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CSNews Product Trends From Mintel

This page of new product trends and data is supplied by Mintel, an independent award-winning provider of world-leading market intelligence, delivering robust information, analysis and critical recommendations for more than 38 years.

The focus of this issue's Product Trends from Mintel is on foodservice.


Indulgence and low-price meal deals top product trends

  1. KFC's Double Down: KFC uses chicken filets as the bread in a sandwich that wedges bacon, cheese and special sauce in the middle. This promotion captured some of the buzz of those bunless In-n-Out "secret menu" items, while also shocking people with its indulgence level.
  2. Sonic's Footlong Quarter Pound Coney: Sonic's Footlong is billed as the longest thing on the menu; it's also available piled high with warm chili, corn chips, shredded cheddar cheese, diced onions, sliced jalapeños and Southwest chipotle sauce.
  3. Taco Bell $2 Meals Deals: The economy is prompting many operators to test the "how long can we go" pricing strategy, offering a medium BELL soda and a bag of Doritos with one of five menu options proves Taco Bell can throw down the low-price gauntlet.
  4. Wendy's All Natural Fries: Amid a lot of sweet potato fry news, Wendy's kicks it old school with All Natural Fries: Russet potatoes, prepared skin-on and seasoned with sea salt.
  5. Starbuck's VIA: It would seem an impossible feat to make instant coffee hip, but Starbucks is trying with its quickly growing VIA line, which includes flavored versions, an iced option and special cups and gear.


Surf and turf leads way in new product count at foodservice


C-stores and fast-feeders providing taste of Mexico and American South

  • Mexican: While the popularity of Mexican food isn't big news, operators are managing to keep it new and relevant. For instance, ampm, the large BP franchised c-store chain on the west Coast, served torta sandwiches on a "secret menu" this past summer, and it got some media attention. The trend in Mexican quick-service is the fresh emphasis (often in the restaurant name, as in Baja Fresh and Rubio's) as well as merging Mexican and Californian ingredients and styles, with Baja being used as a descriptor and fish tacos being added to many menus.
  • American South: Another region that's important is the American South. Katrina recovery was already putting New Orleans and Mississippi in the culinary spotlight, and the rest of the country has been focused on the region's restaurant recovery and preserving the local foodways. It continues to be in the spotlight as New Orleans struggles to rebound and to protect seafood resources after the BP oil spill. Popeye's recently rebranded to align more closely with their New Orleans roots. Southern dishes like muffalettas, fried chicken, po'boys, grits, cornbread and beignets are being embraced by mixed menus across the country.


Americans eyeing fat, calories more when dining out

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