Dining and Restaurants / Eating / Food and Cooking

US FOOD TRENDS: For whom the cheap burger tolls

A sea change in burger consumption patterns has already hit, according to the Wall Street Journal:

“Burger King doesn’t disclose traffic by demographic group, but said in its last quarterly earnings release that the decline was “driven by continued adverse macroeconomic conditions, including record levels of unemployed and underemployed workers, especially super fan customers.” On average, 18- to 34-year-olds went to fast-food chains about 13 times per month from January to September 2009, down from almost 19 times per month in 2006, says market-research firm Sandelman & Associates. … People 18 to 34 cut their consumption of fast-food meals from November 2006 to November 2009 while increasing the number of meals they ate at fast-casual chains, says Bonnie Riggs, restaurant industry analyst at market-research firm NPD Group. “Young people are looking for healthier options, or what they perceive to be healthier options,” she says. “Do I think they’ll come back to fast food when the economy improves? Yes…but will they visit as often? I’m not so sure.”

–  Michelin-starred chefs at the recent Madrid Fusion gastronomy fair are turning their attention away from cutting edge experimental techniques and focusing instead on ingredients and producers, according to www.independent.co.uk:

— “For me there are limits to culinary expression. That is to say, you can only go so far in transformation and expressing yourself as a chef.” – Michel Troisgros, Maison Troisgros restaurant, Roanne, France.

—  “I stopped using bluefin tuna in my restaurants three months ago. I started making a point of buying fish that are not in danger of extinction a long time ago, and buying them from small producers.” – Chef Alain Ducasse, with a total of nine Michelin stars for his restaurants in London, Paris and Monaco.

 – Finally, chef Mary Sue Milliken writes in the Los Angeles Business Journal:  “Embracing sustainable business practices feels like a natural and responsible evolution as business leaders, as chefs who create food consumed by the public and as citizens of a community where our customers are our neighbors. We also hope that when it comes to dollars and cents, the decision to go green is good for business.”

JohnLehndorff.com

Eat In Eat Out: Food trend forecast 2010: http://americanforecaster.com/

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