Mary Chapman

As Senior Director of Product Innovation, Mary Chapman is responsible for developing new products, content and delivery methods that provide foodservice-industry executives with access to Technomic’s expertise, insight and data. Chapman previously served as Editor-in-Chief at Chain Leader magazine for 10 years, and worked for Restaurants & Institutions prior to that.

Herbal Tease: Aromatics Add New Notes to Cocktails

Consumers have grown accustomed to herbs like mint and basil in their cocktails, so they seem willing to try more aromatics, such as sage, rosemary and thyme. Herbs add depth to floral flavors such as elderflower and can add a savory or bitter note to fruity and other sweet flavors. Comparing menus from fourth-quarter 2014 […]

Happy Hour Consumers Are Food-Focused

Food, specifically the type of food available, has a stronger impact on where consumers visit for happy hour than alcohol drinks do. Asked specifically about food and beverage drivers, most consumers who go to bars, restaurants and other foodservice locations for happy hour (61%) say the type of food available is important in their decision […]

Mexican Authenticity on Canadian Menus

Most of your customers are probably familiar with Cinco de Mayo. What’s not as well known is the fact that the holiday celebrates Mexico’s victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, not the country’s independence. In fact, Mexico’s Independence Day is celebrated September 16. In celebration of the holiday, and because […]

Healthy Punch and Crunch: Almonds’ Popularity at Fast Casuals is Not Just About the Milk

Almonds are on the rise on fast-casual menus, with almond milk leading the way. The same demographic that most often frequents fast-casual restaurants (young, above-average incomes, more educated) also tends to be more likely to purchase milk alternatives. And over the past few years, almond milk has emerged as the leading plant-based milk alternative, appealing […]

Restaurants Transform Soft Drinks into ‘Hard’ Drinks

The big soda manufacturers and their new-age dispensers that let guests customize their drinks to their unique specifications using any of number of flavors are not the only beverage innovators in the business today. Restaurants and bars are wise to consumers’ desire for soft drinks with unique flavor profiles, and have created alcohol beverages that […]

Mock Trial: U.K. Restaurants Differentiate with Alcohol-Free Cocktails

As they continue to innovate on the menu, U.K. restaurants are looking at their drinks offerings to differentiate their brands. Technomic has seen a 26% year-over-year increase in the number of mocktails, or original adult-focused beverages without alcohol. These potables offer something special for guests who choose not to have a cocktail or for those […]

U.K. Operators Take a Fresh Look at Salt and Pepper

They’re on every table of every restaurant and pub, so why call them out on the menu? Salt and pepper are seasoning staples, yet many U.K. operators are specifying how they are used in new menu items. Part of the trend derives from menu items being more descriptive overall. But also, menu developers and consumers […]

Feeding Canada’s Healthy Families

The news last week that Food Network celebrity chef Corbin Tomaszeski is launching new healthy menu items such as kale Caesar salad and Parmesan zucchini sticks at hundreds of schools across Ontario has sparked a lively discussion here at Technomic. One parent says her child won’t eat anything but sweets, and no fresh and local […]

Small Bites Are a Big Deal at Convenience Stores

Consumers are buying more snacks from convenience stores, thanks not only to their demand for when-I-want-it and where-I-want-it options, but also to c-store brands’ innovative new offerings. According to Technomic’s new Convenience Stores Market Intelligence Report, more than half of consumers (55 percent) who purchase prepared foods from c-stores at least once a month visit […]

Fast Casual vs. Quick Service: What Matters to Consumers?

Players within the fast-casual restaurant segment tend to separate themselves from “fast food” by touting their better food and beverage, more-sophisticated atmosphere and enhanced service, all at prices not much higher than those at quick-service chains. However, Technomic’s latest “Understanding Fast-Casual Restaurants and Their Consumers” report finds that customers aren’t necessarily making those distinctions. Using […]