Kids' Food: Culinary Trend Mapping Report

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Published Oct 21, 2008 | 75 Pages | Pub ID: LA1927885

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In the past decade, we’ve seen sustained uplines in the market for kids’ food and beverages, a graph-line jump to rival data for any explosive baby boom. From manufacturers of exciting new foods for babies and toddlers to restaurant operators thinking outside the French fry box, this is a dynamic market with plenty of untapped potential.

Shifting demographics and new drivers are rewarding innovation, especially when those new products speak to parents’ concerns about the health and well-being of their children. Though concerns about obesity, diabetes and other diet-related ailments are nearly universal, the kids’ food and beverage market is far from monolithic, a fact that adds further luster to an already dynamic sector.

Menu classics and a fast-expanding range of new options offer a variety of choices for parents driven by health concerns for their kids, as well as by the desire to expose their children to a wide range of ingredients and tastes. That’s created exciting market conditions for foodservice operators and manufacturers alike. In Kids’ Food: Culinary Trend Mapping Report, we profile several trends emerging and growing in the market for children’s food and beverages.

  • Stage 1
  • The Bento Box
  • School Lunch Services
  • Stage 2
  • Asian Flavors for Kids
  • Stage 3
  • Hidden Nutrition
  • Frozen Baby Food
  • Kids’ Menu Choices
  • Stage 5
  • New Functionals

CCD digs deeper behind the following four overarching consumer trends as they relate to kids’ food and beverages and 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.:

  • Customization
  • Ethnic flavors
  • Health and wellness
  • “Edutainment”

Key Strategies

  • Where these meal solutions are appearing along the trend map
  • How new uses and applications of kids’ food and beverages may suggest a product that will grow into the next big thing
  • Applications for the packaged foods/retail side of the business
  • New foodservice opportunities inspired by kids’ food trends
  • CCD translation tips - how to turn these trends into actionable menu, product and retail developments
  • Future impact of kids’ food and beverage 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 kids’ food and beverages?

With extensive profiles of each ingredient/food emerging within the five stages of the trend map, this 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
Why Kids’ Food - Kimberly Egan
Executive Summary

Trend Summary
  • The Bento Box
  • School Lunch Services
  • Asian Flavors for Kids
  • Hidden Nutrition
  • Frozen Baby Food
  • Kids’ Menu Choice
  • New Functionals

Chef Speak: CCD Chefs’ Council® Voices
Ethel Brennan: How to get kids to eat healthier

Strategic Implications

Food Beat, Inc.

Source List