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.


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.