Hand-Held Foods: Culinary Trend Mapping Report

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Published Jan 30, 2008 | 72 Pages | Pub ID: LA1608334

Convenience has been a driver of portable food innovations for centuries. Meat pies, for example, existed in pre-medieval times, one of the earliest forms of food to go. Even Romans were able to buy “fast food” on the street. So, it’s not surprise that consumers are continually seeking solutions for nutrition and meals on the run.

Hand-held food, of course, implies portability and, thus, convenience. It also speaks to quick, casual, relaxed and fun. However, hand-held food is now expanding to new flavor and form horizons. Whether drawing from an ethnic pantry, artisan tradition, premium or health ingredients, new hand-held foods offer a host of versatile ideas for food manufacturers and foodservice operators hoping to excite consumers, and attract new business, with tasty, convenient portable foods.

Hand-Held Foods: Culinary Trend Mapping Report, examines the ingredients, cooking styles and ethnic influences that the Center for Culinary Development (CCD) has identified as about to hit, or have established themselves, in the U.S. We delve into paletas, dosas, Chinese steamed buns, ethnic fried chicken, sliders, empanadas and breakfast sandwiches, and critically assess how food marketers can take advantage of these hot trends.

Key Strategies

  • Where these hand-held foods are appearing along the trend map
  • How new uses and applications of these foods may suggest a food or drink that will grow into the next big thing.
  • Actual menu items where these hand-held foods are appearing
  • Applications for the packaged foods/retail side of the business
  • New product and menu-item introductions inspired by emerging and existing hand-held food trends
  • CCD translation tips - how to turn these trends into actionable menu, product and retail developments
  • Future impact of hand-held food trends on the industry

Market Assessment: Consumers, Professionals, Business
Strategic Implications: What are, in CCD’s words, the “strategic levers” food marketers, foodservice operators and food retailers should pull to identify opportunities for new product development based on spices? Kimberly Egan, CCD’s managing partner, invites us to consider how hand-held foods can help packaged goods manufacturers and restaurant operators satisfy convenience, nutritional and “excitement” needs and wants by offering new forms of portability, novel and nostalgic experiences, new ethnic flavors, and artisanal quality.

Professional Perspective: San Francisco Bay-area chef, consultant and instructor Agustin Gaytan reminds us that, while the U.S. may have perfected the fast food restaurant, in his native Mexico, so-called street foods and forever proliferating and evolving in ways that make them easier to eat, easier to carry around and tastier and more widely available.

With extensive profiles of each ingredient/food emerging within the five stages of the trend map, this hand-held food issue of the Culinary Trend Mapping Report provides you with the most up-to-date, insider’s look at what’s hot and what’s not in the world of food. Top food marketers rely on trend mapping to keep them on the pulse of what’s happening and what’s about to happen as far as consumer tastes are concerned.

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

Using the Center for Culinary Development’s (CCD) signature Trend Mapping technique, a validated method identifying which culinary trends are “gaining traction” and which are simply flashes in the pan, each report concentrates on a theme, or trend, that is affecting the food industry, and then looks at the emerging and established ingredients, cooking styles and products along the Trend Map that are driving this theme.

Each report is a 75+ page journal 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 affect—or are affected by—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® that offers expert analysis and his or her perspective on a specific trend.

Additional features include:

  • Menu Tracking: Menu mentions of our featured Trend Map items. Within the trend profiles, we will offer a summary of how often the trend has appeared on menus in restaurants ranging from 75 white tablecloth restaurants to the top 200 chains.
  • Trend Dishes: Actual descriptions of all dishes for top restaurant chains for each of the trends appear in the report Appendices to provide a comprehensive overview of how the trends are being served.
  • Industry Veterans Speak: Points of view from an industry perspective on what each trend means—whether positive or negative—to the food industry at large, including consumers, professionals and businesses.

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 Gourmet and 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 is either starting to appear or is having increased presence on grocery store shelves.

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

Executive Summary
  • Hand-Held Trends - Kimberly Egan
  • Executive Summary

Trend Profiles

  • Trend Summary
  • Stage 1: Paletas
    • Dosas

  • Stage 2: Chinese Steamed Buns
    • Ethnic Fried Chicken
    • Stage 3: Sliders

  • Stage 4: Empanadas
  • Stage 5: Breakfast Sandwiches

Chef Speak: CCD Chefs Council Voices

  • Agustin Gaytan: Portable exports with promise

Strategic Implications

  • New opportunities for hand-held foods


  • Food Beat, Inc.


  • Source List