Food Trends Overheard on Facebook in 2018

By Lionel Binnie Facebook just released their second annual Topics and Trends Report.  This is their report for marketers that tracks conversation topics that consumers are sharing on the platform, that are growing louder.  If you’re in the food industry, this is seriously fun eavesdropping! It can help us spot real trends.  Overheard social media conversations indicate that concern about …

The Soy Sauce Whisperer

Notes on ‘Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat’ I can’t explain exactly why Samin Nosrat’s Netflix cooking show, ‘Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat’ is so watchable.  I think it’s because her energy is so downright compelling. In the series, Samin, a chef who trained at Alice Water’s Chez Panis restaurant, plunges us into cooking fundamentals, and takes us through the four elements, salt, …

Food Safety: How it Works in Real Time

A brief case study of how Peace Dining Corporation, or PDC, (Mai Sushi’s parent company), handled the November 2018 national romaine lettuce recall. On Tuesday, November 20th, the Federal Department of Agriculture (FDA) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) announced that all U.S. romaine lettuce regardless of origin needed to be pulled from store shelves and stop being sold …

Top 5 Factors Influencing Consumer Purchases of Packaged Sushi

We recently conducted an in-depth survey of several hundred sushi customers to find out what are the most important factors influencing consumers when deciding to buy ready-to-eat packaged sushi. The survey was for grocery store customers but could be applied to customers in other venues (colleges, hospitals, etc) Here are the results: FACTOR INFLUENCING PURCHASE IMPORTANCE RATING #1 Freshness/quality of …

2 Fun Food Concepts that Will Bring out the Kid in You

Jollibee and Cookie Dough Jollibee is a Filipino fast-casual concept that just opened it’s 37th US store in Times Square, New York City, October 27th. So you know they’re looking to break out.  Here’s a video about the opening. A unique mashup of Filipino and American culture, Jollibee launched in the Phillipines in 1978 and now have 1,300 units around …

Disrupting the Disruptors: Restaurant Delivery

by Lionel Binnie GrubHub is on a tear now with TV ads and they’re working hard to be the national source for restaurant delivery.  The trouble is, they charge restaurants a lot to be on their app; a commission that ranges from 15% to 25% of each sale, plus 10% for delivery.  Does it make sense for restaurants? Maybe for …

10 Quick-Facts about Gen Z

1/ Roughly, those born after the mid 1990’s, next cohort after Milennials 2/ Generation Z are children of Generation X, or younger boomers 3/ 54% are Caucasian, 24% are Hispanic, 14% are African-American, 4% are Asian, and 4% are multiracial or other 4/ The Great Recession has taught Generation Z to be independent, and has led to an entrepreneurial desire, after seeing their parents …

Space-Food, Bugs and Nuts: A Talk by Andrew Zimmern of Bizarre Foods Fame

By Lionel Binnie At last month’s (August 2018) Association for Healthcare Foodservice conference in Minneapolis, I attended a talk by Andrew Zimmern of the Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods fame. He’s a gifted chef, teacher and raconteur.  His talk fluently threaded a series of tales about food, but really, about culture and life. Space-Food Zimmern said that food is more important …

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What’s New in Restaurants: A Trend Report from AHF

At the recent (2018) Association of Healthcare Food Service (AHF) Conference in Minneapolis, I attended a presentation by Chef Gerry Ludwig from Gordon Food Service.  The report is from their annual survey of over 400 restaurants in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.  It’s based on what actual chefs and restaurants are serving, like, now.  Forgive any errors or omissions …

Who Fishes, Matters

Small-Scale Fisheries – and Why they’re Good for the Oceans  by Lionel Binnie Small-scale, locally managed fisheries are how fish have been captured throughout history.  And they are still an important part of the fishing industry.  What we’ll show here is why they have many positive effects on the health and sustainability of our oceans and fish stocks, as well …