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June 7, 2012
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Flavor Trends: Fresh and Healthy
Part II of this Restaurant SmartBrief Special Report on flavor trends focuses on diners' increasing demand for fresh and healthy foods that don't sacrifice bold taste for nutrition. The growing popularity of these items speaks to consumers' desire to invest in a healthier lifestyle with fresh food -- much of which is local and/or organically produced. Part I, published on Tuesday, took a look at some of the world flavors that are appearing on menus across the country, from quickservice to fine dining.

What other types of flavor trends do you see on the horizon? Be a part of the conversation on Twitter and on the blog.
Orange-Bistro Dipping Sauce Makes Menus Extra Irresistible. Start with the distinctive blend of Dijon mustard, horseradish and garlic in GREY POUPON Bistro Sauce and finish with even more unforgettable flavors. Add orange marmalade, orange zest, ginger root, and chervil leaves to create a sauce that complements meals across your menu. Get recipe now.
Spotlight on Taste Trends 
  • A holiday made for spicing up the menu
    Sunday is National Herb and Spice Day, a time to explore the rich flavor and aroma that fresh herbs and pungent spices can bring to a dish. Spices -- technically any part of the plant other than leaves and stems that are used to flavor food -- can be combined in a variety of ways to create signature flavors. Evansville Courier & Press (Ind.) (free registration) (6/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Pasture-raised and antibiotic-free meat goes mainstream
    Big buyers such as Chipotle Mexican Grill and Hyatt Hotels are driving demand for meat that is pasture raised and free of antibiotics. Chipotle founder Steve Ells began using antibiotic-free meat about 10 years ago and found that sales increased, though it wasn't clear whether consumers could taste the difference or were responding to marketing. National Public Radio/The Salt blog (5/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • More chefs go raw in response to health food trend
    Raw food restaurants are popping up around the country serving nothing that is baked, boiled or fried with the help of a little molecular gastronomy and some swanky kitchen gadgets such as a multi-shelved dehydrator. "There are about half a dozen techniques you have to master," says raw chef Douglas McNish. "Once you get those under your belt, any classically trained chef can do this cuisine. It’s all about balancing flavors." Restaurant Management magazine (6/2012) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Customer loyalty starts with irresistible flavor
Drive repeat business with the unique flavor of GREY POUPON Bistro Sauce. This bold, distinctive blend of Dijon mustard, horseradish and garlic pairs well with beef, chicken and seafood dishes across your menu—all only 35 calories and 3.5g of fat per serving. Get your FREE 12-oz. sample now!
Bringing Flavor to the Table 
  • Chef dishes on creating a healthy menu that still excites
    Consumers are looking to trade up from french fries and other "plate fillers" to creatively prepared and seasoned versions of healthy whole grains, fish and seasonal vegetables, says chef David Burke, known for signature creations such as pastrami salmon and cheesecake pops. "The key is using quality ingredients. I use broths, herbs, spices, zests, juices, marinades and limited fats." ABC News/Food blog (5/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  • Hawaiian chef taps into island resources
    Chef Alan Wong savors Hawaii's diverse cuisine, and he wants other chefs to follow suit. Wong co-founded Hawaiian Regional Cuisine, a nonprofit group dedicated to promoting the islands' products, in hopes the state will increase its culinary reputation and make strides to become more sustainable. "Hawaii imports over 85% of its food. We're not self-sufficient here. But if we make the right decisions maybe we could all affect a 10% change, to 75%. That means supporting local farmers, businesses and ranchers," he said. Reuters (6/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • D.C. chef serves up locally-sourced fish sandwiches
    Chef Henry Brandon Williams opened the Fish Scale stand at the FreshFarm Market by the White House in Washington, D.C., last month, selling sandwiches made with eco-friendly mahi-mahi and grouper. Williams expects to shake up the menu with the seasons, and he's already planning on creating burgers from salmon, rockfish, tuna and black sea bass. The Washington Post (6/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Taco Bell to debut Cantina Bell menu next month
    Taco Bell plans to roll out a new gourmet-inspired menu from chef Lorena Garcia to nearly all 5,600 units nationwide this month, after testing it in two markets for several months. The Cantina Bell menu will include burritos and bowls made with higher-quality ingredients more typically found at higher-end fast-casual chains such as Chipotle, including black beans, cilantro rice and all-white-meat chicken in an herb and citrus marinade. Nation's Restaurant News (free registration) (6/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Your Take 
  • On which menu category does your restaurant focus when integrating world flavors?
    Main dishes  43.75%
    All of the above  34.38%
    Appetizers  9.38%
    Desserts  4.69%
    Beverages  4.69%
    None, my restaurant does not use world flavors  3.12%
  • Which flavor profile does your restaurant draw from most when using world flavors?
    Italian/Mediterranean flavors  33.33%
    Latin flavors  28.70%
    Asian flavors  14.81%
    None, my restaurant does not use world flavors  10.19%
    Combination/fusion flavors  9.26%
    African flavors  3.70%
  

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