Rick Zambrano

Recent Posts by Rick Zambrano:

How Protein Trends Are Impacting the Food & Beverage Industry

Consumers are increasingly looking to protein to boost nutrition in their diets. The results of numerous studies support protein’s role in fighting obesity through supporting weight management. Protein also ensures proper growth, immune, heart and respiratory function. According to “Dietary Guidelines for Americans” from the USDA and Health and Human Services Administration, the average male 31 to 50 years of age needs about 56 grams of protein.

Topics: Food & Beverage

How South American Flavors Are Influencing Food Retailing

There’s a growing interest in South American foods. While Peruvian cuisine has been a hot trend and tops the ethnic category as voted by chefs of the American Culinary Federation (National Restaurant Association “What’s Hot Survey, 2014”), Brazilian cuisine is also trending. The World Cup in Brazil, as well as the 2016 Summer Olympics, will unleash an appetite for Brazilian cuisine beyond the churrascaria concept. And, new manifestations of culinary dishes from Ecuador, Colombia and Argentina aren’t far behind. Food retailers can draw from these trends to spark innovation and sales within the four walls of the supermarket and producers can leverage them for innovation in food formulation.

Topics: Food & Beverage

How To Identify Top Food Trends

When you look at the top food trends that are being portrayed and even hyped in the media, it’s easy to get lost in the maze of what is and is not viable.  But, those in food research roles must be able to use their expertise and data-driven insights to vet food trends and find success (here, we are speaking not only of actual trends about food products but also culinary trends and techniques). This is because emerging food trends with great potential can be transformed into big business opportunities.

Topics: Food & Beverage How To's

Food Trend Research: How Filtering Trends for Food Innovation Drives Industry Success

Superfoods, aji peppers, pichuberries, goji berries, purple corn, green tea, ancient seeds, Mediterranean foods, Peruvian cuisine, Korean tacos, the list of trendy food flavors and themes go on and on. Add that to the list of consumer trend behaviors around food, like cravings for sweet & savory, wellness foods, “adventure, courage & optimism,” quest for authenticity, internationalism on the agenda, etc. Mining food trends and identifying which are the most opportunistic can be a daunting task for food producers, retailers and foodservice establishments, including restaurant companies.

Understanding what is “hot” is easy; diving into a cross-analysis against market data and significant consumer opinions is more complex. The task of identifying today's most opportunistic food trends can be made easier by cross-analyzing against these factors. Food industry players are wise to make data-driven decisions and not just produce to today’s flavor of the day. Here’s a way to start:

Seek first to understand the food context and conversation

Topics: Food & Beverage

Non-GMO Market Research Questions and Opportunities

The subject of non-GMO (genetically-modified organism) food products has been in the spotlight constantly over the last few months. The recent phasing out of Chobani products at Whole Foods, due to the yogurt company's milk-producing cows' consumption of GMO, is a testament to the growing debate over GMO food products and increasing demand for non-GMO product development.

More broadly, the call for products that have less processing and modification has been significant in the last decade, and, thus, products like all-natural or organic have been sought after and are part of dynamic, high-growth industries.

Topics: Food & Beverage