TRENDS: The McBistro experiment; Organic’s niche; Stalking U.S. asparagus

A compendium of food, dining and beverage trend information from the U.S. and the world

Reported by SlashFood.com:

McDonalds is test-marketing a new “customized” chicken sandwich with a French twist. The McBistro Chicken Sandwich can be either grilled or fried, comes on a whole-grain “bakery style” roll, and then you choose whether you’d like to top it with bacon, white cheddar cheese, tomato and a sauce (chipotle barbecue, honey mustard, buttermilk ranch). The sandwiches are being tried out in Omaha, Albuquerque, and Baltimore.

Reported by Food-Navigator.com:

Nielsen says that African-Americans tend to spend more on food consumed at home when compared to the general population, but do not use coupons or buy products on deals as often as other demographics. In contrast, Asian-Americans tend to eat more often outside the home on average than the population as a whole, are more likely to have newer technologies, and watch less television.

Reported by Reuters:

Organic sales are still growing, but the pace has slowed sharply. During the 52 weeks ending February 20, supermarket sales of packaged foods and nonalcoholic beverages with “organic” claims rose 1.9 percent to $4.4 billion, according to Nielsen data. The natural/organic segment is “always going to be a niche,” said Forrest Roberts, CEO of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, an industry trade group. He said organic and natural beef sales make up less than 2 percent of the market.

Reported by the Los Angeles Times:

California still grows about 11,500 acres of asparagus, estimates Cherie Watte Angulo, executive director of the California Asparagus Commission. But this is down from 20,200 in 2007, and 40,900 in 2000. Twenty years ago, California produced 62% of the asparagus consumed in the United States; now its share is close to 10%, Angulo says.

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