2013 Food and Restaurant Trends Report

As we’ve done in years past (2011 Food Trends Report – http://bit.ly/c7imIe) we are back to provide you with our super comprehensive, triple blind, auditory and sensory tantalizing annual Food Trends Report. This year’s report is for the year 2013.

Again we’ve beat the “big 3” to the punch to release our report. The ARSSSAOFA (American Restaurant Studies of Statistical Stats Association of America), the NFTASAOTCUS (National Food Trends and Safety Assocation of The Contiguous United States) and the NCSCLCMDMUA (National Chef Sous Chef Line Cook Matire De Mixologist Union of America) reports don’t come out for another 2-3 weeks, but due to an extremely hard working team of non-paid interns we were able to assemble ours for you before Thanksgiving!

This year’s report is based on a scientific representation aggregated in conjunction with the Harvard School of Research using sample size constructed over months of painful research spanning 36 cities with insight from 184 chefs, 225 non kitchen worker food professionals, 14 food executives and 961 civilians (also known as “diners” or “yelpers”). We’d like to thank Galloping Polls, the animal and food research division of Gallup Polls as they were immensely helpful in helping to organize the data.

2013 FOOD REPORT 

Horse. Of Course: Slate, NYTimes, GrubStreet and other news outlets covered the M.Wells horse meat scandal of 2012. Although we were under the impression the protestors outside of PS1 were part of a brilliant Yayoi Kusama piece, we heard later they were actual real humans that are anti-horse meat consumption. Although Gov. Christie and Bruce Springsteen’s equestrially inclined daughter have put up a Jersey embargo on horsemeat, NYC is allowing horsemeat to hit the tables with no restrictions. Expect everyone from Denny’s to Per Se to be running horsemeat specials much to the chagrin of Elmers.

Anti-Pop Propaganda Pushes Release of “Tiny Pops”: Our second food trend for 2013 is as politically charged as the first. We spoke on this blog about the tyrannical reign of Michael Bloomberg and his Kristalnacht against soda consumption. In what many are describing as the finest bit of ironic marketing by a major corporation, Coca Cola is releasing 2oz shots of the top five “pops” (or “sodas”) in their stable. Industry analysts are saying that the goal is to enrage the consumer so much that it forces future mayor Christine Quinn to reverse mayor Bloomberg’s socialist soda size scheme.

Zero stars = $$$$ : The NYTimes reviewed Guy Fieri’s NY Times Restaurant and gave  Guy’s Big Boozy Barf Bite Bonzanza zero stars. The damning review would have forced any other executive chef of Guy’s caliber to go berzerk on his sous and line cooks throwing heads through the walls Marco Pierre White style. But Guy is like Tommy Bahama+Jimmy Buffet on a cruise with an open bar. The man has ice cold Bud Light Lime running through his veins. Instead of losing it, the chelefbrity left the line to appear as himself on The Today Show reminding us that all press is good press. That same night, The  NYtimes threw a super ironic party at his restaurant which was super Brooklyn of them. The ironic dinner party was reported extensively on twitter, tumblr, and on The Huffing Po. The next morning…2,000 person lines.  Look for a lot more restaurants actively seeking out the goose egg from The Times. Danny Meyer put it best when we interviewed him for this food report, “Zero stars is the new cha ching.”

“Booze” is the new “Food”: In 2012 we saw a lot of people eating. That’s all going to change in 2013 as the focus will switch to hand crafted cocktails as the main source of fuel for Americans in major metropolitan areas. With standard cocktail prices clocking in at $14-$18 expect Americans to forgo dinner in favor of a liquid diet to minimize damage to their wallets. The Chief Acquisitions Officer at Seagrams let us know in the last year they’ve acquired over 17 artisan brands of spirits, syrups, bitters and fresh fruits that they intend to release nationwide using a new “hand drawn” label software that maintains the “artisinal small batch touch that only hand lettering a label can provide.”

Health Free Food, Healthcare Free Workers: In just the last few weeks we saw a huge news story develop that will surely carry over in 2013 as one of the biggest trends in the QSR world. You can expect plenty more CEO’s to use any number of excuses to circumvent, delay providing or entirely remove health care benefits for their employees. John Schnatter, Founder of Papa Johns had this to say “Health Care for all members of a country is very French. And this America. I drive a gold car and live in a 40,000 sq foot house protected by armed guards. I didn’t get here by providing all of my employees with even partial health care. I did it by squeezing every single cent of profit I can out of my extremely average product and my underpaid workforce.” We can’t wait for his episode of Iconoclasts with Rush Limbaugh.

Black Markets trading at alltime “Sugar High” as America Searches for a Hostess Fix: America is reeling from the news that Hostess is going bankrupt. Already we’ve seen Ebay prices for Twinkies and Ding Dongs reach the thousands of dollars per case. As the stock gets purchased off shelves at an alarming y2k rate, we expect to see black market trading reach a fever pitch we haven’t seen since the tickle me elmo craze. Jean Michele La Roubouchalame, the famed truffle dealer based out of Cleveland Ohio is now carrying a selection of Hostess goods.  Although he wouldn’t reveal which flavors and in what quantity, he did say that he has already had four Michelin starred chefs call to inquire about pricing. Look for Hostess treats (still in the bag to guarantee authenticity) to hit dessert menus mid-January.

 

America: The Land of Red White and Blue (Slurpees) And The Home of the Free (Refills)

Know this ordinary citizen: Mayor Michael Bloomberg is just like us. He understands you and your needs as a normal NY’er because he himself is a normal NY’er. He’s as American as a 2 liter of coke. He’s as American as the Big Gulp. He’s as American as free refills.

Take a look at how similar his daily routine is compared to yours:

Each morning as the white doves are releases into his room, he rises from his dictator sized bed (2 sizes larger than a California King. Queen, King, Cal King, President, Sheik, Dictator) and is carried via Cleopatra’s carrying chair (purchased cash in hand at Sotheby’s 1999) to his 2,200 sq foot bathroom made entirely of Marble from The Parthenon. In his commode, his six Victoria Secret-esque hand maids bathe him and then rub whale semen all over his body to maintain perfect skin moisture PH and elasticity. After having the entire NY Times front page acted out by Tony nominated Broadway actors on the “news stage” in his newsroom, he has his tailors hand sew his Brioni suit to his well honed frame in his in-apartment tailoring shop. As he gazes out at the city from his “gazing room” he breaths in just such a way that his consigliere realizes Mr. Bloomberg is ready to take food in to his body in order to break down the natural sugars and create energy (Mr. Bloomberg doesn’t just eat). He moves to his 6,000 sq foot Frank Gehry designed breakfast nook and sits down to eat artisinal gold leaf flecked granola, drink Guatamalan fair trade coffee roasted in house by real alive Guatamalens and eat fresh fruit hand delivered daily by the finest fruit mongers then brunoised into perfect bite sized pieces by Jean Vorge. Then it’s just a quick jaunt upstairs via duck tales elevator (it’s an elevator filled with gold coins – impractical but necessary) to illegally fly his helicopter around NYC all in hopes of finding the mythical perfect AT&T cell phone reception.

So it’s quite shocking to hear that The Mayor could be so detached from what his constituency wants. He’s gone rogue by banning the sale of sugar beverages above 16 oz. He’s clearly forgot that by the time he runs for his 5th term all the 12 year olds he’s angering will be of voting age. And let me tell you, take soda away from a 12 year old and they NEVER forget you.

Hold all my calls. I'm about to drink 5 gallons of soda and watch a Mob Wives marathon

I got the google alert via text – (I have soda, soda pop, vernors, mexican coke and Fresca all set as google alerts so I can stay abreast of all sodapop related media situations) while watching the Avengers for the 3rd time. I screamed and knocked over my soda which was of course absolutely gigantic. As the pop cascaded down the theater style seating soaking tourist flip flop after tourist flip flop, a large part of my soul started to dry up. Because the idea of what America should be was simultaneously drying up. I wanted to quench this saharan dryness of anti-patriotism, but alas, there was no more soda within my grasp. And I knew then that 16 oz. of soda would never be enough to fill this widening chasm of Un-American thinking the mayor had put forth.

News outlets are reporting that the revelation came when Mr. Bloomberg was dining al fresco on his 325 ft. yacht “The Ticker Tape” and realized that the 16 oz champagne flutes filled with the sweat of virgins (already impossible to find on shelves in The Hamptons) was a lot of liquid.

I told the designers “Make my yacht look like an eagle head mixed with a dustbuster. Money is no object!”

That’s how America works now. A man says “this is enough liquid for me personally. And I think everyone else should only be able to consume this much liquid as well.” So the gears of democracy churned and he issued a decree from his 76th floor throne:

From this moment forth Soda can be consumed only in 16 oz increments.

In his own words : We aren’t limiting your ability to consume 32 oz. of soda, we are just making it so you need to carry two 16 oz. cups.

How am I supposed to carry my popcorn and soft pretzel and sour patch kids with two 16 oz sodas – one in each hand? What is this – Iran? I guess I’ll do that thing when I hook the snacks with my pinky’s and pinch it between the cups I hold together as a walk. I’m sure that won’t be awkward when I drop my soft pretzel on the floor of the bathroom but don’t throw it away and then eat it shamefully in the theater.

You know what a huge drink is? It’s innovation. It holds MORE liquid in one spot. This country was built on innovation. I’ve seen at least $50mill of bailout money funded car ads announcing that much. And America’s leaders won’t stop talking about how as a country we need more forward thinkers, more innovators, more great leaders. I’ll tell you what limiting young people’s ability to drink sodas 24 hours a day is : backwards thinking that will produce less innovators and less great leaders. Why don’t you suck down that italicized revelation with a big huge straw from my 16oz glass of go fuck yourself because your are destroying this great nation.

Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness. A big coke sure helps me live life to the fullest. It gets me jacked up. It makes me feel happy as hell! And strong too! Like Superman! Like…like I could climb the statue of Liberty! You know what I’m talking about. James Madison wrote that on his front porch. And you know what he was doing? Drinking a 75 oz tea sweetened with a gallon of sweet pure cane sugar extracted by well paid unionized workers.

After the American flag, I am not sure there is a more fitting emblem of American dominance and greatness than this:

How do you like them apples longtime nemesis and enemy Japan?

Frank Bruni argues in his piece that Mayor Bloomberg isn’t taking anything away from us. I disagree. He’s taking everything away from us. He’s taking away our birthright as American citizens. The right to choose. All Americans can agree that we should all have the right to choose and government shouldn’t interfere. If I invited Abraham Lincoln, George Washington and James Madison over tomorrow to my house to get gay married, then get an abortion while firing off automatic weapons and drinking 2 liters of coke, they would emphatically RSVP yes.

Because that is what America is about. Bigger. Better. Sweeter. Freedom.

If this is an experiment bound to fail, then the summer was the right time to put it into action. Limit kids ability to consume pop when they don’t need the valuable energy soda can deliver. Summer is about enjoying yourself outdoors. So yes, give em water. But when school rolls back and it’s time to crack the whip and hit the books, I say we put free refill soda fountains in every hallway of every school in America. As America slips behind other developing nations we need our young people alert, focused and ready to learn. And huge sodas can help kids achieve and maintain that level of focus. We can bring America back to its dominant state. It’s not going to be easy. But we can do it together, one big gulp at a time.