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Through its Menu Insights program, the company tracks menus from 350 chain restaurants, 150 independent restaurants, 50 top-chef-owned eateries such as Jean-Georges, 15 beverage-centric restaurants—think Starbucks and Jamba Juice, and 10 bars.
Monitoring these menus each quarter, Mintel assembles a composite snapshot of what we’re eating and where our palettes might lead us in the future. As these foods move from the menu to store shelves, the implications for the creative flavorist are clear.“ We use the data to connect the dots between what people say might be a trend and actually quantifying that trend,” says Mintel Menu Insights director Maria Caranfa. So what do the connected dots tell us?
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Other topics discussed: Perception of Health Benefits; Edible Beverages: the Leap from Glass to Plate; Focus on Fresh; On the Horizon: spice, not spicy, grains, portion control, banishing sodium and trans fats