Top 10 Restaurant Food Trends for the Year

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 Popping Up: Non-Traditional Marketing Idea Reduces Risk and Start Up Costs

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.

Fast Food Breakfast Is One of the Swiftest Growing Areas in the Entire Restaurant Industry

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”

"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.

Community Food Enterprise

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.

Designed for Disease: The Link Between Local Food Environments and Obesity and Diabetes

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.