Food Business Trends to watch for 2012

Before starting with my first blog entry of this year, I hope you all had a healthy start into the new year!
The reason for me to chose the following topic is due to the German Saying:
“Neues Jahr -Neues Glück” – As for 2012, first of all I wish you a lot of luck and success and may all your wishes and ambitions become true. If some of you intend to start a business in the food industry this year, don’t miss the following article!


No matter how tough the economy is, people still need to eat, right?

Recently, my colleague Martin published an excellent blogpost listing numerous crises that affect our world. Despite the fact that there are indeed lots of crises happening at the moment, my first blog entry this year however will be dedicated to Food Business Trends for 2012, a topic I have already mentioned in my introductory blog post.
It is completely justified to say that “the recession has sparked a renaissance of restaurant industry creativity”. As a matter of fact, foodservice entrepreneurs have shown a lot of creativity in the last few years.
Now, beyond food trucks, bubble tea, burgers and beer, what are some of the hot food trends for 2012?

Here are 4 of 10 most promising trends that were published on  ‘s food trends site, SmallBizTrendCast.

1. So cool it’s hot:

Ice cream shows no signs of slowing down. Next up, restaurant consulting firm Andrew Freeman & Co. predicts “snow ice”–a dessert with the flavor and creaminess of ice cream but that has a light, airy texture—will hit big in the U.S. for 2012.

For me this trend has a huge potential as people nowadays strive a health-conscious nutrition without waiving. Snow Ice is an outstanding alternative as it contains much less calories because cream was substituted by ice. Snow ice still is a very fresh and fruity dessert you can perfectly combine with chocolate sauce or enjoy with fresh fruits. Personally, I have already tried that kind of alternative to ice cream and I was totally impressed!


2. Let’s get Juicy

Even though juice bars are nothing new as you can find them in almost every shopping malls, it still has high potential. Starbucks entrepreneur Howard Schultz, for example, recently bought Evolution Fresh, a super-premium juice maker with a brand presence in grocery stores on the West Coast. His plan is to sell the juice to more retail outlets, put it on the menu at Starbucks and launch juice bars in 2012. If Schultz thinks this market has more room for growth, maybe you should, too—especially if you’re in an area where juice bars (or Starbucks) don’t have a strong presence. A vitamin injection never hurts 😉 

3. Appetite for appetizers:

Call them tapas, small plates or appetizers, smaller-sized portions are definitely going to keep growing strong for several reasons. They’re less expensive for cost-conscious diners, offer smaller portions for health-conscious diners, and are made for sharing, which appeals to people’s desire to make eating out a social experience. Chefs like them, too, because appetizers allow them to experiment with new recipes and ingredients without committing to a full-scale meal.

4. Familiar Favorites with a Twist: 

One overwhelming trend that will continue into 2012 is a yen for familiarity. Nowadays, consumers battered by the economy want comfort food. However, that doesn’t mean plain old mac-and-cheese. People are eager to try new tastes, as long as it’s couched in something they know. As a result, smart chefs are putting new twists on old formats, like pizzas, wraps and sandwiches, or using exotic ingredients in familiar foods, such as wasabi ice cream.

Interesting, isn’t it? – To give you some idea I would like to share my personal experience with that kind of trend which can be found at the sushi bar I am working.

“Pimp My Sushi”

My boss used to be a very inventive guy. To make his Sushi extravagant and different from others’, he tried out many new things- with success! For example, besides pure soya sauce which usually comes to sushi, he started offering sweet unagi sauce, mayonnaise and sesame as a side-dish which has become a great hit. Moreover, he implemented “Pimp my Sushi” where you can have Japanese Sushi with a Western flair by adding cream cheese or ruccola to it. Good idea, good strategy, my boss is absolutely in trend! 😉


In general, almost all food business trends for 2012 I have presented are following one common rule:


Whether Snow Ice, Fresh Juice or Appetizers- they all aim to represent simple food or beverages which should be healthy and contain as less preservatives and chemicals as possible. “Pimped up ordinary food”, however, is an exception here. How can baked sushi for example be healthier than original sushi? Shouldn’t pure rice with raw fish contain more vitamins and nutritional substances then sushi which was fried in fat at extremely high temperatures? To be honest, I cannot give you the proper answer yet…

These questions have made me very curious and lead me to the decision of writing my next blog entry about, guess what- Sushi! Is sushi as healthy as it claims to be? How has Sushi managed to become so popular in the recent years? Which Marketing strategies were used to launch this new kind of dish? How does the Sushi you get today differ from original sushi?  As it comes from Japan, what can we learn from the Japanese concerning their Business mentality in this respect? You will find all the answers to these questions in my coming blog posts, so please stay tuned!


This entry was posted in Marketing by Lanny. Bookmark the permalink.

About Lanny

Hi There! I am Lan Anh Nguyen ("Lanny"), 21, born and raised in lovely Berlin. As my name reveals, I am of Vietnamese origin. After finishing my A-levels in 2010, I went "back to my roots" and spent 5 months in Vietnam where I did an internship at the Sales&Marketing Department of VinaCapital Ltd., one of Vietnam's current leading investment funds. In addition, I worked at the German Center as a volunteer to introduce the German language and culture to Vietnamese people, and furthermore, I participated in a social program where I gave free English classes to children in need. This time period was very special to me, as I had the opportunity to get in touch with many different people from all walks of life- learned from experiences of big bosses to regular workers to orphans from the street. By getting to know their different goals, desires and perceptions of the world, I was able to hugely broaden my horizon and strengthen my own character. Besides my passion for music and cooking, I love traveling and have special interest in foreign languages and economics. Now I am a second semester student of the International Business Management program at the Berlin School of Economics and Law. As the international and intercultural content of this business study program perfectly matches my interests and talents, I am enjoying it a lot. Moreover, I am profoundly convinced that this program will enable me excellent opportunities for an international business career I am striving for in the future.

7 thoughts on “Food Business Trends to watch for 2012

  1. Pingback: Why is everyone talking about “new trends”? « spogging

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  3. Hey Lanny, it was really interesting to read your post as I had actually not heard of any of the examples you made. I think your pictures were really well matched to your post and they immediately caught my intention. Great design! Actually just a few days ago I saw this thing on TV about the 10 most extraordinary restaurants in the world. One example was a “toilet restaurant” in Taiwan ( , you actually sit on toilets and eat out of bowls that look like toilets and all kind of weird stuff like that. But although this might seem groce to a lot of us, loads of people seem to go there, simply to have experienced it! I think strange, different ideas like these (as well as the ideas about food you brought up) are really important and will gain a lot of customers simply due to their special flair. I think standing out is very important in the food industry, just as in every business!

    • Hi Jessica!
      Thanks for your nice comment, and yes, I totally agree with you. Standing out is incredibly important, above all in businesses where there is stiff competition. To attract customers, you must definitely be original and extraordinary. I appreciated that you have brought up the example with those “toilet restaurants”. I have seen the documentary some time ago as well and must admit that I found this idea absolutely crazy, and I think I am not the only one. However, it has proven to be a very popular restaurant and people love it. Sometimes you have to listen to your heart and -even if others might consider it as weird- you must take the risk to realize them,- “No risk no fun”, right?

  4. Pingback: Can Sushi make me become a Toyota? « soulfoodberlin

  5. Pingback: Can Sushi make me become a Toyota? « soulfoodberlin

  6. Hey Lanny,
    Just read your post and wanted to let you know that because of these great pictures I am hungry right now.
    By the way nice examples how to reinvent food and how to keep costumers attracted especially to your food.

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