Restaurant Industry Trends: What we expect to see at the 2013 NRA Show

12 Apr

The 2013 National Restaurant Association Show is a little over a month away, and like many foodservice companies, we are busy preparing our teams, products, and marketing strategies for the NRA Show.

As we mentioned in last weeks post “CHD Expert Announces New Menu Type Segmentation Filters as part of Their Foodservice Database Web Based Query Tool, Easy2FIND,” we’ve rolled out new functions and features for one of our most popular foodservice marketing products, Easy2FIND, and we look forward to promoting this at the NRA Show. We’ve been busy sharing this new update with existing clients and spreading the word to prospects, as this new segmentation filter allows for a much deeper look at menu types. If you are interested in finding out about this product you can Click here for a free demo and 7-day trial.

In addition, we’ve also been working on a specific trade show strategy, and how we are going to “attack” the show so that we can make the most out of it. While we aren’t going to share the exact details of our plan, we will share with you is that we’ve been keeping our eye on some key restaurant industry trends. Outlining these trends allows us to prioritize who and what we want to see first at the show.

Here are three restaurant industry trends that we think are going to generate a lot of noise at the show:

  1. Heirloom “Anything” – The hottest new word on menus
  2. Communicating gluten free options
  3. Chicken is the new beef

Now, let’s break each one down from a high level.

Heirloom. Wikipedia defines heirloom as, “A horticultural variety that has survived for several generations…” We’ve always seen heirloom tomatoes at a farmers market., but now heirloom tomatoes have almost gone mainstream, and can be found in you local grocery store.

Today, we are not only seeing heirloom tomatoes, but we are also seeing a variety of other heirloom vegetables, like beans, potatoes, spinach, which have now popped up in farmers markets, grocery stores and on popular restaurant menus. Heirloom is one of the newest trends in the culinary world and we have been seeing appear on restaurant menus on a regular basis. People are becoming more and more conscious about what they are eating and where it comes from. So, the heirloom trends falls in line with the healthy, farm to table option that people are chasing after. What menus have you seen the word, “heirloom” on lately?

Communicating gluten free options. More and more people are finding out that they are allergic to different types of foods.  Today, most of us know someone who has a gluten allergy and as a result, has to keep a strict gluten free diet. While this isn’t the first time we’ve heard about gluten free options, we are now starting to restaurants start to add a symbol next to menu items that do not contain any gluten. This is only one of the many ways we are seeing the restaurant industry actively communicate to the gluten free community.

For example, did you know that the popular fast food chain Wendy’s has a separate gluten free menu which identifies gluten free items. Check it out! It’s just another example on how restaurants introducing gluten free options as more and more people learn that they have the allergy.

We believe that more and more restaurants are going to start coming out with gluten free options and products. We wouldn’t be surprised if we were to see a whole restaurant open that was dedicated to the gluten free community.  Would you dine at a gluten free restaurant?

Chicken is the new Beef.  It’s no surprise that popular fast food restaurants have been on a rampage to clean up their “unhealthy” image. Ever since the movie, Super Size Me, restaurants like McDonalds have been aggressively trying to improve their image and incorporate more healthy menu options. But now more than ever, we see that chicken sandwiches are becoming a popular alternative to hamburgers. Does this indicate the people are trying to moving toward perceived healthier options? We think so.

Here are two stories made headlines this past week on the Huffington Post: Chicken Passes Burgers on QSR Menus and McDonald’s Chicken McWrap To Be Added To Permanent Menu. Both call out the new chicken trend at fast food restaurants, which looks like it’s consumer driven, as people look for healthier options.

We hope that this has been insightful and even helpful as we approach the biggest show in foodservice. To learn more about CHD Expert, please feel free to check out our website or email us at cathy@chd-expert.com

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One Response to “Restaurant Industry Trends: What we expect to see at the 2013 NRA Show”

  1. retailaccounting April 15, 2013 at 11:51 am #

    Reblogged this on Retail Accounting.

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