The National Restaurant Association’s 2012 Restaurant Industry Forecast ranked the top 10 food trends for the year, with several geared toward children’s meals. The top five are healthful kids’ meals, fruit and vegetable sides in kids’ meals, gluten-free items, low-fat or nonfat milk and 100% orange juice options in kids’ meals, and locally sourced produce.
Pop-up Restaurants are temporary eateries that set up in spaces like hotel lobbies, other restaurants that close for the night and places with similar target consumers. Due to low startup costs, many innovative entrepreneurs such as Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen are utilizing this temporary approach to test a concept, market a new brand and prove to lenders and investors that they are worth the risk.
Taco Bell announced that it will join its competitors, including McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Subway, by adding a breakfast menu at nearly 800 restaurants across 10 Western states. Breakfast accounted for 60 percent of the restaurant industry’s growth over the last five years, according to a 2010 report from NPD Group.
"Kids LiveWell" is an initiative to support healthier kids meals at 10 restaurant chains representing more than 15,000 locations in the US. The National Restaurant Association in collaboration with Healthy Dining will offer and promote nutritional menu choices based on the 2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines as well as leading health organizations’ scientific recommendations. Some initial participants include Burger King, Outback Steakhouse, Au Bon Pain, T-Bones Great American Eatery, and zpizza.
Wallace Center and BALLE International highlight case studies of community food enterprises –locally owned food businesses – from across the globe. These case studies focus on the enterprise strategies used to gain competitiveness, outline major challenges and solutions to overcome those challenges, ask how the enterprises meet the triple bottom lines of 'profit, people, and planet,' and address how replicable their business models are.
The Applied Research Center uses economic and demographic data from the American Community Survey (ACS) to map out the race, gender and class of workers along the food supply chain.
PolicyLink, in collaboration with the California Center for Public Health Advocacy and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, look at the connections between retail food environments, obesity, diabetes and community income.