Tag Archives: restaurant industry trends

10 Must-Attend Foodservice Industry Trade Shows for 2014

2 Jan

2014 is finally here and for foodservice industry professionals, that means another year full of foodservice trade shows. Every year there are a number of foodservice industry trade shows that we like to attend, but the hard part is determining which ones.

After much consideration, we’ve selected our 10 Must-Attend Foodservice Industry Trade Shows for 2014, which we’ve listed in chronologic order. Take a look:

1. Technomic Trends & Directions Conference
Newport Beach, CA (Jan 22 – 23)
Our partners’ at Technomic invite restaurant industry leaders to come together at their annual conference in Newport Beach California. Attendees will examine consumer foodservice attitude and usage—as well as demographic dynamics and marketing and social media trends, in order to position themselves for success today and into the future. Technomic executives will present proprietary consumer, menu and industry research, while consumer insight analysts and innovative operators will lend their knowledge and experience.

2. FSMA’s 20th Annual Top2Top Conference 2014
Orlando, FL (Feb 24 – 27)
The Foodservice Sales and Marketing Associations’ 20th Annual Top2Top Conference is the premier event for foodservice sales & marketing executives.

3. CRFA Show
Toronto, On (March 2 – 4)
The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservice Association Show is the leading foodservice and hospitality event in Canada. A comprehensive forum of industry products, the CRFA Show, attracts 12,000 industry professionals and puts them face to face with exhibitors showcasing all their latest products.

4. Midwest Foodservice Expo 2014
Milwaukee, WI (March 10-12)
Produced by the Wisconsin Restaurant Association, the Midwest Foodservice Expo (MFE) is the leading regional food, beverage and hospitality industry event in the Midwest. Since we are not too far away, this is one of the shows we enjoy bringing several members of the team to.

5. 30th Annual International Pizza Expo 2014
Las Vegas, NV (March 25 – 27)
The Pizza Expo is the world’s largest pizza-only trade show, and it’s now in its 30th year. This is one of our favorite shows to attend because of the passion and energy we see on the trade show floor. We also enjoy the competitions, the food and innovations This show is attended by pizzeria or pizza-concept restaurant owners, operators and managers, as well as distributors and food brokers to name a few.

6. SIAL The North American Food Marketplace
Montreal, QB (April 2 – 4)
SIAL Canada is an international trade show dedicated to North American food industry professionals. Every year, over 700 agrifood exhibitors and 14,500 professionals come together for this uniting event.

7. NRA Show 2014
Chicago, IL (May 17-20)
One of the biggest trade shows of the year is the National Restaurant Association’s show in Chicago (NRA). Every year, over the course of four days, more than 1,800 suppliers and tens of thousands of buyers come together to make lasting connections that drive business profitability and shape the future of the restaurant, foodservice and hospitality industry. This show is perfect for any business looking for new products, trends, and ideas that will make a difference in their business’ future. Let’s just say, May is one of our favorite months of the year!

8. AHF Healthcare Foodservice
Orlando, FL (June 3-6)
The Association for Healthcare Foodservice conference is the only conference of its kind, uniquely tailored to the needs of the healthcare foodservice self-operator and the business partners that support them. If you are interested in the healthcare foodservice industry, this is the show for you!

9. Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo
Anaheim, CA (Aug 7-8)
At the Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo, you’ll find everything needed to profit in the industry, from the latest trends to how to charm your guests, to ways to reduce cost and inspire your team. Plus it’s located in sunny California!

10. Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show
Orlando, FL (Sept 7 -9)
The Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show is the only all-encompassing event in the Southeastern United States for the restaurant and foodservice industry, making it THE one-stop source for everything you need to succeed in today’s restaurant market. We can’t wait to see what trends, innovations and other technology are launched at this show.

Each year, CHD Expert attends several trade shows. Trade shows give us the opportunity to meet other foodservice professionals, listen to new ideas, network and share our solutions with other professionals in the foodservice industry. Today, so much business is done over the phone or via the Internet, so it’s really a pleasure when we have the opportunity to talk face-to-face with clients, partners, and influencers in the business.

If you don’t typically attend trade shows, or haven’t in the past few years, consider attending one or two of the shows from the list above. Remember, this isn’t our entire list of trade shows we will be attending in 2014, but these are a few of our favorites. Throughout the year, as we confirm our attendance to other shows, we will keep you updated.

Happy New Year and we hope to see you at the next show!

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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

Bar Trends: Liquor Sales Continue To Increase In Commercial Foodservice Industry

21 Jan

By Nicolas Watson

As most Americans know, as soon as you turn 21 you are officially allowed into a bar, and can legally consume alcoholic beverages wherever they are served (in most cases of course!). So it is no surprise that despite the struggling economy we continue to see positive trends in the bar segment, as liquor is something people drink both when they are happy and when they are sad.

Even in this volatile economy we continue to see indicators and reports that liquor sales continue to grow. In early December, the Huffington Post published an article titled, Increase In Liquor Sales At Restaurants, Bars Linked To Economic Recovery: Study, where they discussed a report from our partners at Technomic, which confirmed this trend as it relates to the restaurant industry. The article said:

“The sale of beer, wine and spirits in restaurants, bars and other licensed locations increased 4.9 percent in 2011, according to a new a study by restaurant research firm Technomic, published Nov. 29. The increase led to a total of $93.7 billion in sales last year, and Technomic contends that those numbers will only rise more in 2012 and 2013.”

To read the whole article in the Huffington Post, click here.

After reviewing our own data, we too can confirm that their 2012 prediction were correct! As we are going to announce in our 2012 Restaurant Industry Update, the Bars segment grew during 2012. The number of bars in the US increased by 2.70 percent. The bars segment had the third largest net change in market segment in 2012, only after FSR-Family Style and LSR-Quick Casual, each of which increased the number of operators by 3.80 and 3.17 percent respectively. It’s great that we can use our foodservice database to verify that the 2012 predictions were correct.

If you’d like to learn more about the 2012 Restaurant Industry Update, or how the bar segment factored into the overall growth,  please email Brad Bloom: bbloom@chd-expert.com.

The US Restaurant Trends On Openings and Closings In 2011 and The Effect on the Foodservice Industry

23 Feb

What impact has the economic down turn had on Full Service Restaurants & Limited Service Restaurants? CHD Expert provides an update on the status of the US restaurant industry and how it is affecting consumers. This is the “Hungrier Games.”

Every year CHD Expert reveals the annual United States restaurant openings and closings, as it is a fiercely competitive industry. The name of the game is convincing consumers that your restaurant offers more than your competition. Last year the game left behind a large number of casualties. In 2011 the number of restaurants in the marketplace declined by 2.5% in the U.S., which represented a net change of 16,000 less restaurants nationwide. The final three months of 2011 saw more restaurants close than any other quarter of the year. Full service restaurants (FSR) suffered more than limited restaurants (LSR) with almost three times the amount of market decline last year.

The full service restaurant market declined by 12,000 operators, or 3.8%, in 2011. Consumers were not as frugal with their dining dollars as the previous 2 years, but fine dining restaurants still struggled shrinking by 4.6% last year. The hardest hit cuisine, in the fine dining segment, was the “steak, seafood & fish” menu type. Fear not diners. Do not reach for that pint of “sadness” ice cream yet; things are not as bad as what we’ve seen in some previous years in fine dining. Chains such as Capital Grill, Morton’s and Ruth’s Chris are holding their own, but have a long road to recovery to be back to where they were in 2008.

Limited service restaurants were not immune to the downturn either, as they declined by 4,000 operators, or 1.3%, in 2011. It will come as no surprise to those in the industry that the independent restaurants were hurt the most. Limited service chains actually increased in 2011 by nearly 1%. Fast casual chains that boast a more fresh, and diverse menu continued to thrive. The news was not so joyful for fast casual’s frozen LSR brethren; the smoothie, juice and frozen dessert menu types, had the largest decline at over 7.3% in 2011.

On the brighter side:

It is not all doom and gloom. Things are not as bleak as they were for poor old Oliver Twist. There are some restaurants that diners got “some more” from in 2011. Meat and potatoes reigned supreme as “American traditional”, and “American regional” menu types increased by more than 7.5% throughout the year. Bars & grills and Asian restaurants also were on the rise in 2011 with over a 2% increase in the market.

Results by State

The 2011 national restaurant executioner did not wield its deadly sword in a democratic fashion. Instead, Alaska’s foodservice market was hit with haymakers decreasing by 7.9% during 2011, while several states such as North Dakota and New Hampshire seemed to bob and weave deftly enough to even see an increase in their own foodservice markets. Oddly enough, the great state of Nevada, the nation’s leader in unemployment, had the highest percentage increase for a state’s foodservice market increasing by almost 5.5% in 2011.

According to Cathy Kearns, General Manager at CHD Expert, “Even with a declining market, consumers still want their food good, and fast. Fast Casual chains are becoming more attractive to consumers, offering a higher quality food than quick service with a perception of being the healthier option. So they’re getting food at a fair price without giving up an hour of their time.”

For more information on the foodservice industry please send an email to
brad@chd-expert.com

Pizza Industry Data: What’s happening at the 2012 Pizza Expo

21 Feb

As we mentioned in an earlier post titled, “2012 Foodservice Trade Shows – Why are they valuable and which are CHD Expert attending,” we are really excited to attend the 2012 Pizza Expo in March – which is just around the corner. This year’s show is going to be full of excitement, especially to see what new restaurant industry insights we can gather regarding 2012 pizza industry data. Here is a quick list of activities that are going to be happening the 2012 Pizza Expo:

  • Learn to buy & sell pizza on the huge exhibition floor
  • Attend a pizza-making class and other types of demonstrations by top chefs
  • Learn from the best industry experts with over 75 educational sessions
  • Enter the international pizza-baking contest or feel free to just watch as part of the crowd
  • Watch the dramatic World Pizza Games® dough-spinning finals


In addition to all the action, the 2012 Pizza Expo will give foodservice operators, suppliers, distributers, and buyers the chance to come together in one place to talk about the business of Pizza. We are really excited to see what’s happening on the business side of the pizza business and to attend the seminars, workshops, power panels, and operator presentations. As reported on their website, here are some quick facts about the different sessions:

Seminars and Workshops: Among the 75-plus seminars and cooking demonstrations will be these special new sessions:

Power Panels: We’ll convene panels consisting of top operators who are on the cutting edge in their approaches to top-of-mind topics. You’ll be able to learn from the best on subjects including: finding and keeping the best pizzeria employees, building blocks for profitable menus and proven tactics for driving business with social media marketing.

Operator Presentations: We’ve gone to great lengths to bring in more pizza owners and operators to speak about how they excel in specific segments of the business. Among the operator-presenters appearing at Pizza Expo 2012 are: Peter Cooperstein of Amici’s on delivery, Glenn Cybulski of Seasons Pizzeria and Clovers Sports Bar on appetizers, Doug Ferriman of Crazy Dough’s on selling slices, Clayton Krueger of Farrelli’s on social media, George Hadjis of Oggi’s on building community partnerships—and several more.

The Pizza Expo 2012 is a great opportunity to get a better understanding on what’s happening in the pizza category. At CHD Expert, we pride ourselves on having the most comprehensive and accurate foodservice database – which allows us to help businesses in the foodservice industry by providing them with one of the most valuable things: data. Our data can help manufacturers, operators, restaurants, etc. successfully grow their business because our data is accurate, up to date and granular.

To learn more about how we can help, check out our website, www.CHD-Expert.com. Or, if you are going to be at the Pizza Expo too – let us know beforehand, and we can set up some time to meet face to face.

See you there!

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