I’ve got to say it: foodservice is fun, flavorful and fantastic. C’mon, where else can you touch a mystical creature or walk into a restaurant and ask for something naked? Of course, I’m referring to a few of the year’s most interesting limited-time offers: Starbucks’ Rainbow Unicorn (Frappuccino blended crème) and Taco Bell’s Naked Chicken Chalupa.

Prepared Foods’ annual foodservice issue gives us a chance for a deep dive look at topics and trends impacting new product development.

Talk about creativity. Starbucks said its five-day LTO in April featured a sweet dusting of pink powder, blended into a crème Frappuccino with mango syrup and layered with a sour blue drizzle. The drink also featured a magic twist—starting as a purple beverage with swirls of blue and a first taste that is sweet and fruity. After a stir, its color changed to pink, and the flavor evolved to tangy and tart. The more swirl, the more the beverage’s color and flavors transform.

Meanwhile, Taco Bell was certainly thinking outside the shell when it debuted the Naked Chicken Chalupa. The “shell” actually is made with 4 ounces of marinated, all-white-meat, antibiotic-free chicken that’s “kicked up” with bold Mexican spices and seasoning. It comes packed with fresh shredded lettuce, diced ripe tomatoes, cheddar cheese and creamy avocado ranch.

Of course, LTO’s can be fun and gains for operators and their food processor partners. In fact, the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) took an extensive look at this topic as part of its Consumer Planning Program, a multi-faceted campaign to solicit and understand consumer attitudes and behaviors. I’m glad to say we’re close with our friends at IFMA and are honored to showcase this fascinating research. 

Another close partner is Technomic. For this special issue, Technomic experts take readers inside category menu trends and segment-by-segment operator trends (page 56). Technomic also examines one of the most important and disruptive trends of all: home meal occasions, delivery and take-out.

We’re also excited to give you several perspectives on foodservice new product development. One feature gives you an extensive, product-by-product look at the National Restaurant Association’s 2017 Food and Beverage Awards. We also examine the top eight product and flavor development trends, brought to by Flavor & The Menu. I hope you find this issue to be entertaining, information and inspirational!  

We’re Moving West—to Denver! 

Join us as Prepared Foods presents its 35th annual New Products Conference.
Unlock opportunity. Unleash creativity. Transform industry.

Speakers Include

• Doug Hall, Founder of Eureka Ranch 

• Errol Schweizer, Co-Founder, BeyondBrands; Owner, Errol Schweizer LLC and Former Vice President of Grocery at Whole Foods 

• Tina Owens, Senior Manager-Sustainability & Procurements, Kashi 

• Barry Calpino, Vice President of Innovation, Conagra Brands 

• Mattson Meal Delivery Panel with Christy Lebor, VP Innovation & Insights 40 North Foods; and Mike McDevitt, founder and CEO, Terra’s Kitchen 

• Taryn Forrelli, ND, Vice President of Innovation & Resident
Nutritionist, Olly

• Tulin Tuzel, Chief Technology Officer, Sabra Dipping Company LLC

• Carolina Fryer, Managing Director, Mission Field 

• Lynn Dornblaser and David Jago, Directors of Innovation & Insight, Mintel 

• Jim Painter, Ph.D, RD, Professor at University of Texas – Houston 

And more! 

New Products Conference Denver “StreetDive”  

Attracting a medley of entrepreneurs, young millennials and athletes, the Mile High City has become a hotbed for cutting-edge food trends and culinary innovation. Join our local experts for SRG StreetDive, an off-the-grid tour of food + drink hotspots that push the culinary boundaries. SRG, Boulder, Colo., leads NPC attendees on an exciting, fast-paced 2 ½ hours to explore a medley of restaurants, markets and retailers that will challenge us all to think differently about the future of food. Registration is limited. Advance registration required.

Prepared Foods’ New Products Conference has arranged a special rate of $229 plus tax per night for attendees at Grand Hyatt Denver in Colorado. Make plans to attend now ensure availability. Register today and save $300! 

For more information, visit www.NewProductsConference.com or contact Marge Whalen at 847-405-4071 or whalenm@bnpmedia.com.