Jun 15 2016
The topic of technology in restaurants has been stirring up some pretty interesting discussion recently. Touch screens, interactive apps and online ordering have become an increasingly common fixture in fast-casual dining. Meanwhile, new-comers like Eatsa are pushing digital integration to a Jetsons-esque extreme with a dining experience that is almost entirely automated—where customized quinoa bowls magically appear on demand with no human in sight, as if the food itself was constructed from ones and zeroes.
Though operators and consumers alike are showing an appetite for more tech in their diet, there is a growing concern around what this means for the future of food. Will humans in food service go the way of the dodo, or the gas station attendant? Will automated dining change the way we eat forever?
Look, I love paranoid fantasies as much as the next guy. The first time I ordered a sandwich from a touch screen, I too fast-forwarded to a dystopian future where apathetic humans suckled at the bosom of…
Jun 3 2016
I recently attended a conference at the NYU School of Medicine, titled Dietary Strategies for Cardiovascular Risk Reduction. The objective of the conference was to educate health care providers about the importance of diet as a crucial component in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. The diets that were discussed have a body of evidence behind them, (epidemiologic and clinical studies), to help support this recommendation – the Mediterranean diet and the DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension). Overall, both diets emphasize moderate amounts of low-fat dairy, low sodium, low saturated-fat and plenty of fruits, vegetables and nuts.
To me, the Mediterranean diet and the DASH eating plans are not ‘diets’ in the popular sense that we are used to. They are lifestyles that can be sustained for the long haul because they don’t restrict, eliminate or deprive you. They don’t require countless hours of counting and subtracting or require a PhD to help read the labels. This conference made me realize that these plans backed by science have never had their real moments in the spotlight. Where are their Instagram moments? How come we never hear about a celebrity following the DASH diet?
May 20 2016
As we know by now, the days of Julia Child and “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” are way over. Today, there are more cooks in the TV kitchen than you can shake a spatula at! It’s probably safe to say that many viewers are often watching these shows for pure entertainment value, with little or no intention to bring the recipes to life in their own kitchen. Trisha Yearwood, Debi Mazar, Valerie Bertinelli, Run D.M.C., Brian Boitano and Tiffani Amber Thiessen are among the many famous actors, rappers and yes, even figure skaters —who’ve become recognizable as “foodie celebs” in their own right. Even Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has joined in on the fun, releasing a $200 cookbook which, according to Espn.com, has already sold out.
I’ve always enjoyed watching cooking shows on TV and seeing all of the new ideas and techniques on the screen that inspire and teach everyday cooks. There are hundreds of hours of weekly food programming on stations like the Cooking Channel and the Food Network, but also on major broadcasts like FOX, NBC and ABC. It’s interesting to see how cooking shows
May 11 2016
The adult beverage market is as vast as the sea, with ever changing tides to keep marketers on their toes. The explosion of the craft beer movement has brought a lot of recent attention to sour ales, which are popping up all over. Just when you thought you were learning the difference between porter and stout, sour beer is the new kid on the block. Intentionally acidic and/or tart, “sour beers” are the newest trend in alcohol segmentation.
History of Sour Beer
Marketers should understand that many of today’s products have crossover appeal; they are products that target more than one audience. A sour beer so complex, it lures the perpetual wine drinker in for a sip. A spirit aged in beer barrels, so enticing even the most staunch beer drinker would give it a try.
The story of sour ales is almost as old as the story of beer itself. Modern day brewing is a sterile, thoughtful process, but it hasn’t always been so. Before pure yeast cultures were available, brewers of old would use wild yeast to start their…
May 6 2016
I’m grateful for the opportunity to have recently vacationed in Europe again, returning to spend time in two favorite cities and also checking out a new destination. As a food lover and marketer, of course much of my travel enjoyment was punctuated by dining experiences – and in hindsight, several of those culinary moments were good reminders of trends and lessons happening in the world of marketing communications.
1. The Tapas Bar. In the beautiful old city center of Seville, I made a point to take in as much Moorish architecture, flamenco guitar music and tapas as I could in three days. Tapas are great for sharing, but the small plates format is also great for solo dining at a bar. The prawns were fantastic and the artichoke transcendent, but the surprise star of the show at La Brunilda was the beverage in the glass. Sangria? No way. I heeded advice to avoid the insipid “made for tourists” punch and tried what the locals enjoy, especially during the sunny middle of the afternoon: vermouth. Many of us Americans have probably only heard of vermouth in the context of…
Apr 22 2016
Take the Earth Day Challenge to reduce waste to help the environment and your company’s bottom line
$1 trillion worth of food is wasted annually worldwide. That equates to about a third of the food production worldwide, and it’s a growing issue, not just for the environment, but for millions of hungry people worldwide.
Just this week, more than 80 of the world’s most impactful food system leaders – researchers, farmers, chefs, policy makers, government officials, and students – gathered for a two-day summit called #FoodTank. Panels addressed topics including nourishing the planet, improving nutrient density, the future of organic, investing in the food movement, legislating change in the food system, and more (you can actually watch the entire summit here).
Last fall, world leaders were served “trash” at the U.N. to shed light on the issue. Dishes such as a “Landfill Salad” of vegetable scraps and rejected apples and pears were given to the leaders to showcase just how edible and delicious these foods, which are typically discarded, can be. As food and agriculture leaders are combating the issue worldwide, consumers are looking to their go-to brands…