By Maeve Webster on March 3rd, 2014 | 498331 comment on this postUmami+takes+over%3A+Innovative+chefs+are+embracing+the+%22fifth+taste%222014-03-03+14%3A16%3A02Guest+Bloggerhttp%3A%2F%2Fsmartblogs.com%2F%3Fp%3D49833
In Thailand it’s fish sauce. In Japan it’s miso and soy sauce. In Italy it’s Parmigiano-Reggiano. In Spain it’s cured meats. In Australia it’s vegemite. In the U.S. it’s ketchup (and Doritos, as in the Doritos Locos Taco, which was one of the most successful fast food introductions in history). In Korea it’s kimchi.
It’s umami. And lately chefs can’t seem to get enough of it.
Often called “the fifth taste,” umami isn’t easy to describe. Even the Umami Information Center — a non-profit dedicated to promoting umami – says “most people don’t recognize umami when they encounter it.” The Japanese word roughly translates to a “pleasant savory taste.” It’s a filling, savory, “meaty” sensation one tastes in foods rich in glutamate.
Umami isn’t new, either; the flavor itself naturally occurs in foods like meat and mushrooms. Even the concept of umami is over a century old, identified by a Tokyo professor named Kikunae Ikeda in 1908. (read more…)
By Marianne Quinlan-Sacksteder on February 25th, 2014 | 495211 comment on this postHow+%E2%80%9Cgrocerants%2C%E2%80%9D+millennials+and+technology+are+changing+the+shopping+landscape+2014-02-25+10%3A00%3A57Amy+Sunghttp%3A%2F%2Fsmartblogs.com%2F%3Fp%3D49521
Anyone who works in the consumer packaged goods industry can attest that the shopping landscape is evolving at an accelerated pace. As shifts in shopping and spending resulting from the rise of a new generation of consumers who embrace different values and lifestyles intersect with the exploding digital landscape, manufacturers and grocery retailers are faced with the challenge of understanding these changes and their implications.
Just released, in the ninth edition of The Why? Behind The Buy report by Acosta Sales & Marketing, we found most notably that the concept of “grocerants” — grocery stores acting as restaurants — is on the rise. Contrary to some reports, eating at home is not passé. Rather, it has evolved to meet the needs of busier lifestyles, more sophisticated palates and consumers who have become accustomed to immediate gratification. As consumers take advantage of ready-to-eat foods and meal solution offerings from grocery stores, quick-serve restaurants, food delivery and take away, shoppers are increasing eating out by actually eating in. (read more…)
By Maeve Webster on February 24th, 2014 | 495481 comment on this postCreating+the+next+%22it%22+food%3A+The+rise+of+limited+time+offerings2014-02-24+10%3A00%3A35Guest+Bloggerhttp%3A%2F%2Fsmartblogs.com%2F%3Fp%3D49548
How operators are turning long lines, secret menus, and limited quantities into marketing opportunities
Since Chef Dominique Ansel released his croissant-doughnut hybrid last year, operators and manufacturers have been asking themselves, “How do we create the next cronut?” In an age where trends seem to capture our attention one minute and disappear the next, how do operators break through the noise and introduce the next craveable creation?
The surprising answer may come in the form of long lines, dishes missing from the menu, and running out of products. What sound like surefire ways to annoy customers and go bankrupt are quickly becoming popular marketing tactics designed to create buzz around new menu introductions and create the next viral sensation.
Novelty and innovation certainly help — like Ansel’s hybrid dessert or the three-hour waits for New York’s ramen burgers. But customers in Chicago are lining up for old-fashioned strawberry glazed doughnuts at Doughnut Vault, while diners in Austin wait four hours for the classic brisket at Franklin Barbecue. (read more…)
By Jason Gunn on February 19th, 2014 | 492831 comment on this postE-Commerce+and+product+information+in+the+foodservice+industry+2014-02-19+13%3A00%3A32Guest+Bloggerhttp%3A%2F%2Fsmartblogs.com%2F%3Fp%3D49283
As the next generation of chefs and restaurateurs embrace technology, they are changing the way people think of food, how they eat, and where they go to eat. As a result of the ever-changing needs of the consumer, foodservice operators, distributors, and manufacturers have to be poised to react or they risk becoming irrelevant. So what’s the next big thing for foodservice? E-commerce.
The stage is already set. E-tailers like Amazon and Zappos have proven that consumers want the ease and convenience of online shopping. In fact, online sales have grown at a rate of 10% annually and could reach more than $370 billion by 2017, according to Forrester Research. Foodservice is already trickling into this space through sites like GrubHub and Peapod that have made it possible to place a to-go order at your favorite local restaurant or to have groceries delivered right to your door. The appetite for being able to log in, click around and find the right products is stronger than ever. (read more…)
Department stores have been in a race to set themselves apart from each other for years, and the quest has become even more urgent in the age of online shopping. Increasingly, food has started to play a bigger role in those efforts. In addition to exclusive brands and signature fashion lines, retailers have been focusing on offering customers experiences that can’t be replicated in the digital world — and that includes restaurants. New concepts include department store dining aimed at catering to foodies, menus designed for health-conscious consumers and spots set up to serve cocktails to customers stopping to catch a second wind.
Last year, Macy’s made a splash with the opening of Stella 34 Trattoria as part of the multi-year remodel of its Herald Square flagship in New York City. It’s not new for Macy’s stores to have on-site restaurants, but the new 10,000-square-foot Italian eatery will stay open later than the store, offer an innovative foodie-friendly menu and boast a gelato bar and views of the Empire State Building. (read more…)