FRIDAYS AT FOUR Volume Eleven Issue One

Volume Eleven Issue One

A busy January for GF Strategies..WE attended the Fancy Foods Show in San Francisco, Western Fairs meetings in Reno and the Equine And Ag Center meetings in Las Vegas…here are some of the hot topics and trends that were seen and discussed at these meetings as well as from our magazine readings.

Fancy Food Show..Trends most talked about were flavor and ease of use. Three key words were flavor,freshness and nutrition.
Packaging continues to evolve. Pouches, sustainable packaging and portable features are giving food service at arenas and stadiums a better way to meet the demand. The BPA -free TetrapPak packaging is creating a 70 percent smaller footprint than metal cans.
Labeling is also a big trend. One coming out of Canada is a label that changes colors when it detects microbes like e coli, salmonella or listeria. Another called BumpMark has a gelatin filled food expiration label that turns smooth to bumpy at the same rate as food spoils.. (Specialty Food magazinc)
A word to watch is neurogastronomy.. this details how our senses react to food.

From the cashless payment world comes news of more fast casual restaurants putting in place mobile ordering. Panera Bread rolled this out with their Rapid PickUp app in Janaury.
From Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz comes word that “we have to adapt to the new economics of those locations that “sling one dollar cups of coffee”..WE have to learn how to serve both this market and the higher end as well. CEO of Starbucks Scott Maw reported that last year 16 percent of all sales in stores was done via mobile ordering.
Apple Pay reports that its new users like the fact that payment does not require swiping a card and signing a receiopt. Users wave their IPhone in front of the reader and complete using a fingerprint. This reduces the chance for a theft of card numbers or personal information.
A new trend in the airlines is emerging called Mood Seating.. Airlines seat guests based on their social media likes.
Two other trends to watch are preference tracking technology and mood-detection technology. More in our next issue on these.
Five trends impacting mobile were discussed at the recent Mobile Media Summit… Multiscreen tracking, loacation and I Beacons at shopping malls and venues, all are in search of ROI on the investment in mobile, will cookies crumble (mobile devices not set up to track search history) and the programmatic future (buying of ads via computers).
At the Equine Center meetings we spoke on the concept of EATERTAINMent. This involves combining your entertainment with eating.. use your local chefs to bring a popup for the event around your entertainment..Use walkaround mini concerts duting the event.. More on this in our next issue.
And our last trend to watch this month is the emergence of popup restaurants that last from two weeks to several months and are emerging in large cities, with chefs hosting dinner club events in popup spaces. One such concept is Dinner Lab (Time Magazine).

And if any of you are involved in venue operations Russ Simons from Venue Solutions Group will be leading the first annual Venue Operations Summit in Nashville IN April. For more information on how to register for this event, visit the Venues Today website at

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