"Fun andfrivolous, yet reasonably priced, mini foods offered the perfect balance betweensensibility and satisfaction." Mini burgers dominated the mini trend: MintelMenu Insights reports that 28 restaurants added mini burgers to their menus lastyear. But mini sandwiches and bite-sized desserts were also popular, spotted onrestaurant menus ranging from casual to fine dining. Value Pricing Makes Cheap ChicIn 2008, Mintel Menu Insights saw many restaurants offer meals for special,affordable prices "Value pricing was a natural fit for 2008. Consumers had lessto spend, but they still wanted to dine out for convenience and enjoyment,"explains Maria Caranfa. Nutrition Labeling Laws Spark Lighter Dining OptionsThe movement for mandatory nutritional labeling on restaurant menus gainedtraction as cities like New York and Philadelphia joined in.
With more attentionpaid to the health of restaurant food, Mintel Menu Insights saw some restaurantsoffering lower calorie items on their menus last year. For example, Cosilaunched a "Lighten Up!" menu with less-than-500-calorie versions of itssandwiches and salads. "Restaurants realize that increasing transparency abouttheir foods health is paramount to gaining consumer trust and loyalty,"comments Maria Caranfa. Maria Caranfa has also forecasted hot new restaurant trends for 2009.
For moreinformation on Mintel Menu Insights 2009 Trend Predictions, contact Joanna Peotat 312-628-7946. Mintel Menu Insightstracks US restaurant menus to identify flavor, preparation, menu item andpricing trends. With offices in Chicago, London, Belfast, Sydney, Shanghai andTokyo, Mintel has forged a unique reputation as a world-renowned business brand.For more information on Mintel, please visit Mintel InternationalJoanna Copyright Business Wire 2009. Odds are that when veteran forward Brendan Shanahan parted ways with the New Jersey Devils on Thursday hockey fans from all over were wondering whether they have seen the last of this hall of fame hockey player.