Here’s an interesting bit of information I learned at South by Southwest this year in Austin, Texas: In 1950, 25% of food dollars went to eating out. Today, it is 50%. There is literally no more room to grow eating-out occasions. It becomes up to the restaurant to get smarter about how they attract new and keep current diners.
The importance of culinary innovation in today’s atmosphere of ever-changing consumer wants and needs will only continue to grow. Sysco works hard to help our customers stay on the cutting edge. We’re happy to get out there, do the research and deliver it right into your hands via Business Reviews and other sources, like ChefRef® Foodie Magazine and ChefRefFoodie.com
Using locally sourced products is currently a big deal. To many consumers (especially Millennials), where a meal’s ingredients came from matters more than who’s cooking it. On pages 4-7, we’re sharing some Sysco all-stars when it comes to supporting local suppliers and growing partners. This continues to be a huge initiative for Sysco as well as increasing our sourcing of more sustainable, green products.
At this year’s NRA Show, May 16-19 we’ll be showcasing some exciting new Sysco products and a group of our chefs will be doing demos throughout the weekend. See page 31 for a preview of some of the events we have planned, including a “Foodamental Session” from yours truly on scratch-made breads. Visitors to our booth can also get some great ideas for appealing to different segments, like our rapidly increasing Hispanic customer base. Check out Paulsen Foods trendy new line of authentic Latin appetizers before the show on page 18.
Speaking of trends, throughout this edition you’ll find many suggested recipes and tips based around our Sysco Chef’s ’15 Food Trends. We encourage you to take our ideas, make them uniquely your own and then reap the benefits. Remember – it’s never
too late for innovation.
Cheers and have a flavorful day!
Chef Neil Doherty
Sr. Director of Culinary Development