Throughout the last two years we have talked many times about the farm to table market and how it is expanding throughout the food world just like every one predicted. As we look to 2018 the latest buzzword is “Plant Forward”.   In today’s discussion we will update our experience in this area.

Local food will continue to be hot!

According to the Specialty Food Association,

Local, vegetable-forward, and ethnic-inspired foods will be hot menu items in 2018, according to the National Restaurant Association’s annual survey of 700 professional chefs. The members of the American Culinary Federation identified the top five food trends as new cuts of meat, house-made condiments, street-food inspired dishes, ethnic-inspired menu items, and sustainable seafood. The top five concepts include hyperlocal, chef-driven fast-casual concepts, natural ingredients and clean menus, food waste reduction, and vegetable-forward cuisine.

According to Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of research at the National Restaurant Association, chefs are creating more items in-house and turning to global flavors to respond to customer interest.

In the American food industry restaurants make up around $800 Billion in sales.  My customer base is heavily involved in the restaurant segment with a large percentage of them making their living in that sector of the market.

Customers such as :

Many of these have been in the Plant Forward market for years and several have CSA’s that they offer to the public. Restaurants also make up a large share of thier customer community and I am proud that all are users of our Food Connex Cloud services. Local is their mantra and every day they make their living serving both the farmer and the consumer.

In reading the Sunday Inquirer, the local Food Writer listed the top 20 places to eat and several were street vendors that have moved into restaurants to focus on their street inspired menus items.

This week alone I fielded calls from firms that were interested in automating their businesses to help them continue to grow one in Ashville and another in Upstate NY.

Time for mainstream distributors and processors to focus their business’s on 2 of the top 5 Concepts for the Restaurant business in 2018:

Hyperlocal and Natural Ingredients

Issue 640 - Everything Cycles.

Transformation and disruption was a topic in an article in the Sunday Philadelphia Inquirer. I read about the demise of Sears & Roebuck titled The Big Stumble. They believed they had no competitors. The New York Times dubbed them "The Amazon of the gilded age." Those of us in the baby boom generation remember Sears.  As a young boy I remember thumbing through the catalog, dreaming of what I could buy if I had the money.

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