news & trends

Innovation Unleashed – 5 hot topics from Canada’s largest foodservice trade event

rc show 2018

 

People LOVE food – it unites us all! The power of food is everywhere and the Restaurants Canada show Innovation Unleashed was a great place to discover fascinating insights on advances in the foodservice industry. We were there and connected with Operators, Presidents, Buyers, Agents, Chefs & more about key industry issues and the future of hospitality. #RCShow18

Here are the 5 hot topics that caught our interest as food and nutrition experts:

  1. Where does food come from? Local is by far still the biggest trend in restaurants today and expected to keep gaining momentum. Running a profitable restaurant, maintaining food costs, and satisfying the local trend is challenging for many businesses. Restaurants are discovering how to incorporate local ingredients to menu items  while boosting the bottom line.
  2. Why does food go to waste?  Stats are shocking…too much of the food cooked in restaurants is thrown away. What about grocery stores? Does food end up in the waste bin because it doesn’t look good? Consumers’ attention is moving beyond where food comes from to where food is going. With such tight margins let’s keep the food out of the trash bin. Speakers also discussed a “Feed it Forward Food Insecurity” option where safe, unused and unsold food destined for landfill could be donated to those who are hungry and in need of food aid.
  3. Wellness anyone? Want to make better-for-you foods and boost your sales with claims? There are labelling laws & science for that!  The power of good food and nutrition has a direct connection to health. Good energy, focus, concentration and productivity are all benefits of healthy food choices throughout the day. As dietitians, we translate the science of nutrition to unlock foods’ potential and support healthy living for Canadians. Call us with your wellness boosting food & menu questions – we can help!
  4. Beverage menu in focus. Coffee and tea are popular beverages among Canadians.  Research-based industry trends showed strong areas of opportunity for Restaurateurs, including the largely untapped world of decaf coffee and herbal tea. Tea and food pairing is a trending opportunity. The positive impact of Non-Alcoholic Cocktails can create memorable drinking experiences while striving for a more balanced lifestyle. Cheers to that – healthy hydration never looked better!
  5. Future of Food & Eating. Space research yields fascinating insights on innovation in the hospitality industry. Expert panelists discussed technology, new agriculture, experiential eating, personalized foods and more that will transform the future of everything edible.

For more foodservice trends and consumer insights that can elevate your business contact us info@NutritionForNonNutritionists.com or join us at the 11th annual Nutrition for NON-Nutritionists course on April 18, 2018, University of Toronto. Register at www.NutritionForNONNutritionists.com

 

Free Exclusive Webinar – News in Nutrition Labelling!

N4NN DC webinar postcard

Eleven million Canadians are living with diabetes or prediabetes. The Glycemic Index (GI) may be useful to assist people with diabetes, or at risk of developing diabetes, pick foods that help them manage their blood sugar levels.

We’ve partnered with Diabetes Canada for an exclusive free webinar on nutrition labelling.

Join us on Wednesday October 11, 2017 @ 1-2 pm ET for a FREE Exclusive Webinar and be the first to learn about:
– Consumer behaviour trends related to nutrition labelling
– Diabetes Canada’s healthy eating strategy
– New research on Canadians’ understanding and perceptions of Glycemic Index and carbohydrates
– Glycemic Index labelling – an opportunity to influence consumer behaviour

Speakers:
Sue Mah, MHSc, RD, PHEc – Co-Founder, Nutrition for NON-Nutritionists
Lucia Weiler, BSc. RD, PHEc – Co-Founder, Nutrition for NON-Nutritionists
Joanne Lewis, RD, CDE – Director of Nutrition & Healthy Eating, Diabetes Canada
Seema Nagpal, BSc Pharm, MSc, PhD – Senior Leader Public Policy, Epidemiologist, Diabetes Canada

REGISTER NOW as spaces are limited! The webinar will be recorded and available to registrants.

 

Congrats to Sue and Lucia

Sue win N4NN June 2017

Sue is an accomplished leader who is highly deserving of the honour presented to her by the Dietitian of Canada. Recognized by her peers, Sue received two awards: 2017 Dietitian of the Year by Dietitians of Canada Business & Industry Network and the Member Recognition Award for Innovation by Dietitians of Canada.  Sue translates the science of nutrition into easy advice that everyone can understand and she advances the dietetic profession as an acclaimed nutrition writer, nutrition trends expert, inspiring speaker and engaging media spokesperson. Her nutrition trend tips and insights are sought after by business leaders, entrepreneurs, and consumer and trade publications. Sue has helped fellow dietitians and hundreds of professionals leverage the power of good nutrition.

Lucia N4NN June 2017

Lucia is honoured to start a 4 year term as a Director of the Board, Dietitians of Canada. She was elected by her peers to this leadership role to represent members’ voice. Dietitians of Canada is one of the largest organizations of food and nutrition professionals in the world with over 5,000 members who are committed to advancing health through food and nutrition. In her role as a Board member, Lucia will help steer the organization by setting the strategic direction to raise the profile of the profession as the most trusted source of nutrition information, offer support in practice, and create new opportunities for growth, learning and development.

Molecular Gastronomy Canadian Association of Foodservice Professionals (CAFP) – January 22, 2014

What a way to start off the New Year! On January 22, 2014 we attended the Canadian Association of Foodservice Professionals’ (CAFP) “Molecular Gastronomy” event hosted by Humber College*.  Chef John Placko demonstrated innovative cuisines where science and culinary arts intersect to create new techniques and dishes including sous vide cooking.

Sous vide cooking means “under vacuum,” in French. Food is vacuum-sealed in strong plastic bags and cooked in a circulating water bath at low temperatures for a long time to lock in juices and flavour without added fat. For example, after 75 minutes at 60°C, meat was slightly pink but fully cooked, tender and incredibly flavourful. Chef Placko’s unique Australian ingredients took the spotlight and we sampled pepperberry seasoned kangaroo loin cooked sous vide and served with a sweet chili sauce. Yumm!

You too have probably eaten sous vide cooked foods in restaurants or while travelling on planes or trains and didn’t even know it!  This innovative approach to cooking is used by food service professionals in hospitals, rail and airline companies, and even the military. Sous vide machines are also found in the homes of French cooks, but North American consumers are just starting to show interest as the first home sous-vide machines are expected to come to market. Watch for more innovation in this unique cooking trend.

(*Congratulations to our colleague Susan Somerville RD, the newly appointed Dean School of Hospitality, Recreation & Tourism at Humber College who hosted the event.)

State of the Industry 2013

Hosted by NSF-GFTC, this symposia event featured keynote speaker Amanda Lang, (CBC reporter and author of The Power of Why: how questions and curiosity fuel innovation). Lang defined innovation as when an old idea meets a new idea and something changes. For innovation, Lang urges us to sit at the table with people who think differently than we do (take a cue from her show Lang versus O’Leary), “Different can be irritating, but it’s powerful.” She encouraged us to think with the curiosity of a two-year old, by constantly asking why and why not.

Dr. Jean-Charles Le Vallée defined food innovation as a continuum from an idea to the production of a new or improved food product. “Competition breeds innovation,” he shares. According to research from The Conference Board of Canada, the top three drivers of food innovation are an aging society, ethnic minorities and rising numbers of dual earners in the household.

Finally, Carmen Allison noted that 60% of Canadian households are trying to reduce household expenses. According to Nielsen research, buying items only when they are on sale is the number one strategy that consumers use to save money.

Protein – A Nutrient in Focus – December 3, 2013

According to research by the Dairy Farmers of Canada, consumers are most concerned about getting enough vitamins and protein. Dr. Rajavel Elango, Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia noted that current protein intake recommendations are inadequate. In fact, optimal protein and amino acid intakes could have health benefits.

Dr. Douglas Paddon-Jones concurred, stating that adequate protein intake has the potential to maintain healthy muscle and prevent age related sarcopenia (muscle loss). A threshold of 30 grams of protein represents an promising strategy for adults wishing to maintain muscle mass while control their body fat.

As educators and food innovators, let’s look for opportunities to help consumers reach their ideal protein intake for optimal health.

Advances in Carbohydrates and Fibre in Nutrition Conference, Canadian Nutrient Society (CNS) – January 11, 2014

On January 11th, 2014 we attended the one-day CNS conference on Advances in Carbohydrates and Fibre in Nutrition at the Hyatt Regency in Toronto. The event drew over 250 attendees including nutrition professionals, dietitians and students with expert updates on functional fibres, claims in Canada and Glycemic Index of foods.

Dr. Joanne Slavin presented the growing importance of fibre’s beneficial role in health related to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, body weight and satiety, digestive health including microbiota. Fibre is a nutrient of concern because few people consume the recommended daily amounts. As you may know, Health Canada has a New Fibre Policy as of 2012.  The important news on fibre is that there are many fibres with known beneficial health effects, but they are not all equally effective, and may act differently when isolated from intact plant structure. The debate on the way to communicate information about Glycemic Index (GI) continues in Canada. Dr. William Yan discussed Health Canada’s published position on the use of the GI claims on food labels as published in the 2013 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The important concept reinforced by the world renowned speakers Drs. David Jenkins and Thomas Wolever was that GI is an easily misunderstood concept. GI is a measure of carbohydrate quality in a food, and is not an index for glycemic/insulin response in a person. Furthermore glycemic/insulin response in people is determined by the glycemic index of the food and the amount of food eaten. Thus a lower GI food could have a higher glycemic response depending on how much of the food is consumed. It’s certainly a complex topic! Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about carbohydrate nutrition including fibre and glycemic index.

Canadian Digestive Health – November 5, 2013

We attended the annual Canadian Digestive Health Foundation Summit for health professionals to get the latest updates on this exiting area of research. There is so much to learn about the human microbiome which is the collection of microbes – bacteria, viruses, and single-cell eukaryotes – that inhabits the human body. Did you know that microbes in your body outnumber your human cells by a ratio of ten to one? Research is mounting on this newly recognized inner body ecosystem of microorganisms that appear to impact much more than just your digestive tract.

Bacteria establish themselves in the body early in life and once they’ve ‘moved in’ they tend to stay for the duration of a person’s life. You may wonder what these 8 million microbial genes are doing in our body. In a fascinating overview we heard researchers describe the diversity of microbial communities which inhabit the human gut and the unique ways in which they interact with our body and other bacteria. For example, our microbiomes have a role in energy metabolism, including fat, carbohydrate and protein breakdown. Bacteria influence gut health, help protect you from food-borne illnesses and play an important role in immune function. An exciting area of research is understanding the differing composition of gut bacteria in obese vs lean people and how microbes influence how much energy we burn and how much fat we store. Not only is a healthy and diverse bacterial flora linked to good gut health but now researchers are starting to understand the gut – brain interaction as well.??Keeping your gut flora healthy with a diverse ‘friendly ‘ bacteria may help keep out disease-causing microbes and make you less susceptible to gastrointestinal infections and bowel ailments such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Watch for more news on this topic as scientists work to understand the role or probiotics in the prevention and treatment of human diseases.

In the meantime, consider our top tips for optimizing your gut flora:

  • Choose foods that contain probiotics (live friendly bacteria) such as fermented dairy (yogurt, kefir) and fermented vegetables.
  • Include prebiotics that are a source of fibre such as whole grains, fruit, vegetables, beans and legumes.
  • Practice a healthy lifestyle and exercise regularly.