Single-Serve Truffle Products and the Rapid Evolution of Food

The TGIF edition of MRM’s Daily Bite features MSL, iPic Entertainment, Etch, daRosario Organics and Del Taco.

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MRM Daily Bite LogoMSL Food Trends

The food market will experience rapid evolution in 2018, according to sector experts at MSL. A broad array of technological innovations will make it easier to acquire and consume foods and beverages tailored to our specific food needs, speeds and philosophies.

These insights emerge from the MSL’s annual analysis of top food trends. Past forecasts have spotted the emergence of major marketplace successes, including turmeric, coconut, ugly produce, food waste reduction and coffee as an ingredient. 

MSL’s 2018 Food Trends

In 2018, the agency’s food experts expect these six factors to drive conversation and commerce in the food and beverage market:

  • Clean Packaging: Building on the clean ingredients drive, brands will now want to look as clean as they are inside.
  • Plant Milks and Butchery:  Almond milk was the gateway food. Now we want coconut yogurt, vegetable steaks, squash pasta, and more. 
  • Instant Gratification: In a modern gold rush, competing food delivery solutions are racing to close the gap between hunger and satiation.
  • Regional Artisan Dairy: Drinking milk may be on the outs, but grass-fed and cultured dairy products, touting local terroir, are screaming for attention. It’s local, artisan, probiotic, and Instagramable. 
  • Retail Experimentation: Amazon is scaring food retailers into a frenzy of innovation. Expect a buyer’s market, rich with entertainment and special offers in-store and personalized inducements online.
  • Ultra-Personalization: We’ve gotten very picky with our food choices, guarding against allergies and intolerance, accounting for genetics, catering to our latest dietary system. Food makers are responding in kind.

“The large and sometimes lumbering food sector has had a fire set under it,” said Steve Bryant, MSL’s North American Director for Food, Beverage & Agriculture. “The speed of technology has transformed consumer expectations. Now, consumers are powerfully equipped to curate their food and drink choices, calling on trusted social influencers, and freely experimenting in today’s multi-faceted marketplace. Food makers will race to keep pace.” 

“Smart marketers will tap into these trends as an opportunity for growth,” said Joy Blakeslee, the registered dietitian who directs MSL’s North America Culinary & Nutrition Center. “The trends we’re forecasting present valuable opportunities in product development and promotion, social media engagement, and media and influencer endorsement.”

Yard Promoted to iPic COO

Sherry Yard  was promoted to the role of Chief Operating Officer for iPic® Entertainment. Yard joined iPic® Entertainment as SVP of Culinary Brand Development in February 2014 after consulting with the brand for a year and was appointed COO of Tuck Hospitality Group, iPic® Entertainment’s restaurant division October 2016.

Sherry Yard
As COO of iPic®, Yard will ensure an elevated guest experience within all iPic® theater and Tuck Hospitality owned restaurant operations nationwide. Yard’s new role will support iPic®’s brand culture in addition to designing and shaping new iPic® locations along with iPic®-owned Tuck Hospitality Group destination bar/restaurants.

Sherry Yard brings three decades of prized hospitality operations experience to our executive team. She has served as an invaluable member of the iPic corporate team for nearly five years, conceptualizing and championing our iPic and Tuck Hospitality group restaurant portfolio into award-winning destinations. As we continue to grow operations exponentially nationally, her COO appointment will be essential in ensuring superior quality and consistency across existing and future iPic sites,” said Hamid Hashemi, founder and CEO of iPic® Entertainment.

As iPic® Entertainment’s second in command, she will work closely with Finance, Marketing, IT and Human Resources and will execute operations in food, beverage, hospitality and creative innovation. She will establish and enforce policies, brand culture and strategic vision pertaining to management of theater operations, iPic® live stage performances and special events related to Access, iPic®’s new membership rewards program.

Yard will additionally continue her management of the food and beverage program for iPic® Theaters and all Tuck Hospitality Group independent destination restaurant and bars: The Tuck Room Tavern in Westwood; The Tuck Room – a Dining and Drinking Den with locations in North Miami BeachHouston, and New York City, City Perch Kitchen + Bar, an American Dining Room in Bethesda, Fort Lee and Dobbs Ferry and Tanzy Restaurant, Artisanal Italian cuisine with locations in Boca Raton and Scottsdale.  

A three-time James Beard Award-winning chef, frequent Food Network TV personality and  culinary judge, Yard has received recognition from renowned publications such as, Food and Wine and Bon Appetit Magazines, and more, along with authoring two successful cookbooks.  She sits on the boards of numerous philanthropic organizations and is a driving force of the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP).  She is involved in fundraising efforts for the Women’s Cancer Research Center, Special Olympics, American Cancer Society and City Meals-on-Wheels.

Etch Seek Pilot Program Participants

Etch is launching a new feature that will allow people to send feedback directly to restaurants and bars. Anyone with the app can rate the various aspects of their experience from food quality to service and provide general comments. This information will only be shared with the business owners and/or management team.

The team at Etch is looking for restaurants or bars to participate in a pilot program. There are no costs to join. To learn more or sign up, click here

“We believe this will result in more authentic responses compared to public review sites such as Yelp,” said Co-Founder Michael Guigli. “The goal of this feature is two-fold: to give customers an easy path to provide genuine feedback that will help local restaurants improve and to allow business owners to connect with their customers in order to build loyalty and protect their reputation.”

Etch was started after the co-founders visited a rooftop bar in New York City, and a couple weeks later they couldn’t remember the name. They wanted a simple way to keep track of places they loved. A way to Etch it so they would never forget it, which is the origin for the name of the app.

Truffle Products Coming to Food Service
daRosario Organics, the nation’s only producer of 100-percent USDA certified organic truffle products will debut a new line of single-serve packaging in early 2018, the first in market for wholesale and retail food service distribution.
Products will include individual packets of certified organic white and black truffle oil, white truffle acacia honey, white and black truffle mayonnaise, white and black truffle vegannaise, and extra virgin olive oil. The packets will enable food retailers to offer customers gourmet condiments made with 100-percent real truffles as an enhancement to their existing menu.
Responding to industry requests, daRosario Organics invested in the special equipment needed to provide these products in single-serve portions.
“This is a game changer for food retailers,” said company founder Rosario Safina. “It’s the first time that truffle products will be offered in such quantities en masse. The individual packets are easy to store and dispense, allowing retailers to upgrade their truffle offerings–on items such as pizzas, sandwiches, french fries, burgers and salads–that deliver the great taste of real truffles in a cost efficient manner while reducing overall product waste.” 
Del Taco Expands in Vegas Market
Del Taco Restaurants, Inc. celebrated the grand opening of its 38th Las Vegas-area location at 8125 Blue Diamond Rd., near Albertsons.
“Del Taco has built a tremendous following in Las Vegas over the years by offering an unbeatable combination of fresh food, served fast and at an incredible value,” said Barry Westrum, Del Taco’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Whether our guests are craving our new Salsa Chicken Taco made with fresh grilled chicken and roasted chile salsa, The Del Taco made with seasoned beef and hand-grated cheddar cheese, or even our fan-favorite Crinkle-Cut Fries, we enjoy offering the Las Vegas community an assortment of items sure to satisfy every craving.”  
Del Taco has more than 550 locations across 15 states.