Alcone Marketing Group – Consumer Lab

The Consumer Lab is the consumer insights and brand strategy group at Alcone Marketing Group, a consumer activation company.

Trends Point The Way To Goji Berries, Gluten-Free Comestibles

New food trends coming out of the Center for Culinary Development’s “Culinary Trend Mapping” report says future trends include gluten-free products, niche ethnic foods and Goji berries. The group expects future food trends to swing towards healthy lifestyle products.
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Trends Point The Way To Goji Berries, Gluten-Free Comestibles – 05/08/2008

What’s the big deal with gluten? And what is it, anyway? Who cares–ou don’t need it, and soon you’ll know that. Gluten-free is just one of several new food trends that the Center for Culinary Development (CCD) says is going to show up in greater quantity on store shelves and restaurants–including the fast kind–in coming years.

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Filed under: food, gourmet, trends

Discovery Sees ‘Green’ With Emeril Series

Discovery’s new channel – Planet Green has been working hard to ensure a wide audience. The latest news from the eco-friendly station is the addition of a new cooking show starting Emeril. The show, Emeril Green will introduce viewers to the world of healthy meals and fresh ingredients. It will be shot on location at Whole Foods stores around the country.

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Discovery Sees ‘Green’ With Emeril Series

Voluble TV chef Emeril Lagasse will kick it up a notch at Discovery Communications’ Planet Green, inking a deal to develop a new series for the eco-friendly startup.

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Filed under: eco-friendly, environment, food, gourmet

Going Out to Eat, but Staying Green – New York Times

The latest trend in luxury is not extravagance. Instead, its eco-friendly. Everyone is investing in green these days from building management companies to retailers and now restaurant owners are making efforts to ensure ethical standards when it comes to dining out. A nonprofit – Green Restaurant Association – says that green restaurants are really coming into their own.
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Going Out to Eat, but Staying Green – New York Times

Lately, when restaurateurs create a menu or settle on a design, they’re considering the environment along with the cuisine. Some do it to save money and others to tap into a popular trend, but many do it because they believe in it. Jason Hennings said the ingredients at Black Iron Burger, which he is to open soon in the East Village, will come from New York State, avoiding fuel-burning, cross-country deliveries. “I want this to be an ethical burger,” he said.

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Filed under: eco-friendly, environment, food, gourmet

Mintel: Cookie Consumption Flat, But Opportunities Abound

Mintel says cookies are under pressure from the proliferation of other sweets,
from ice cream, to candy and cakes, refrigerated dough, baking mixes, frozen
desserts. That means opportunities for cookie makers resemble other markets:
specialization catering to adults. And making cookies more “manly” by adding
large chunks of chocolate or nuts could spur more men to eat them.

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MediaPost Publications – Mintel: Cookie Consumption Flat, But Opportunities Abound – 12/24/2007
IF YOU BINGE ON COOKIES after Christmas dinner, chances are it will be on either premium cookies or brands positioned around health. That’s one of the takeaways from Chicago marketing research firm Mintel’s fourth-quarter report on cookies and cookie bars. Although a lot of people eat cookies, Mintel (which, come to think of it, actually sounds like a cookie) says consumption has been flatter than a Mint Thin. Per the consultancy, household consumption of cookies has stayed about the same since 2000.

Filed under: Consumer, CPG, food, gourmet, health

Research: Gourmet, Specialty Sales Expected To Soar

“America’s fascination with world flavors, along with its growing ethnic
population, is also helping to fuel the dramatic growth of gourmet/premium foods
and beverages,” according to the Packaged Facts report. “As the United States
increasingly becomes and recognizes itself as a multicultural society, ethnic
foods are soaring in popularity and acceptance.”

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MediaPost Publications – Research: Gourmet, Specialty Sales Expected To Soar – 11/30/2007
SALES OF GOURMET AND SPECIALTY foods are expected to rise nearly 63%, to $96 billion over the next five years, according to new research in the category from Packaged Facts.

According to the study, sales in the (admittedly loosely defined) gourmet, specialty and premium food and beverage category grew to $59 billion in 2007, a nearly 11% increase over 2006.

Filed under: Consumer, CPG, food, gourmet

Consumers say (mac &) cheese, please

One of childhood’s staples, mac & cheese, is featured on many menus from TGI Friday’s to upscale Manhattan eateries, making it a food trend for kids and grown ups.

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Consumers say (mac &) cheese, please – USATODAY.com
One of the nation’s hottest food trends is both targeting nostalgic grown-ups and putting smiles on kids’ faces: mac & cheese.

In an age of better-for-you eating, calorie- and carb-heavy macaroni and cheese is making a comeback. It’s now sold in restaurants from fast-food and casual-dining to chi-chi establishments. Even packaged-food giants are cashing in as folks seek sensory comfort in the tastes and smells of their youth.

Filed under: Consumer, food, gourmet, trends

TV Chefs, Far From Reality

The top chefs who judge the top chefs have morphed into stars so much
larger than, and sometimes so loosely tethered to, the nuts and bolts
of their craft.

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TV Chefs, Far From Reality – New York Times
THE third season of “Top Chef” comes to a close tonight, answering questions that have made this contest seem like a timely echo of, or overture to, the precedent-courting presidential race: Will there be a first woman Top Chef or a first nonwhite Top Chef or maybe even a first openly gay Top Chef?

On this matter the Bravo network has expertly teased out the suspense,
but along the way it’s settled another issue. While Top Chef
contestants must endure a finger-numbing, flesh-nicking decathlon of
slicing and dicing, the top chefs who assess them need not come within
10 feet of a whisk — unless, that is, they’re arching an eyebrow at the
clumsy way it’s being handled.

One after another, the country’s most esteemed culinary practitioners — Eric Ripert, Daniel Boulud and Geoffrey Zakarian, to name a few — sauntered onto the set, where they ate on command and frowned on cue.

What
they didn’t do was cook. And in that sense the show perfectly
illustrated how far these celebrities — on “Top Chef,” on “Iron Chef”
and its progeny, on any number of programs — have traveled from the
tedious, earnest hands-on work that gave them their luster in the first
place.

Filed under: entertainment, food, gourmet, Media, trends, TV

Anheuser-Busch: Healthy Pomegranates Get Tipsy, Too

Mintel predicts that we’ll see even more deep purple and red beverages in the
months ahead: “Chefs will explore the deeper health benefits and flavor of
antioxidant-rich foods such as deep red wine and dark chocolate, the subtleties
of red and white tea, as well as the antioxidant-rich açaí berry,” it predicts.
“And the vitamin C-packed acerola cherry will provide additional sweetness to
the functional flavor category.”

It looks like functional foods will be taken to the next level next year.

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MediaPost Publications – Anheuser-Busch: Healthy Pomegranates Get Tipsy, Too – 09/26/2007
AMERICANS ALREADY KNEW POMEGRANATE WAS healthy. Now it looks like we think that weird purple fruit might make booze a little better, too. Anheuser-Busch is introducing Bacardi Silver Pomegranate Mojito–a pomegranate-flavored twist on the Mojito cocktail, which it claims is the first nationally available, pomegranate Mojito-flavored premium malt beverage to hit the market.

And Purple, a juice blend that contains pomegranate, cherry, black currant, purple plum, cranberry and blueberry, is turning up in martinis at The Palm, one of New York’s toniest hotels.

“It’s really all about the intersection of this search for the fountain of youth and intense flavor,” says Karen Caplan, president of Frieda’s Inc., the Los Alamitos, Calif.-based specialty produce firm that has introduced the U.S. to such produce powerhouses as the kiwi fruit, the donut peach and sugar-snap peas.

Filed under: Beer, Consumer, CPG, food, gourmet, spirits

And the Winning Flavor Is…

Häagen-Dazs and Gourmet magazine are sponsoring a multimedia contest to
find an exotic flavor to sell under the Häagen-Dazs brand name.

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And the Winning Flavor Is… – New York Times
I SCREAM, you scream, we all scream for ice cream … from Gourmet magazine?

In another example of how giant marketers are accelerating the
reallocation of advertising dollars to nontraditional methods of
reaching consumers, the division of Nestlé
that sells Häagen-Dazs ice cream is sponsoring an elaborate campaign
centered on a contest to find an exotic flavor to sell under the
Häagen-Dazs brand name.

The campaign, called Scoop: The Häagen-Dazs Flavor Search, includes a section of the Häagen-Dazs Web site (haagen-dazs.com/scoop);
user-generated content, in the forms of video clips, photographs and
letters from consumers proposing ideas for flavors; promotional events
at places like cooking schools; sample giveaways; short videos, known
as Webisodes; and appearances by Sara Moulton, the executive chef at
Gourmet.

Filed under: advertising, CPG, food, gourmet, Promotions

General Market Infuses Content and Talent With Latino Flavor

Americans of all nationalities are adding some Latin flavor to their lives. Media channels are developing content that speaks to Latino culture because there is a clear growth in interest among consumers, especially when it comes to food.
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General Market Infuses Content and Talent With Latino Flavor

Call it the Latinization of American food and lifestyle. Consumer magazines, cable network entertaining and dining shows and others in the general market are serving up Hispanic-themed content and diverse talent.

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Filed under: Consumer, food, gourmet, Hispanics

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