PR Industry Trends

What You Should Be Drinking This Fall: Five Trend Predictions

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The very definition of the word trend means to veer in a general direction or to show a tendency. Below are five beverages on my radar for the coming months, rooted in hard data but sourced from what I’m seeing and hearing in the New York scene.

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Fresh cocktails

The surge of nutritionally-aware (if not nutritionally-balanced) cocktails is imminent. You read it here first. We’ve seen gain momentum it in the culinary community with fresh, season-driven menus. This philosophy is extending into beverage programs as well. Two examples:

-Mixologists are increasingly using natural natural sweeteners like maple syrup as a healthy and tasty alternatives to refined sugar in cocktails. Here are 27 examples, courtesy of Eater and bar programs around the country.

-Opening next week, Rouge Tomate Chelsea, with its avant-garde SPE-certified food and beverage program, is featuring cocktails (and mocktails) with fresh ingredients like carrot and cucumber juice and chia seeds.

Image result for magnums of wine

Big Bottles

Whether high-brow or low-brow, large format bottles are showing up on more home and restaurant tables. There are also restaurants who are putting…

Branding

People are the New Media

capture

Afdhel Aziz, Director of Absolut Labs, said, “Any marketer who wants to succeed in the future needs to think in these terms: people are the new media.”

Gone are the days when big brands could develop a catchy jingle and it’d echo in consumers’ minds on repeat. Today, consumers are inundated with sales pitches and marketing ploys alike. They’ve developed a heightened awareness, borderline paranoia, of what is genuine vs. what is paid for. With geo-targeting tracking not only your purchases but every move your mouse makes online, consumers are demanding transparency and authenticity from brands.

One way brands are building trust and staying relevant is by working with influencers. From cooking to fitness, dads to moms, health to technology, there is an influencer out there who has a network of trusted peers looking to them for advice, inspiration and/or guidance. To peers, they are not seen as spokespeople of a brand, but rather real, authentic people who believe in a brand.

CEO of Intuit, Scott Cook, said it best, A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is–it is what consumers tell each other it is.”

Here are…

PR Industry Trends

Robochef

robochef

 

When my colleague first shared this article about robots cooking in the kitchen, I thought it sounded ridiculous.  On second glance, you’ll see that this concept is already being tested and successfully carried out in Germany and here in the U.S.  That’s right – a robot that can baste, boil, blanch and blend and create your favorite meal. If this modern day Jetsons-inspired sous chef takes off, I predict it may become the ultimate kitchen appliance for restaurants.  Should the concept become more common, it would certainly raise a lot of questions about the pros and cons.

First, let’s look at some of the pros. For starters, there’s the consistency factor.  The use of this technology would allow restaurant operations to ensure a consistent looking and tasting product every single time.  While fast food operations can be counted on for consistency because their food tastes the same wherever you are, upscale restaurants could benefit from a technology that removes the possibility for human error.  Another upside is speed. Robots would be able to deliver a finished product at a fraction of the time it would take a human and faster output can lead to increased sales.  Lastly, there’s

Branding

Why Everything Tastes Better on Vacation (and what that means for your brand)

photo: highstyllife.com

photo: highstyllife.com

We’ve all had that moment.

While on vacation you eat or drink something that is so transcendentally delicious, it instantly ranks among the best things you’ve ever had. The pleasure is so deep and complete it’s like your taste buds are hard-wired to your very soul. “Do I detect a hint of fresh mint, or is that MDMA? Either way, I want more.”

So you buy up as many cases as you can get through customs, or obsessively hunt down the recipe to recreate it a home. But, despite your best efforts, it’s never quite the same. Sure, it’s good, but it’s not as good as you remember it.

What’s going on here? A temporary insanity of the taste buds?

Well, sort of.

Consider this: In 2008, a group of neuroscientists in California conducted an experiment that shed new light onto how we taste. Twenty volunteers were strapped into an fMRI scanner and given samples of wine. Among them were tastes from a “$10” bottle and a “$90” bottle that, in reality, were the exact same wine. It should come as no shock that the…

PR Industry Trends

Food Fight: Why Label Bashing is Bad for Everyone

I’m here to hold an intervention. No, not that one! I’m talking about the one around the controversial GMO bill. Earlier this week the President signed national GMO labeling legislation. Vermont, which recently enacted their own GMO labeling rules stated it will stop enforcing that law, which has already changed the way major brands are doing business. As the final rules are negotiated over the next two years, fiery rhetoric from both sides can be expected, but another side of the GMO labeling debate is emerging.

geneticliteracyproject.org

geneticliteracyproject.org

Dan Charles of All Things Considered described an experiment he recently conducted outside of Whole Foods showing customers two different cartons of eggs. One had the USDA Organic seal and the other had the Non-GMO Project seal. Some consumers struggled to define the difference, but both seals delivered positive sentiment. Ultimately most opted for the less expensive non-GMO certified eggs. The future of the Non-GMO label is unclear in light of the recent legislation, but with all the GMO talk, it is at the forefront of decision making for many. With non-GMO labeled food growth outpacing certified organic, some organic…

PR Industry Trends

My Cava Obsession Explained

There is nothing more perfect and refreshing than popping open that soothing, sparkling goodness known as Cava.  Whether at the beach, after work in NYC or following a great hike with my wife, sipping Cava is kick back relaxation in a glass. If you aren’t familiar with it, then yes, you are missing out on something good.

cava

To clarify, Cava is the Spanish cousin to France’s Champagne and Italy’s Prosecco.  It is made in the champenoise traditional method closer to the way Champagne is made. Cava comes in two styles white and rosé. It’s taste ranges from dry to tangy to sweet in more or less this order: brut nature, brut reserve, seco, semiseco, dulce. It’s an anytime libation that makes any occasion seem, well…better! Cava’s acidity and bubbles complement almost every dish. Enjoying a spicy chicken curry?  A good bottle of Cava is your go to. Also Cava has less residual sugars and tends to be less sweet thereby having less calories than most other wines. What’s not to love?

cork

I admit I was practically weaned on Cava, thanks to my dad who kept an

Branding

The Scoop on National Ice Cream Month: Reagan, Beets and 2016 Trends

timeout July

Ever curious about who named July “National Ice Cream Month” and why there are a slew of ice cream-related events and campaigns that are centered around it? Well, you can thank Congress and Ronald Reagan. In 1983, over eight hundred and eighty-seven million gallons of ice cream were consumed in the United States. In 1984, Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 298, designated July as “National Ice Cream Month,” with “National Ice Cream Day” falling on the 3rd Sunday of the month. President Ronald Reagan was then requested to issue a proclamation in observance of these events and called upon the people of the United States to observe these events with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

As, National Ice Cream Month goes on its 32nd year, Americans are entrenched in ice cream culture. We’ve become more innovative and more demanding. This year, the most popular campaigns appear to circle around discounted deals (or better yet, free ice cream), the newest (most daring) flavors, DIY, and healthier alternatives.

FREE Ice Cream!uber ice cream

  • Uber surged their popularity with #UberIceCream, which happened on Friday, July 15. People around the world had ice cream delivered via Uber, free

Wine, Food & Nutrition

Surf & Suds: 10 Beach Breweries for Your Bucket List

Peanut butter and jelly. Baseball games and peanuts. Teens and Snapchat. Some things just go together. For us beer lovers, there’s nothing better than the combination of brews and the beach. There’s just something about the feeling of sand between your toes, the smell of salt air, the sound of crashing waves, and watching a vividly-colorful sunset…it makes you want to kick back, take it all in, and sip an ice-cold frothy beer. Ahhhhh, life is good! With all the action going on in tasting rooms in breweries throughout the country, sometimes all summer requires is great-tasting beer in a beach setting. So what better way to celebrate summer than with a list of must-visit beach breweries? Here are 10 to get you started.

Backshore Brewing Co.
Ocean City, MD

Backshore

Any brewery that features a VW van is at the top of my “cool” list. AND it’s on the boardwalk. Which means it’s on the beach. AND it has an ocean view. Mic drop. (Personal note: I’d love to turn back time to the summer of 1991 when I lived in Ocean City with my friends a block

Wine, Food & Nutrition

Surf & Suds: 10 Beach Breweries for Your Bucket List

Peanut butter and jelly. Baseball games and peanuts. Teens and Snapchat. Some things just go together. For us beer lovers, there’s nothing better than the combination of brews and the beach. There’s just something about the feeling of sand between your toes, the smell of salt air, the sound of crashing waves, and watching a vividly-colorful sunset…it makes you want to kick back, take it all in, and sip an ice-cold frothy beer. Ahhhhh, life is good! With all the action going on in tasting rooms in breweries throughout the country, sometimes all summer requires is great-tasting beer in a beach setting. So what better way to celebrate summer than with a list of must-visit beach breweries? Here are 10 to get you started.

Backshore Brewing Co.
Ocean City, MD

Backshore

Any brewery that features a VW van is at the top of my “cool” list. AND it’s on the boardwalk. Which means it’s on the beach. AND it has an ocean view. Mic drop. (Personal note: I’d love to turn back time to the summer of 1991 when I lived in Ocean City with my friends a block

PR Industry Trends

I’m Ready for My Close-Up, Mr. DeMille (and Pinterest)

If you’re at all active on social media platforms, chances are you’ve seen the humorous posts revisiting the embarrassingly awful styles depicted in photos from 1970s-era mail order catalogs. There’s a world of velour leisurewear, inexplicably loud prints and wiiiiiide lapels that you can barely believe was the accepted fashion of the day. Yet when you pause to think that our grandchildren will definitely look back at images of 2016 and eye-roll about our current idea of trendy attire, you realize that each era has its own aesthetic that is very real and valid in the moment – and looks unbelievably passé in a decade or less.

Food fashion is no different.

Yes, food has a fashion. In one aspect, it’s the era-specific choice of ingredients and preparations. Increased global awareness and commerce have moved once-exotic produce such as kiwifruit and avocados to the front of our plates in a few short decades, for example. A few years ago, the average consumer had never heard of the sous vide water bath cooking technique; now after 13 seasons of “Top Chef” on TV, millions of us can name-drop it like we studied at Johnson & Wales culinary school.

In another