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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
It is not the same food world in which I grew up in the 1960s and ’70s. Especially produce. Who remembers with me that the produce section was one aisle with a refrigerated coffin on the left and right where you could admire red delicious or granny smith apples, oranges,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 8, 2020 at SheeFood
Yesterday I had a brilliant idea as my husband Richmond and I drove by a grove of coconut trees. (We live in Kauai.) We should get some monkeys to hire out to climb trees and pick the coconuts. Richmond is from Malaysia and has long told me stories about monkeys... Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2020 at SheeFood
It seems that now is the time to call on Hawaii for menu inspiration. Maybe guests can dream of the tropical locale easier than they can visit it at the moment. (There’s a 14-day mandatory quarantine for tourists who arrive to the islands before the end of July 2020, and... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2020 at SheeFood
Kudos to those restaurants that during our unprecedented crisis went to the drawing board for problem-solving menu development, including meal kits, meal bundles and selling groceries. A few months ago, I tried to write a meal-kit themed article and had to scrap it because I only found one restaurant doing... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2020 at SheeFood
The view of restaurant meals has forever changed, and I think operators’ food offerings may never go back in some ways. In restaurant war rooms all over, I’ll bet cries of “why didn’t we look at it this way before?” are being heard regarding COVID-19-inspired meal tweaks that consumers may... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2020 at SheeFood
The other morning when I read about Panera Bread’s new coffee subscription plan, I almost spit out my coffee, pointing the article out to my husband. It’s brilliant. The phrase coffee and breakfast disruption comes to mind. About the same time, Wendy’s announced its new breakfast menu, and that took... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2020 at SheeFood
Kroger just surprised us again this year. First it set up a food hall within a store. Now it’s entered into the world of ghost-kitchen meal delivery. All it took was a linkup with a visionary who already had the infrastructure in place. Long before the term ghost kitchen was... Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2019 at SheeFood
I’m not quite ready to look forward to 2020. I’m still intrigued with some of the foodservice deftness I saw in 2019—just in the month of September. While others were reading trend reports and closely following what everyone else is doing to determine their next foodservice move, others announced initiatives... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2019 at SheeFood
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