How Anheuser-Busch and McDonald’s Are Trying to Win Over Millennials

The country’s biggest beermaker and the country’s biggest restaurant chain (by sales) have a problem: Millennials aren’t in love with them. Anheuser-Busch, maker of Bud Light and Budweiser (the No. 1 and No. 3 beer brands in the U.S.) and McDonald’s, maker of Big Macs, have seen sales slide of late, and both have acknowledged […]

Alcohol Beverage Flavor Trends 2015: The Buzz on Honey

Swiss flavorings and fragrances maker Firmenich is out with its annual Flavor of the Year proclamation, and the company’s top taste for 2015 is…honey. Within the alcohol beverage world, pure honey has been a sweet addition to specialty drinks and to flavored spirits in recent years, but you could be forgiven for thinking that honey’s […]

5 Foodservice Stats to Toast at the Close of 2014

As restaurants and retailers wait eagerly for December’s final sales numbers to roll in, let’s pause to enjoy five stats worth celebrating from 2014. Many Americans are feeling better about their finances! Forty-two percent of American consumers polled by Technomic and American Express in November this year said they are “living comfortably” or are “very […]

Fast Casual Year in Review: More of the Same (But That’s a Good Thing)

The start of 2015 is a mere two weeks away, so it’s time again to look back at the year that was in fast casual. What was the overall theme for the segment in 2014? “More of the same”—which, in fast casual’s case, means sales and unit growth, so that’s a good thing. In Q3 […]

Cocktail Trends 2015: A New Italian Renaissance

Americans are learning to like more-bitter flavors—witness the proliferation in restaurants and at retail of dark (really dark) chocolates, strongly flavored greens such as kale and extra-hoppy beers. In fact, Technomic named “bitter is the new bold” as one of its top 10 food trends for 2015. Appropriately enough, we’re also now seeing this appreciation […]

Fast-Casual Menus Get Festive for the Holidays

As reliable and welcome as annual showings of “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” winter- and holidays-inspired foods and beverages have made a festive return to fast-casual menus. Whether consumers crave an eggnog shake as a reward for hauling a Christmas tree home or a warm bowl of something savory as a mid-shopping pick-me-up, fast-casual restaurants across menu segments […]

How Adult Beverage Brands Are Prioritizing Sustainability

Two weeks ago, BuzzFeed ran an article with the attention-grabbing headline “How Climate Change Will End Wine As We Know It.” (Additional point to BuzzFeed for the accompanying “Apocalypse Noir” visual.) The piece discusses how warming temperatures around the globe already are seen subtly affecting harvest schedules and how climate change likely will have a […]

Savoring Sausage on Fast-Casual Menus

Thanksgiving may as well be designated as the official start of comfort-food season—it is, after all, as comedian Jim Gaffigan aptly notes, a holiday marked by a dish called “stuffing.” For those consumers who like their menu indulgences on the meaty side, fast-casual restaurant operators this year have rolled out a host of hearty, savory dishes in […]

Ginger Beer Kicks Up Cocktail Menus

It’s the fizzy little mixer that could: Ginger beer is lending its spicy bite to a range of contemporary cocktails at bars and restaurants across the country, and its menu appearances are soaring. The more-assertive cousin to ginger ale comes in alcohol and non-alcohol varieties; the non-alcohol brands that are prevalent on-premise can do double […]

Healthy Opportunities at Fast-Casual Restaurants

It would be an understatement to say that consumers aren’t always looking to make healthful choices at restaurants. Restaurant meals often represent an opportunity for indulgence and a chance to satisfy cravings for specific foods and beverages, which often tend not to be the most health-promoting items on the menu. But sometimes consumers are looking to […]