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Top Ten Beverage Trends for 2011
Our Food Channel trend trackers, working in concert with CultureWaves®, the International Food Futurists® and Mintel International, have released our Beverage Trends mid-year report. Here’s a sip of what you’ll find in it.
D.I.Y. Flavor. While grocers’ shelves continue to be well-stocked with flavored and fortified bottled waters, many consumers have started to add their own personal touches to H2O. They’re adding a bit of citrus, a slice of watermelon or a touch of floral; and experimenting with new add-ons like the new liquid flavor enhancer MiO.
Iced Coffee Is Scalding Hot. Sales of the cold caffeinated beverage are up 20 percent in the last five years. Premium beans and high-tech cold brewing breakthroughs have made iced coffee the hot beverage for hot weather drinking.
Chocolate Milk is making news with kids and grownups. Some school districts are banning it from cafeterias (Los Angeles) after pressure from parents (and Jamie Oliver). On the other side of the issue, adults have learned that it’s one of the best things to drink after a workout—and that you can now get a buzz from a 40-proof vodka-spiked version called, appropriately, Adult Chocolate Milk.
Drinking Ourselves Thin. Low-calorie versions of popular alcoholic beverages are hot-hot-hot in this sweltering summer. Seems you can’t turn around in a crowded bar without someone ordering a cocktail called “Skinny”-something. And light beers are battling it out to see who can go the lowest in calorie counts.
Be sure to view the full Top Ten to get the complete picture of what Americans are pouring—and are going to be pouring–in 2011.
Debating User Reviews: Yelp vs. the Restaurateur
One of the hot topics at this year’s National Restaurant Show was restaurant reviews, not the ones written by professional food critics, but those posted on sites like Yelp by ordinary folk who want to spread the word, good or bad, to friends and followers.
There was a rather animated debate staged at the show between Luther Lowe, Manager of Local Business Outreach for the popular ratings powerhouse, Yelp, and Stefan Richter, renowned Finnish chef and owner of several restaurants.
The Food Channel was there to cover the face-off and you can read the blow-by-blow here. Suffice it to say, Chef Richter is not a big proponent of the “everybody’s a critic” concept spearheaded by sites like Yelp. He’d like a chance to make things right before the patron walks out the door and begins trashing the place to everybody and their brother who’s wired with a computer or smart phone. Lowe, of course, argues that Yelp and its ilk provide real power to the people.
It’s a fascinating debate that will undoubtedly rage on for some time to come. Be sure to check out our report—and see how we scored the fight, er, discussion.
Wedding Food: Celebratory Cuisine on Martha’s Vineyard
Planning a “destination wedding” takes a lot of, well, planning. Our Island Wedding feature offers a wealth of beautiful photography of a romantic wedding recently celebrated on Martha’s Vineyard—with a focus on food, of course. (We are The Food Channel, after all.)
An accompanying blog by our editor-in-chief Kay Logsdon offers a peek behind the scenes at the wedding, and includes the complete menu and links to a Wedding Checklist with general tips and ideas, plus a Wedding Destination Packing Checklist and Wedding Budget checklist. Take a look, especially if there’s a wedding in your family’s near future.
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