Trendwire, February 2010

Trendwire, February 2010

Food & Drink

Trendwire, February 2010


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The Food Channel Trendwire
February, 2010 • Volume 24, Number 1 •

Takeout Still Trendy

While unemployment remains at an alarmingly high rate, Americans continue to live busy lives. Lots of multitasking still going on—and that means food eaten on the run. Thus, the carryout/takeout category of the foodservice business remains one of the strongest, in spite of the struggling economy.

In fact more people get restaurant food to go now than dine in, according to the NPD Group. Restaurants are catering to the needs of those on the go, offering designated parking and curbside car delivery, and creating special menus such as Ruby Tuesday’s RubyTueGo.

Packaging will always be critical to the success of a takeout program, and one of the key trends in this area is sustainability. Consumers view containers made of Styrofoam and other non-recyclable materials as a real negative. They want earth-friendly containers that are compostable or recyclable. Some cities have even moved to ban restaurants from using materials made of Styrofoam.

Among the other key takeout trends include the growing use of social media technology such as Twitter and iPhone apps for ordering takeout. Pizza Hut’s app has led to more than $1 million in sales.

For more on current takeout trends read the complete top ten takeout trends list, which is part of The Food Channel Beyond the Plate series sponsored by U.S. Foodservice


School Foodservice Working to Curb Childhood Obesity

The School Nutrition Association (SNA) recently wrapped up their Child Nutrition Industry Conference in Ponte Vedra, Fla., and finding ways to reduce childhood obesity in America was on the minds of many attendees.

Among the panelists for a discussion of “New World Expectations” was Chef Ann Cooper, aka the “Renegade Lunch Lady” and founder of The Lunch Box Project. Its web site,, calls itself a “toolbox for transforming your school lunchroom,” and offers scores of healthy, balanced recipes suitable for school foodservice, geared to feed 100 children.

In the future, the site hopes to be a one-stop shop with hundreds of kid-tested recipes, all nutritionally analyzed, priced and scalable, plus it plans to offer how-to videos, photos and manuals. The Lunch Box will even provide menus and production records to help districts stay compliant with the National School Lunch Program. Read More.

SNA Teams Up with the NFL
If you’ve been watching the NFL playoffs recently you’ve probably seen the TV commercials promoting Fuel Up to Play60, a campaign to fight and defeat childhood obesity. A unique partnership between USDA, the National Dairy Council® and local Dairy Councils® and the NFL has produced a new school-based program that empowers students to make smart choices about their nutrition and physical activity.

The program offers free kits (one per school) designed to inspire students to “fuel up” with the food groups kids don’t get enough of—such as low-fat dairy foods, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains—and to “get up and play” for at least 60 minutes a day. SNA members can earn CEUs (Continuing Education Units) when implementing Fuel Up to Play 60 in their schools.


The Food Channel Partners with IFMA

The Food Channel is excited to announce a new alliance with IFMA, the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association. One of the first actions resulting from the partnership will be The Food Channel’s wall-to-wall coverage of COEX 2010, the Chain Operators Exchange event sponsored by IFMA and held at the JW Marriott Orlando-Grande Lakes in Orlando, Fla.

Kay Logsdon, editor of The Food Channel, is among the presenters scheduled to speak at the conference, which runs from February 28 through March 3. This year’s event theme is “Menu, Value and Innovation: Consumers Rule!”

On-site at COEX, The Food Channel team will videotape, report, blog, tweet and file stories highlighting new food trends, COEX presentations and other event news. This live coverage will be accessible through The Food Channel and IFMA Web sites, enabling conference attendees to review COEX highlights in real time while still enjoying the on-site benefits of customer networking and relationship building.

In addition, The Food Channel will have an exclusive TV channel at the JW Marriott which will run continuously throughout COEX.

On the COEX agenda are such key industry issues as managing margins in a difficult environment, menu innovation with a value approach, and nutrition and menu labeling.


Beyond the Plate: New Resource for Food Professionals.

Beyond the Plate is an innovative, interactive resource where foodies and food professionals can learn about and discuss new tastes, new products, marketplace trends and just plain enjoyment of food.

This month, the site features “Top 10 Trends in Takeout” a special feature sponsored by U.S. Foodservice, as well as articles on disposable products that are environmentally friendly and recyclable, plus recipes that are perfect for takeout or on-the-go meals preparation. Beyond the Plate ( is produced by The Food Channel® in partnership with U.S. Foodservice®.

U.S. Foodservice has also introduced a new digital micro site. Foodsight delivers “Insight for the Foodservice Professional,” offering analysis of the latest market trends, operator news and management tools for an ever-changing array of product categories. You can easily link to business building information, training tips, resource partners and more, directly at or from

The Food Channel also publishes a great consumer newsletter, called FoodWire®. To receive a copy, please register your email address at


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