So you want to start recycling, but you don’t have a clue how to start.

Earlier, we suggested recycling your back-of-the-house cardboard as an easy first step. If you’re ready to take it further, consider the five steps outlined in a new Foodservice Packaging Recovery Toolkit from the Foodservice Packaging Institute and the National Restaurant Association.

Tune into our free April 21 webinar for more details on these steps:

It is easy to overlook what actually caused most of today’s market share-leading iconic brands to get where they are. While marketing and branding play an important role in the growth of any consumer facing business, it is very easy, in retrospect, to ascribe an unfair share of credit for a food product’s eventual success to its brand. After all, when you consider the youthful days of former niche players like Chobani, Kashi, Stacy’s, vitaminwater, few would argue they are stuff for case studies in excellent works of branding.

It’s no secret that young, especially premium brands, are increasingly making inroads on established, legacy food and beverage brands in the American market. As legacy brand market share continues to slump, we find that industry leaders are beginning to acknowledge a long-ignored truth: their companies’ portfolios are fully stocked with older, legacy brands that operate fundamentally differently in modern food culture than younger, entrepreneurial upstarts. (read more…)

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. Kroger‘s announcement that it will add jobs and stores and remodel existing locations as part of a $180 million investment in the Michigan market rounded out the top five.

Read these stories and others that made this week’s most-clicked in Food & Beverage on SmartBrief.com:

  1. What New York’s new wage means for White Castle
  2. Taco Bell tests an order-taking TacoBot
  3. Chefs give spiralizers a spin to create healthy noodles
  4. Kraft Heinz launches Cracker Barrel mac and cheese campaign
  5. Kroger announces $180M investment in Mich.
  6. (read more…)

What comes to mind when you imagine the eating habits of the average college student? Is it the stereotypically cash-strapped millennial stocking up on packets of ramen and macaroni and cheese, or is it the more modern foodie looking for new and exciting options at dining halls and at the hottest restaurants in town? The correct answer is both and everything in between – among other insights, Datassential’s newest Topical Keynote Report on Colleges & Universities found that while money is a concern for students, with expense being the top reason cited for not being on a meal plan (40%), most students would spend a gift of money on food over other items like clothes or electronics.

Our extensive report uncovers many more essential findings on the behaviors and wants of today’s college students, a population that is expected to reach nearly 23 million in 2017, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. (read more…)

In the constantly-changing era of the Internet, restaurants and retailers can no longer get by with just traditional offerings. Instead, they must evolve and create experiences to draw connected customers to their establishments. As a result, foodservice and retail can mean many different things, and sometimes they even go hand-in-hand.

As one of the oldest retailers in the United States, upscale department store chain Bloomingdale’s is no stranger to innovation and evolution, and one of the ways the retailer has evolved to create experiences that keep customers coming back is adding foodservice to many of its stores. From quickserve food counters to luxury dining experiences, Bloomingdale’s foodservice operations have become a major part of the company’s business strategy. We talked to David Starr, operating vice president and director of food services for Bloomingdale’s, about the business and the experience of establishing successful foodservice operations at retail stores.

Tell me about Bloomingdale’s foodservice operations across the company’s stores. (read more…)