Many consider restaurants to be on the cutting edge of eating trends, but when it comes to new products, retail often leads the charge.
Take the case of trans-fat-free oils, notes Suzy Badaracco, president of Culinary Tides, a trends forecasting company based in Portland, Oregon. They first appeared on supermarket shelves, and it wasn’t until restaurants jumped on their suppliers to get the oils and shortenings that they were produced in large enough quantities.
Mintel Menu Insights in Chicago tracks both retail and foodservice trends. These are the numbers for U.S. product launches between January and September, 2007.
Sauces & seasonings: 1,378
Meals (entrees): 1,008
Processed fish, meat & egg products: 740
Desserts & ice cream: 657