Specialty Food Magazine

Spring 2018

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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kids' menu trends experience by serving them smaller portions of an adult menu. "The whole philosophy for what to have at dinner is that everyone eats the same thing, and there is no reason to have 'kid' food and then 'adult' food," Parents magazine's Cicero says. "Of course, there are choking hazards and spice levels you need to consider, but if everyone offered kids and parents the same thing, I think we'd see fewer picky eaters." At Ram's Head Inn, executive chef Matt Murphy believes this attitude excites children and adults alike about dining out. "Plating it like adult food includes everyone at the table in one experience," Murphy says. "Everyone wants to feel important and that extends to the children who dine with us." This process is not without its challenges. Murphy spent years researching alternatives for children's menus and says that while there is an enormous number of cookbooks, noth- ing is catered to the restaurant industry. He instead drew on his background as a private chef and talked to several families about the biggest hurdle: what would be accepted by kids. "It's simple items and small portions," Murphy says, noting that his top-seller is a filet mignon and mashed potatoes f lour- ished with an edible f lower. Offer Choices Kids also love choices. Cicero notes chains like Red Robin and Ruby Tuesday have some of the most accessible children's menus because they let younger diners dictate their own meals. At Red Robin, children choose among six side dishes. Ruby Tuesday even has the salad bar listed, allowing children to choose from over 50 different items, including tons of fruits and vegetables. "It's hard to see your kid upset about what to eat," she says. "Families don't want to battle while going out to dinner." Stephanie Cain is a freelance writer specializing in food. "Some [restaurants] skew healthy, with plant-based proteins and ancient grains, while others look to approximate the adult experience on a smaller scale, adapting dishes so they are a better fit for children." (continued from p. 47) and one that has been pre-packed is so noticeable," says Hallman. Leverpostej, a Danish-style pork liver spreadable pate made with sweet spices (allspice, mace, and clove) and thickened with bread- crumbs, is a bestseller. Formaggio's in-house limited-edition Kasekrainer, a popular Austrian cheese-filled sausage, is also a favorite in the meat case. "We shy away from f lavored options in favor of highlighting [quality and cure] of the meats in our housemade options," says Hallman. The housemade trend is growing with "housemade condi- ments" garnering second place in this year's NRA "What's Hot 2018 Culinary Forecast." At the Girl and the Fig in Sonoma, California, housemade charcuterie like pate, lomo, or duck ril- lettes are often accompanied by housemade red onion confit or persimmon jam. Opportunities for Growth While pork is synonymous with charcuterie, lesser-known and new cuts of meat and non-meat items are getting some attention. "Pork is still a big hit right now, but people are more willing to experiment with format," notes Hallman. Customers are interested in using more unique cuts, asking for guanciale (pork jowls) rather than bacon, she notes. Duck and beef are also making a comeback at the deli coun- ter. At Hyde Park Gourmet in Cincinnati, Ohio, owner Evelyn Ignatow notes that duck prosciutto from Angel's Salumi is a top seller and at Zingerman's, salami made from wagyu beef is cur- rently trending. Non-meat options are also getting their fair share of atten- tion. "With millennials wanting to incorporate more sustainable plant- and fish-based products into their dining habits, the trend is to offer a lot more alternatives to meat, especially on the char- cuterie plate," says David Kotick, executive vice president, Global Gourmet Food, an importing company in Astoria, New York. Kotick says that although Serrano and Iberico hams are still much in demand, products such as vegetarian or seafood pate, or white tuna in olive oil or anchovies from Spain are increasing in popularity. "Companies like Don Gastronom and Sea Delight offer many non-meat items that can shake up a platter." Vegan items are also slowly becoming a thing. "Hellenic Farms does a great fig salami made from figs, peppers, and dried fruits and nuts," notes Zingerman's Marshall, who predicts even- tually more items like this will make their way onto platters. "Customers have moved from asking 'what's new in cheese' to 'what's new in [charcuterie].' They want something special and are more adventurous with their selections. As quality keeps going up, this will only continue." category spotlight Nicole Potenza Denis is a contributing editor to Specialty Food Magazine. (continued from p. 60) 86 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE specialtyfood.com

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