Food and Menu Trends for 2013

greens

Here is what to be expected on our menus in 2013.

Beef represents a big challenge for food service operators for the next year, and very likely passed down to consumers. The 6% increase in cattle prices prompted a 8% increase in ground beef and 14% increase on choice steak cuts prices in 2012. To further the challenge, 2013 beef product is expected to decrease by 5% translating to an increase in prices to be record high by spring 2013.

The health conscious consumer. The trend of menu labeling will increase nutrition awareness amongst consumers promoting healthier ingredients like Kale, and whole grains, quinoa and farro.

Lightening our favourites. Our favourite heavy calorie meals are being lightened. CarlsJr tweeted “With only 490 calories in our NEW Jalapeno Turkey Burger, U can make a resolution to eat @CarlsJr every day.”

Game meat, specifically, elk, bison and venison. Consumers are becoming increasing adventurous and won’t mind paying extra $ for added quality.
Chicken breast Overkill. It’s a race to see who can use more chicken breast on their menus.

My favourite trend, is the farm to table concept. Restaurants are ordering local products, and regularly changing upscale comfort foods. You will see more local artisan products and local craft beers.

Heavier food marketing for millennials promoting for Group Grazing. Small share plates, and even street food vendors inspire cravability.

Starbucks Rolling out Reusable Plastic Cups

Starbucks Takes A Step Towards A More Affordable Sustainable Culture

source: Starbucks

Whether this is a smart marketing ploy from the Seattle base coffee giant or a true effort to help consumers move towards becoming more environmentally conscious, Starbucks will be rolling out reusable cups starting today, any customer who brings the cups back for a refill receive a $.10 discount. The cups cost $1, making it a lot more affordable compared to the $20 Starbucks coffee travel mugs.

It might not be a huge discount but it is a step towards consumers becoming more environmentally conscious.

During the past few weeks researching and blogging for my Demystifying Our Food Series, I’ve really been more conscious of the food I consume and how it is consumed. No, I am not a tree hugging hippie, I am inspired by the people that continues to go the extra mile when producing or purchasing sustainable food, ensuring that we as consumers continue to have access to healthier options.

 

Related Articles: Demystifying our Food Series

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Starbucks Rolling out Reusable Plastic Cups

 

Menu Trending, the Truth on Who Decides What We Eat

Remember when menu trending buzzwords like low-fat and low-calorie, sugar-free was everywhere?  Found on menu’s to granola bars and chocolate chip cookies. These menu trend buzzwords were synonymous with healthy living. Then it began to gradually take on another meaning. Consumers were becoming educated on what they were consuming. Sugar- free is just another word for aspartame, an artificial sweetener gaining increasing evidence of being a serious health risk. One ingredient found in aspartame is methanol, which is a chemical used to make antifreeze.

Today’s Menu Trending Buzzwords

Ingredient/
  Term
Penetration Growth
Gluten 3.2% 72.5%
Grass-Fed 1.2% 43.8%
Quinoa 1.9% 30.3%
Farro 1.2% 30.3%
Vegan 2.9% 19%
All Natural 4.3% 15.4%
Local 6.7% 8.3%
Organic 9.2% 6.4%
Whole Wheat 15.3% 6.1%
Diet 1.5% 1.3%
Fat Free 6.3% 0.2%

source: http://www.datassentialsurveys.com/mtd/newsletter/2012/130/index.html

Gluten is making a huge headway, which up until 5 years ago no one knew about.  For some of us it is a medical condition, for others they believe it’s a path to a healthier lifestyle

Although consumers, myself included, may not know what the labels truly mean just yet, we understand the general implication, food that is better for us.  Or is it? Are we falling for another marketing ploy or are there substantial benefits to eating organic, gluten-free, grass-fed versus the conventional produce.

I found out a local Vancouver chef, only imports organic produce within Canada, asserting that the USDA organics label is worth shit. What the hell, what have I been eating the past few months, paying double for organic produce?

In the next few weeks I will be launching a Food Series: Demystifying Our Food. Along with Hello Vancity,  we will be on a mission to uncover the truth behind what we are consuming.

What does organic exactly mean and does it justify their prices? Since when has the label “organic” changed to “all natural” and why?  Farmed versus Wild, Grass fed versus Grain fed, Fair Trade isn’t as fair as we like to think. In the next few weeks I and a team of bloggers will be featuring local farmers, chefs and businesses around Vancouver, BC.  Stay tuned.

Vancouver Food Bank Fundraiser – Lunch and Produce by Donation

This day started all wrong. Everything that could go wrong or be broken did. I was so jacked on adrenaline because I was so pissed off before I even headed out my door. So I shimmed into my hottest dressed, brushed my hair and dolled myself up, to try to make myself feel better.

On the way to work I heard music coming from the art gallery. I saw colourful tents, I was already late for work, so I decided to check it out

Vancouver Food Bank Fundraiser  - Organic produce

It was Vancouver Food Bank’s annual Thanksgiving fundraiser. This year’s theme is organics, breakfast, lunch produce by donation. With so many happy faces I was soon smiling too. It felt good to do something great and meaningful.

fundraiser Vancouver Food Bank
happy volunteers at Vancouver Food Bank

Details: food bank fundraiser at the art gallery today, till just after lunch. Last I heard at 10:30 they raised $2000. Come down.

Organics cereal, organic pancakes, syrup, juices, ethical coffee.

They also have an organic produce section, kale, carrots, cherries, apples, pears and cereals. There is a suggested price however, this is also by donation.

If you donate $20 or more you are eligible for a tax receipt.

See you there at lunch, they are making chilli