Friday, April 7, 2017

Phil's Friday Rap

What I'm watching this week.

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Had a great discussion with Alex Van Buren of Epicurious on supermarket and food trends…first time a writer ever asked me "Are grocery stores the new church?" Read the Q&A here to find out my answer. Next trip to Brooklyn I want to go shopping with her.

Today is actually National Beer Day, and Nielsen reports that U.S. beer retail sales have totaled over $34 billion.

What I'm watching this week, and what you should too:

April is National Volunteer Month and food banks across the US need your help.

GrubHub and Tinder conducted a 2,000+ singles nationwide poll on dating habits and food. Here's what they found: 62 percent of respondents prefer a heartier dish, whereas 38 percent prefer a lighter meal, 36 percent of respondents would rule out a second date if the other person didn't offer to pay, and 64 percent said it would not be an issue, and my favorite finding – when asked what you would do if your date stole food off your plate? 'Scowl,' according to 31 percent of respondents in comparison to 69 percent of respondents who answered 'share.'

BI Intelligence released their survey of 900 millennials and business leaders on "home assistants" and found that only 18% of people said they don't see a reason to have a home voice assistant, but a large majority (83%) do. Why? Thirty-three percent said as a hands-free home control, 20% said because it's futuristic and fun. But 41% say they don't trust it to be secure.

IRI released its list of 2016 most successful new CPG products in its New Product Pacesetters report and found that 80% of the top ranking brands came from small and mid-sized companies. Number one on the is list DairyPure milk at $1,163.1M. 

Huge backlash for Pepsi's new TV ad with Kendall Jenner. Sometimes brands need to be reminded that trying to mix soda with politics just doesn't work. 

The Cognitive Neuroscience Society's annual meeting in San Francisco released a study that showed when tired, participants showed greater brain activity in two areas involved in olfaction — the piriform cortex and the orbitofrontal cortex — in response to food smells than they did when well rested. Adults operating on only four hours of sleep inhaled food odors such as those from potato chips and cinnamon rolls, and nonfood smells like fir trees while undergoing functional MRI scans; guess what appealed more? the results fit with previous research showing a link between sleep deprivation and both excessive calorie consumption and weight gain.

The Specialty Food Association's annual State of the Industry report find the $127 billion-dollar industry is largely fueled by small business growth, and total sales jumped 15% between 2014 and 2016. Growth is also being driven by product innovations and wider availability of specialty foods through mass-market outlets. Everyone wants tastier, more unique and cool foods. Phil Kafarakis, President of SFA said in a statement, "Consumer preferences for specialty food products are growing at double digits, outpacing mainstream food staples. The products our members create appeal to consumers looking for authentic tastes and foods with fewer and cleaner ingredients." The full State of the Specialty Food Industry report, produced in conjunction with market researcher Mintel, is now available here.

In our 2017 Trends Forecast we predicted that foods using cannabis as an ingredient is poised for huge growth. But even we were surprised to hear that at Coachella this year is CannaSpa, a two-day spa, cocktail tasting and upscale-dining event.

And since we are talking food+music…

Looks like rappers including Snoop and Rev Run (Cooking Channel's "Rev Run's Sunday Suppers") are challenging those celebrity chefs. "Martha & Snoop's Potluck Dinner Party" on VH1 is a hit and is actually making Martha hip again with an entirely new fan base. The Associated Press reported that Snoop "wearing black shades, his dreads in a ponytail, the pioneering rapper rushed off the cooking stage and emerged 20 minutes later at a nearby beachside DJ booth, also part of the recent South Beach Wine & Food Festival, spinning tunes, including many of his own, while a stagehand passed out joints to the sweaty, enthusiastic crowd." Emeril out. Snoop in. Martha reborn.

There is nothing like the Jersey Shore. Grew up heading to Asbury summer and winter and while the California beaches are great…Jersey still ranks #1. Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown has a great look at Southside Johnny's Asbury food finds. According to Bourdain, "The longtime frontman of Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes is a walking encyclopedia of the old dive bars, holes in the wall, diners and—more recently—the mind-blowing funky gems opened by a generation of folks breathing new life into this storied city by the sea. Believe me—he's the guy you want to eat and walk around Asbury with. And here's the places you'll go —a list of top spots chosen by Johnny himself."

Counting the days till summer…

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