taco Bell is testing a TacoBot. The automated ordering bot allows consumers to order and pay for their food through the workplace messaging system Slack.

A story about chefs using the popular spiralizer tool to create noodle-like ribbons out of fruits and vegetables was also popular with readers, as was news that Kraft Heinz is expanding its Cracker Barrel brand into a premium macaroni and cheese product.[…] Continue Reading »

When it comes to food, today’s consumers want it all — healthy, fresh dishes that don’t sacrifice on flavor. Luckily, diners’ knowledge and palates are expanding along with their demands, making it easier than ever for chefs to fill this tall order.

The growing popularity and influence of global cuisines on the US dining scene has opened the minds of chefs and consumers to new ingredients, techniques and flavors that lend themselves to healthy eating.[…] Continue Reading »

California Pizza Kitchen celebrated 30 years in the restaurant business last March, and the brand rolled out the Next Chapter Initiative as a roadmap to its future. SmartBrief interviewed Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy and Brand Officer Natalia Franco on how the brand is innovating with an eye toward the future and what she’s learned as a leader in the food and beverage industry.[…] Continue Reading »

A story about how to manage millennials in the workplace was the most popular read among SmartBrief subscribers this week, followed by an announcement that the FDA has yet again delayed the enforcement of menu labeling rules for food retailers and restaurant chains.

News about mergers and acquisitions in food retail was prolific this week. A story about what Roundy’s Supermarkets stands to gain from new owner Kroger made this week’s top five.[…] Continue Reading »