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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
The search for certainty in uncertain times leads to comfort food. It’s something I don’t see diminishing any time soon. During the height of pandemic shelter-in-place restrictions, 72% of consumers surveyed for Datassential’s ONE TABLE initiative said they were eating/cooking more comfort food. According to a OnePoll survey conducted on... Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2021 at SheeFood
The secret sauce to incremental sales is… well, actually, sauce. While some operators choose to give their tasty, proprietary sauce away, that’s clearly not a profitable choice. Consider Olive Garden. It recently launched Never-Ending Dipping Sauces (marinara, alfredo and five cheese marinara sauces) to go with its unlimited breadsticks. But... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2021 at SheeFood
What is the next restaurant disruptor? What meal-acquiring platform will customers have an appetite for since ghost and virtual kitchens that were unarguably helped along by delivery? I believe vending machines are on the cusp of business opportunity and consumer acceptance. I see it as more than a chance for... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2021 at SheeFood
Remember clear back one to two years ago when we were hearing all about foodservice drone delivery? It was expected to be the next big thing. Well, all is quiet on that front now, but that doesn’t mean the industry has given up on autonomous delivery. In the space of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2021 at SheeFood
There was a day not too long ago when casual dining execs found pushy third-party deliverers a nuisance to reckon with. How were these busy restaurants to integrate these unsolicited delivery orders/pickups into their operations? They took a few Advil and figured it out, because no matter how unplanned this... Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2021 at SheeFood
I dropped my jaw this morning when I read an article about Popeyes’ newest sandwich release. “I don’t think that’s ever been done before,” I said out loud. It’s a Cajun Flounder Sandwich for $4.49 that launched today (Feb. 11, 2021). If you’re afraid to order it for fear you... Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2021 at SheeFood
Are you watching with me as QSRs aim for the fence with crispy chicken sandwiches? I’m loving it! McDonald’s launch of three new chicken handhelds draws renewed attention to the crispy chicken sandwich trend that kicked off with Popeyes version in 2019. KFC and Jack in the Box responded with... Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2021 at SheeFood
I’m guessing that what I had for lunch today, no one who reads this has ever eaten before—prepared in any fashion—breadfruit, or ulu as it’s called here in Hawaii. It’s the next super fruit you will be reading about but won’t be able to try unless someone figures out the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 18, 2020 at SheeFood
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