The Top 10 Food Trends For 2019, According To Whole Foods

“Twenty-six subject experts from Whole Foods have been convening for four years to predict what’s coming next to their own shelves and to the food world as a whole. These experts range from a master sommelier and global beverage buyer to a senior R&D culinologist to the president of the Whole Kids Foundation to a produce field inspector to a board-certified, internal medicine physician to a global meat buyer; some actually started out working at the store level.

Before I share their predictions with you, what is unsaid is that the chain, now owned by Amazon, has produced the biggest trend in grocery in decades: They have awaken a previously staid industry and revitalized it as chains both large and small are changing the way they look at grocery. Amazon/Whole Foods has also attracted new talent, some from Ivy League schools who might never have thought about a career in grocery, and led other grocers on the same path. For me one of the biggest trends for 2019 will be to watch where Amazon/Whole Foods leads us next.

Now on to Whole Foods’ top 10 food trends:

Pacific Rim flavors is the top trend, with Whole Foods announcing that its Market and 365 Everyday Value brands will launch a new line of products inspired by Pacific Rim fruits like a guava tropical vinaigrette, pineapple passionfruit sparkling mineral water, mango pudding mix and passionfruit coconut frozen fruit bars. It also expect to see ingredients like longganisa (a Filipino pork sausage), dried shrimp, cuttlefish and shrimp paste to appear on restaurant and home menus in dishes from breakfast to dinner. (…)”

See more here.

The Best Restaurants on the Upper East Side

1. Flora Bar
945 Madison Ave., nr. 75th St.; 646-558-5383

Sure, the location is a little eccentric by local standards (the dining room sits on the semi-bunkered basement level of the Met Breuer museum on Madison Avenue). The decor is a little spare, too (did we mention that it’s in the basement of the Met Breuer?), and local gourmets will complain that the chef, Ignacio Mattos, is an interloper from the wilder, much more unruly culinary regions further downtown (he operates two popular restaurants below 14th Street). But we’d argue that the mingling of high culture and high cuisine at this unlikely three-star establishment creates the kind of alchemy which is unique not just on the Upper East Side, but to the city as a whole. Throw in Mattos’s refreshingly ingenious brand of high-low cooking (where else on the block can you get your crème fraîche and caviar served with house-frizzled potato chips?), the elegantly accessible lunchtime service (yes, there’s a Wagyu burger), the exceptional all-day coffee-and-pastry bar, and one of the better brunch menus in this brunch-crazed part of town, and you have the ideal Upper East Side restaurant for this unfussy, post-gourmet age.

See more restaurants here.

A Restaurant Brand Creator on How to Keep People Coming Back

“Sue Chan is the founder and chief executive officer of Care of Chan, a two-year-old brand management agency that has worked with a hit list of restaurants including Alta, Cosme, Una Pizza Napoletana, and Wildair to create that all-important but so-hard-to-capture great restaurant experience. Chan was previously the brand director at Momofuku for seven years.

At her own company, Chan focuses in on everything that makes a memorable restaurant experience the type of place that customers want to keep returning to again and again. While there’s no set formula for creating that unforgettable experience, once it’s in place it can drive sales and longterm customer loyalty like no quick-hitting press coverage can. “It doesn’t matter if you’re on Bon Appetit’s top ten, you could close in a year or two,” Chan explained. “That is a real thing that happens a lot. It’s more about just caring about the actual customers who come in every single day, and focusing on that community and building that community.”

See full interview here.

 

The Smart Espresso Profiler (SEP) Adds Flow and Pressure Profiling to Virtually Any Machine

Smart Espresso Profiler (SEP)

“Until recently, it has required thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of specialized equipment to accurately measure and act upon several of the more important factors in espresso brewing — factors such as the duration and force of pre-infusion, the pressure profile for the rest of the shot, and the cutting-edge tweak du jour: the flow rate.

These barriers to entry might be disintegrating, however, now that espresso accessory-maker Naked Portafilter has developed and launched a new tool for home and professional baristas that appears to be breaking the field wide open.

See more here.

Coffee Can Extend Longevity for People with Kidney Disease, Research Shows

Image result for Coffee Can Extend Longevity

“According to the researchers, approximately 89 percent of the U.S. adult population drinks caffeine in some form daily, while 14 percent of Americans have chronic kidney disease.”

“The reduction in mortality was present even after considering other important factors such as age, gender, race, smoking, other diseases and diet,” Miguel Bigotte Vieira, one of the study’s lead authors, wrote, addressing the medical community “These results suggest that advising patients with kidney disease to drink more caffeine may reduce their mortality. This would represent a simple, clinically beneficial, and inexpensive option, though this benefit should ideally be confirmed in a randomized clinical trial.”

Read more here.

More New York City Restaurants Have ‘A’ Grades Than Ever Before

Image result for More New York City Restaurants Have ‘A’ Grades Than Ever Before

“Eight years after former mayor Michael Bloomberg tasked the Department of Health with completely dismantling and rebuilding the city’s restaurant grading system, a record amount of restaurants have “A” grades, and that’s despite the fact that said grading system is as confusing and arbitrary as ever.”

“In this year’s Mayor Management Report, data shows that in fiscal year 2018, 93.7% of 24,000 restaurants received “A” grades compared to 93.3% of restaurants last year and 85.4% of restaurants in 2012. Meanwhile, the DOH continues to ding restaurants for violations that don’t relate to food safety, creating a system in which owners and chefs must pay fines and place “Grade Pending” signs in their windows while they contest their initial grade.”

View more here.

How Restaurants Can Cut the Costs Of Handling Cash

Image result for restaurant operations cash handling

“One of the last things a quick-service restaurant manager wants to do at the end of a long shift is count down registers and fill out reports. They’ve been on their feet all day, helping customers, prepping food and putting out fires (only the figurative type, hopefully).”

“(…) Counting, reconciling and depositing money manually causes unnecessary inefficiency and risk in the business. Managers and staff remain on the clock at the end of the day, making the simple act of counting and reconciling cash costly in itself. Other risks include:

  • Potential for errors
  • Opportunity for theft
  • Untracked deposits
  • Time away from customer-facing activities like cleaning, service or food prep/safety.”

“According to a 2018 study of cash by IHL Group, 41.1 percent of quick-service transactions are in cash. While debit and credit might prevail in other areas of retail, the Federal Reserve reports that cash is still the payment of choice for transactions under $25—certainly within the sweet spot for average quick-serve tickets. Shake Shack learned this lesson recently as its customers demanded the ability to pay cash at a previously cashless location.”

Read more here.