Freshness: Culinary Trend Mapping Report

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Published Feb 28, 2012 | 78 Pages | Pub ID: LA6775717
Special offer: now 10% off original price of $3,300 for this individual issue

Today’s consumers are circling back to freshness with renewed excitement, valuing it as a marker of quality and looking for it in every corner of the food world. And they are finding it; consumers’ access to fresh foods now ranges to grocery departments and retail channels far beyond the produce aisle.

The reasons why freshness has become so in-demand are easy to understand. They stem from how freshness signifies healthfulness and good nutrition, artisan quality and full flavor. Fresh food typically has a known source that one can trace to better understand how our food got to our plate and who was responsible for that journey. Fresh can be tender and juicy, firm and ripe, rich, delicious and colorful—all attributes that consumers are wanting more and more.

Manufacturers, restaurateurs and food producers need to take notice of the freshness trends profiled in Freshness: Culinary Trend Mapping Report to understand how freshness plays a key role in America’s food choices, and how it can be transmitted in new and creative ways. It’s not just about unwilted greens and sell-by dates anymore; it’s a mentality that is permeating our food culture and changing the paradigm.

  • Stage 1: Ceviche (or cebiche) has long been a staple of Peru and many Latin American cuisines. With chefs now adding unique herbs and vegetables, it has become a holistically fresh experience.

  • Stage 1: More and more wine drinkers, winemakers and restaurateurs have opened their eyes and their bars to the practice of serving wine on tap.

  • Stage 2: Fresh cheeses are gaining traction in both home and restaurant kitchens. Fresh cheeses are typically more affordable but have a shorter shelf, life lending them to day-to¬day applications.

  • Stage 2: When you can’t make it to a farmers market, bring the market to you! That’s the basic concept behind Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs, which are now expanding into new sectors of the food industry.

  • Stage 3: The “bistro salad” got glamorous in the late 20th century. This tendency has only increased in this century as the range of foods being featured in salads, especially fruits, has grown exponentially.

  • Stage 4: The prepared foods trends and choices made by natural grocery stores are setting a new standard for mainstream retailers to continue creating fresh, healthful eating options for diners at all hours of the day.

  • Stage 5: Regular milk remains a supremely fresh and popular product, now with all kinds of styles and forms bursting from the dairy case—including new chuggable flavored milks, raw milk, and goat milk.

• • • • •

The Culinary Trend Mapping Report is an indispensable tool for those whose job it is to stay abreast of what's hot—and what will be—in the food world.

The reports leverage the Center for Culinary Development’s (CCD) signature Trend Mapping technique, a validated method for identifying which culinary trends are gaining traction and which are simply flashes in the pan.

Each 65+ page journal is packed with trends, data, strategies and insights on the food industry that simply aren't available anywhere else.

Each issue of the Culinary Trends Mapping Report:

  • Identifies the maturity level of foods and ingredients according to CCD’s unique, proprietary 5-stage trend mapping process.

  • Concentrates on a theme that is affecting the food industry, and then looks at the emerging and established trends along the Trend Map that are shaping this theme.

  • Delves into these trends and what they mean for you and the manufacturing, retailing, and foodservice industries.

  • Gives strategic insight into how consumers are thinking of and reacting to new foods and ingredients.

  • Provides business know-how regarding opportunities, challenges, and ways to implement current trends into foodservice, retail, and packaged goods operations.

  • Presents a feature interview with a member chef from CCD’s exclusive 80+ member Chefs’ Council who offers expert analysis and unique perspective on a specific trend.

Trend Mapping

Trend Mapping is guided by the premise that major food trends pass through five distinct stages on their way to the mainstream:

Stage 1: The ingredient, dish and/or cooking technique appears at upscale dining establishments, ethnic and popular independent restaurants.

Stage 2: The item is featured in specialty consumer-oriented food magazines such as Bon Appetit plus retail stores such as Sur La Table that target culinary professionals and serious home cooks.

Stage 3: The item begins to appear in mainstream chain restaurants—Applebee's or Chili's—as well as retail stores such as Williams-Sonoma that target recreational cooks.

Stage 4: Publications such as Family Circle and Better Homes and Gardens pick up the buzz.

Stage 5: Finally, the trend makes its way to quick service restaurant menus and either starts to appear or gains increased mainstream presence on grocery store shelves.


Published every other month, the Culinary Trend Mapping Report is available for purchase as a single issue or a six-issue subscription.

Executive Overview
Why Freshness?

- Kimberly Egan
Executive Summary

Trend Summary
Stage 1 - Peruvian Ceviche
- Wine on Tap

Stage 2 - Fresh Cheeses
- CSA Programs

Stage 3 - Fresh Fruit in Entrée Salads

Stage 4 - Natural Grocery Prepared Foods

Stage 5 - Milk

Chef Speak: CCD Chefs’ Council® Voices
James McDonald: Fresh Inspiration

Strategic Implications
Opportunities for Freshness

Source List