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Jody Shee
Kansas City
Discerner of food and foodservice trends
Interests: guitar, writing, books, following food and foodservice trends
Recent Activity
I’m starting to think that the plant-based meat alternatives put out by Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat are the Scrub Daddys of the foodservice industry. Who would have thought they would catch on as quickly and as completely as they did? They are still in the introduction phase of their... Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2019 at SheeFood
Well, let me be the first to predict a menu shift we should have seen coming 15 years ago: lifestyle menus. We will see more operations that base their entire menu on lifestyle diets. The embryo of this menu trend was first spotted in the early 2000’s when Ruby Tuesday... Continue reading
Posted Aug 30, 2019 at SheeFood
I was recently in an airport killing time, so I stopped by a hair-care outlet. A curl-enhancing product caught my eye, so I asked the sales associate about it. She informed me it was made from all-natural ingredients, and the brand gives back and makes sure women workers in Africa... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2019 at SheeFood
Ten years ago, bowl entrees only appeared about 150 times on restaurant menus. Now they show up more than 1,500 times. Just in the past three years, menu incidence of bowls has increased 65%, according Mintel Menu Insights. What has happened? I can point to at least two things. The... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2019 at SheeFood
If you didn’t know that salad bars need a disruption, you’re about to find out. I predict that in 10 years, you won’t see a traditional salad bar. You will see robots disguised as vending machines. I discovered them while researching automated technology for an upcoming article. Right now Chowbotics... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2019 at SheeFood
Remember the days when, for the sake of marketing, restaurants ponied up with promotions in which part of the proceeds for a day or a week went to a charity? For a while, that seemed brilliant. PR companies expertly advised their foodservice clients that they could count on bundles of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 24, 2019 at SheeFood
If there ever was an ingredient having its day in the sun, its coconuts. It’s obvious that flavor- and ingredient-watchers have had a keen eye on the tropical fruit, sending their R&D people to the kitchen with an assignment; start flavoring with coconuts. Because if the fame of coconut water... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2019 at SheeFood
We’ve all read too much on foodservice efforts targeting Millennials—adjusting menus, ingredients, sourcing and marketing to attract them. But there is a more profitable demographic worth its own consideration that looks at operations, the menu and marketing through a different lens. I’m going to call this demographic the corporate class.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2019 at SheeFood
It’s time to look ahead to 2019 and forecast the hot food trends. My way of distinguishing trend from fad is when the concept hits on several prevailing sensibilities. Here’s what I see ahead: Local 3.0 Remember when “buy local” was all about the carbon footprint? With-it chefs purchased ingredients... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2018 at SheeFood
Many of us would agree that of all the holidays, Thanksgiving is the least commercial, making it one of the most palatable annual occasions. I’m impressed with some of the unique Thanksgiving promotions several restaurant chains have come up with this year—pretty creative shticks for sure. For Taco Bell, it’s... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2018 at SheeFood
It’s refreshing to see that not all menu innovation is centered around functional food. Some of it is just fun. That was my thought when I read a blurb earlier this month about Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s latest LTO—Froot Loops Mini Donuts. That is, mini donuts in the colors of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2018 at SheeFood
Given the now-recognized phenomenon that snacks are meals to a lot of folks, and I’d say that those operating coffee operations are in a sweet spot right now. That’s because today’s coffee is an addiction for some and a snack for others. Maybe an addictive snack. I’ve watched what has... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2018 at SheeFood
The best thing to happen to a dish is the incorporation of some crunch. I think Taco Bell’s Crunchwrap is a brilliant, marketable title. To the American palate, crunch is tops. Along the same line, so is crisp. In fact, a menu trend is to recast chips as crisps. Crisps... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2018 at SheeFood
To American’s, French fries have always belonged with burgers. Then operators woke up to what Canadian’s were successfully doing with them (adding cheese curds and pouring gravy over the top in poutine fashion), and the American loaded fries menu movement emerged. But the next generation of fries is being fueled... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2018 at SheeFood
The mandatory posting of calorie counts on menus of restaurants with 20+ units is finally upon us. It looks like there will be no more stays of execution, and May 7 will stick. What’s the effect on the foodservice industry, and how will it impact what consumers order? That’s not... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2018 at SheeFood
I find it remarkable that White Castle, which pretty much invented the slider years before mini burgers/sandwiches became a trend, may be the one to popularize veggie burgers to a new generation. This week White Castle made the grand announcement that it was introducing the “Impossible Slider” to 140 of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2018 at SheeFood
A fast food race is fully under way… A race to the bottom. Who can come the closest to practically giving the food away? The victor will come out smiling, while everyone else huffs and puffs for second place. Meanwhile, the economy is good, unemployment is down, tax breaks for... Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2018 at SheeFood
As I look forward to 2018, I see a lot of game-changing blurring ahead. It’s already happening and is opening the door for innovation beyond traditional bounds. It’s an exciting time for operators looking for ways to differentiate. It’s a troubling time for those who want to keep doing what... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2017 at SheeFood
Aren’t we all amazed with the national spotlight right now on sexual harassment? It’s been going on for millennia, but for some reason, right now is the time men are going down in flames daily, and chefs are not exempt. New Orleans chef John Besh is not the only food... Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2017 at SheeFood
Before a single leaf changes colors and lets loose, long before the first football kick off and yet while white shoes, skirts and pants are still within social/seasonal boundaries, fall menus appear filled with pumpkin everything. The usual orange suspects are now plentifully available… pumpkin donuts, lattes, milkshakes, pancakes, muffins…... Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2017 at SheeFood
Everyone wants their new LTOs and permanent menu items to succeed. From looking at recent menu additions, I could suggest one thing to add to the dish that would guarantee raves. Queso. But what if it’s not a Mexican restaurant? Of course it makes sense that Chipotle finally got with... Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2017 at SheeFood
No one ever need go to bed hungry in our country—as long as we have hot dogs. I know you think I jest, but I don’t. The humble tube that may have originated in Germany (think Frankfurt) or Austria (think Wien/wiener) is nonetheless American. It’s the little black dress of... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2017 at SheeFood
Applebee’s announced a new trend-combining LTO last week that I think is brilliant. They call it Topped & Loaded, “a limited-time lineup of craveable, customizable entrees starting at only $10.99, at participating restaurants…” The casual dining establishment has gotten in the face of fast casual and demanded, “Who put you... Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2017 at SheeFood
Years ago when I visited my husband’s homeland of Malaysia for the first time, one of my culinary observations was that their desserts leave a lot to be desired. I’m talking pastries filled with red bean or mung bean paste. (What??) To this day, he explains the odd pairings, and... Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2017 at SheeFood
They don’t have much personal spending power yet, so why should operators focus on GenZ (ages 10-22), also known as iGen? Well, it’s because that’s what marketers do. They learn to adjust or self-destruct. They keep their eyes on the future and start aiming that direction now. That means figuring... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2017 at SheeFood