3/3/13 – CCD Trendologist comments on growth in artisan candy making in New Hampshire’s Valley News
In “Red Kite Takes Flight: Thetford Candy Company Finds Sweet Success,” Kara Nielsen explains why artisan candy has expanded over the past number of years. She attributes the growth to part of the local eating movement and predicts artisan candy makers will turn to more extreme flavors in the future. Read more »

2/21/13 – Trendologist shares sriracha trend tracking in Bloomberg Businessweek
“Sriracha Hot Sauce Catches Fire, Yet ‘There’s Only One Rooster’” explores how Huy Fong Rooster brand sriracha sauce came to be such a big trend with Trendologist Kara Nielsen sharing her first experience with it as a restaurant pastry chef: Sriracha sauce was a familiar condiment of staff meals. She later profiled the red-hot hot sauce in the Condiments & Sauces Culinary Trend Mapping Report; it has now almost made it to Stage 5 on the Trend Map® as it continues to attract fans. Read more »

2/1/13: Trendologist comments on the Popchips success in Forbes
In “Popchips: The Next $1 Billion Snack Food or Just Full of Hot Air?” Kara Nielsen points out the breakthrough innovation in form, which made the popped snack a permissible chip that delivered on taste but with fewer calories and fat. Read more »

2/13: Prepared Foods features Generational Comfort Food report in cover story
“To Your Comfort and Health” is co-authored by David Feder and CCD Innovation Trendologist Kara Nielsen, based on our 2009 Generational Comfort Food Culinary Trend Mapping Report. Cravings top the list of reasons why consumers turn to comfort food, something most often consumed alone. Updates to comfort food, for more sophisticated flavors or more healthful recipes, are also trends in today’s comfort fare. Read more »

2/1/13: Trendologist chimes in on 2013 trends in Restaurant Business
Kara Nielsen discusses how the vegetable trend is evolving into more vegetarian and vegan entrées in “Menus: What’s in, what’s out.” She’s waiting for a bibimbap chain to break out, adding more great Asian food to the landscape and mentions how a number of ingredients like coconut, chiles and cilantro apply to both Asians and Latin cuisine, and that smoke is infiltrating the menu in new places such as cocktails, ice and desserts. Read more »

1/24/13: Trendologist on how African food could become trend in the Chicago Tribune
In “A Taste of Tomorrow Today,” Kara Nielsen expounds on what it would take for African cuisine beyond Ethiopian to gain traction as a food trend, including a celebrity or vocal advocate, such as Marcus Samuelsson, and more exposure to consumers, such as what happens on college campus cafeterias, a hotbed for new food trends. Read more »

1/22/13: CEO Kimberly Egan a fresh vegetable juice convert in the Wall Street Journal
“I feel like the juice is super-nourishing my body,” said Kimberly in “Juicers Invade Kitchen Counters.” She joins a host of other consumers turning to fresh pressed vegetable and fruit juices for weight management, detoxing and simply a way to get in five or more servings a day. The trend was previously covered in our Vegetables & Sides Culinary Trend Mapping Report in December 2011. Read more »

1/22/13: CCD Innovation Trendologist spots food trends at NASFT’s Winter Fancy Food Show
Joining a team of trendspotters, Kara Nielsen spots botanical beverages, new foods made with blue cheese, seeds in everything, and a prevalence of banana flavors in baked goods, snacks and confections. New oils, such as those made from cherry pits from Stoger, also caught her eye and palate. Read the NASFT’s press release here.

11/26/12: Trendologist on “Dinnertime Helpers” in Supermarket News Whole Health
Meal starters continue to assist busy consumers who, as Kara Nielsen points out, like the idea of adding their own fresh ingredients to the mix. Globally inspired meals enhanced with complex and sometimes unfamiliar spices are a restaurant favorite, but can be intimidating to make at home, so meal starters offering these flavors, ready-made, are a boon to consumers, she notes. Read more »

11/23/12: Top 2013 trends for menus in Chain Pulse Magazine
Kara Nielsen discusses “2013 Menu Trends” for foodservice including the rise of more plant-based proteins on menus in the form of veggie burgers and chickpea-based falafel. Also keep Asian and Latin-oriented beverages, chiles and marinades in mind to cater to these growing demographic groups. She also urges continued gluten-free food development, pointing out the continued presence of this important dietary niche. Read more »

11/12: Trendologist interviewed for New Hope Media
In “Why Natural Retailers Should Care About Food Trends,” Kara Nielsen points out a number of ways food and beverage trends can add excitement and news to natural food aisles. American consumers love novelty so retailers should be sure to find ways to bring in new products, like chia seeds, in interesting places or grass-fed dairy. Don’t neglect to communicate what is new with signage or special shelves in the store consumers can visit regularly. Nielsen also is keeping an eye on sprouted grains as a way to address digestion and consumer challenges with grains. Read more »

11/12: Nielsen on soup innovation for foodservice in Chain Pulse Magazine
“Delivering on Soups…” CCD Innovation’s Trendologist suggests adding fresh cues with assorted garnishes added at the last second before serving so diners know it’s just for them. Adding more seasonal soup offerings and making sure male customers can dig into a hearty bowl of soup, chili or stew are other ways to bring news to the soup kettle. Read more »

11/12: Food Technology magazine explores trendworthy desserts
Vegetables, smoke and spice jazz up desserts now appearing in Stages 1 & 2, says Kara Nielsen in “The Unexpected Evolution of Dessert.” Corn, tomatoes, parsnips, beets and orange squashes take a bigger role with spices, chiles, herbs and salt continue to balance out sweet flavors. Read more »

10/18/12: “The New Healthful” Trend Report in Natural Foods Merchandiser
To translate the profiles covered in this report to the natural foods retail space, Trendologist Kara Nielsen suggest new items, like breakfast salads and heritage grains, find a place in prepared food cases and self-serve bars. She also points out restaurants, especially trendy better burger joints, have improved today’s veggie burgers and encourages stores to find great tasting grain and vegetable burgers when possible to expand options. Read more »

10/12: Kara Nielsen muses on the changes the La Boulange acquisition will make on the pastry case at Starbucks in Chain Pulse Magazine
Will Americans go for the rather Frenchified baked goods now appearing in test locations of Starbucks in San Francisco? Will they seem too caloric or gourmet for scone and low-cal muffin lovers? Or will a consistently made product across the country garner fans, happy to find the same croissant in any Starbucks they visit? These questions are discussed in the digital Chain Pulse Magazine's "What the Starbucks acquisition of La Boulange could mean to bakery chains." Read more » (registration for free digital issue trial required)

9/22/12: Summary of Asian + Latin Panel during Asian Culinary Forum symposium
Kara Nielsen joined several other panelists to explore ideas around the overlap and intersection of Asian and Latin culinary cultures in the U.S. today. She points out how today’s "fusion" cuisine is a new hybrid, mostly rejoiced by all kinds of food lovers. Read more at Hyphen Magazine blog »

9/17/12: Looking at the "Sodium Backlash" in Supermarket News Whole Health
Consumers seem to be less interested in low-sodium claims on food. Kara Nielsen points out that food still has to taste good to attract users. The trend in skipping more processed items for fresh foods is another way to reduce sodium more naturally. Read more »

9/12: Kara Nielsen on the Gen Y vegetarian & vegan eating trends in QSR Magazine
It's important for QSRs to accommodate college non-meat eaters, states CCD Innovation Trendologist in "Town-Gown Affair" which looks at the relationship between QSR restaurants and college towns. Read more »

8/22/12: More on the bacon trend in the Columbus Dispatch
"Bacon Awakening" traces the continued rippling of the bacon trend in Ohio where it is flavoring brownies, cocktails and gelato. Trendologist Kara Nielsen traces its roots in the natural pork trend to its current mainstream crave status. Read more »

8/12: Keep in-store bakery offerings on trend, recommends Nielsen in Perishables Buyer
In "A Sweet Spot," CCD Trendologist suggests salted caramel, tres leches and mango as on-trend flavors to use for cake pops, cupcakes and other baked goods. Small portions and minis also remain popular ways to offer small bites of indulgence. Read more » (registration required)

7/23/12: Nielsen: Convenience foods are changing with the times to meet the needs of consumers who grew up on them
Crain's Chicago Business' "Kraft Dishes Up Kid Food For Grown-Ups" looks at the recent development of Lunchables, peanut butter and macaroni and cheese kits geared more for the adults that once loved these items as kids. Read more » (registration required)

7/12/12: Fulfill a craving, but feel better about it with a "Designer Donut": Kara Nielsen in Smart Money
Consumers are continuing to be excited about upscale, gourmet doughnuts, for comfort, indulgence and for their higher quality. Read more in "Designer Donuts: Why Cheap Treats Are Going Upscale" at

7/12: While the bacon trend is maturing, consumers still love the stuff, says Trendologist in The National Provisioner's 2012 Bacon Report
Bacon continues to add exciting, smoky flavor to restaurant menus in savory and sweet categories, while new efforts to create more humane production standards for pork slowly take hold, say Kara Nielsen. Read more »

Summer 2012: Kara Nielsen on sour flavors in Flavor & the Menu
"Sour wakes up the palate," including tangy tamarind found in Mexican aguas frescas and pad Thai, Nielsen states in "Savoring Sour." Read more in Flavor & the Menu, Vol. 13, issue 3

6/12: Trendologist comments on the challenges of growing an artisanal product at The
"Craft Economics: Redefining American Food" looks at how some artisanal producers are trying to maintain their values while growing their businesses. Read more »

6/12: Kara Nielsen discusses soy, agave and sour, fermented flavors in Natural Foods Merchandiser
"Are Fermented Foods Tomorrow's Soy?" explores questions around soy beans, fermented foods and sweeteners as future healthful favorites. Read more »

May/June 2012: Kara Nielsen explores varietal cherry flavor in Candy & Snack Today
Montmorency, Queen Anne and other varieties of cherries may one day inform confections flavors as both consumers and candy makers look for more natural tasting cherry treats, in "Capitalizing on Cherry Candy." Read more at author Kelli Fontenot's blog

5/12: Specialty Food Magazine: Craving salty-sweet flavors a natural
Kara Nielsen notes that contrasting flavors and layers of chocolate on salty snacks make for pretty irresistible snacks in "Craving crunchy, salty and sweet." Read more »

4/11/12: Perishables Buyer looks at new audiences for frozen food
Frozen foods cater to audiences seeking convenience, flavor and health, including demanding Millennials, many of whom are vegetarians or flexitarians, says Kara Nielsen in "Frozen goes healthy." Read more »

4/10/12: Trendologist comments on exploding chia seed trend for AP Press
Chia seed popularity is growing, Kara Nielsen explains, because they appeal to a number of different audiences, including whole food eaters, runners and those seeking a vitality boost as well as more omega fatty acids. CCD Innovation first profiled chia in 2006 and has been tracking this trend closely ever since. Read more »

4/12: Kara Nielsen profiled in the "Food Futurists" chapter of the new book "The Taste of Tomorrow: Dispatches from the Future of Food" by Josh Schonwald
Several years ago, Nielsen spent a day with author Schonwald at the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco where they talked about trends, trend movement and ethnic cuisine. Learn more about the book and read an April 27 Wall Street Journal article by the author about African food trends,"Next stop for food fanatics: Africa," which mentions his encounter with our Trendologist.

3/1/12: Marc Halperin comments on the pop in Popchips for San Francisco Chronicle
Popped elicits a powerful healthful connotation that helped separate Popchips from other types of popped snacks that just didn't deliver the same palatable snacking experience, he says. Kara Nielsen adds that as our snacking turns more healthful, there has been a rise in all kinds of alternative chips made from new ingredients like beans, lentils and rice. Read more »

3/12: CCD Innovation on the alternative chip trend exploration in Specialty Food Magazine
CEO Kimberly Egan comments on the premiumization trend around snack chips and changes in consumer behavior where continual snacking is now acceptable in "Chips off a Different Block" while Kara Nielsen discusses the need for familiarity but also good nutrition, like protein, in a bean- or hummus-based chip, as well as necessary convenience. Read more »

3/12: Trendologist on "Soups & Sides" innovation in Prepared Foods
Vegetables have become the new meat, inspiring creative chefs and product developers to use them in new ways in soups and sides, stealing attention from other parts of the plate. Side dish trends for this year include farro, kale, sea vegetables and the ubiquitous sweet potato. Read more »

2/27/12: Kara Nielsen on the convenience of steamed meals and veggies in Supermarket News
Steam bag cooking fits into emerging health trends and makes better-for-you food undeniably convenient, says Nielsen. Read more »

2/22/12: Perishables Buyer: Kara Nielsen notes gluten-free challenges for in-store bakeries
"Not Free Yet" explores challenges such as cross-contamination for in-store bakeries interested in offering gluten-free baked goods. One solution is turning to dedicated gluten-free suppliers that can provide these products safely. Read more »

2/15/12: Commercialization Director Jan Matsuno comments on fiber for NPR
Jan takes NPR reporter Amy Standen on a walk down the grocery aisles to comment on the current trend of adding different types of fiber to a variety of foods in "Is adding fiber to food really good for your health?" Read more or listen »

2/7/12: Kara Nielsen on "The Psychology of the Cupcake" in the Washington Post
Repeating a long-held view of the cupcake trend, CCD Innovation's Trendologist refers to the subsequent growth of niche bakeries and sweet shops as well as how cupcakes have become part of the food landscape. Read more »

2/12: Kara Nielsen explains the New Old World Cuisine trend in Food Technology Magazine
As consumers become more conscious of food culture and history, they are interested in uncovering the roots of commoditized American standards like pretzels and hot dogs, which is partly fueling today's growing interest in Old World cuisines like German and Scandinavian, along with the rise of craft beer. Read more » (Registration or membership required.)

2/12: Kara Nielsen adds her insight to Flavor & the Menu's Top 10 Trends 2012

  • Bone-in meats are a new iteration of the whole animal trend found in gastropubs, steak houses and other restaurants ("Good to the Bone");
  • More assertively flavored greens will give flavor-loving consumers more reasons to eat nutritious foods ("Greens Revolution");
  • Creative and novel uses of smoke can add intriguing flavors to salads, desserts and more ("Smoke Savvy")
  • More desserts than ever seem to be drawn from mass culture, homages and re-dos of popular candy bars, cereals and cookies. ("Desserts at Play").

1/17/12: Trendologist joins other Trendspotters at Winter Fancy Food Show
The group identified these trends as the biggest at the popular specialty food show: Pickling 2.0; Drinks Go Nuts (and Seeds and Grains); Gluten-free Grows Up; Coconut Cracks Open and Ancient Grains. Read more »

1/20/12: CCD Innovation contributes to the low-fat conversation at
In "Fats are not the enemy," Harvard and the Culinary Institute of America team up to educate consumers on the negative issues surrounding low-fat food and propose using healthful fats in normal quantities to reduce the number of carbohydrates. Kara Nielsen notes that "fats that were once shunned into shame – duck fat, lard and schmaltz – have become increasingly acceptable for consumers." Read more »

1/15/12: Culinary trend predictions for Sur La Table
Kara Nielsen shared some of her 2012 predictions with Sur La Table newsletter subscribers, calling out more waffles, sprouted grains and drinking vinegars along with vegetables in dessert and animal fats including Indian ghee, or clarified butter, and coconut oil as trends to watch this year. Read more »

1/4/12: Kara Nielsen talks about key 2012 trends, Chattanooga Times Free Press
In "Healthy cuisine key trends in 2012," Kara forecasts that consumers will be seeking more better-for-you foods, especially as restaurants roll out more healthful offerings. French fries as a carrier (think beyond poutine), resurrected fats like butter and animal fats, vegetables in desserts and sprouted grains are other predictions. Read more »

1/12: Trendologist shares "Candy Forecast" predictions for the year in Specialty Food Magazine
More natural candy, especially made in artisanal fashions, will continue to be a draw in 2012 as well as nostalgic forms and flavors, like old-fashioned honeycomb (or angle flake or…) candy. Read more »

12/11: Progressive Grocer Store Brands Annual Trend Watch features Trendologist
Kara Nielsen added insight and predictions for a variety of categories including Asian Appetizers, Soup; Maple Products and Olives.

12/11: CCD Innovation predicts poutine popularity for 2012 in Restaurant Business
In the December issue entitled the 2012 Trend Book, Kara Nielsen pitches poutine, the decadent dish of French fries covered in gravy and cheese curds—or variations of—as a 2012 dish we'll be seeing more of. We also believe we'll be talking more about new types of fat, especially duck fat and rice bran oil, in the context of fries and frying. Read more »

11/30/11: In-store bakery suggestions in Perishables Buyer
Kara Nielsen discusses the advantages in-store supermarket bakeries have to sample and try new, trend-forward recipes, while keeping user demographics in mind for improved holiday sales in "Sweetening Holiday Sales." Read more »

11/29/11: An inside look at what the Trendologist thinks of end-of-year trend lists at
Seeing end-of-year lists as a somewhat arbitrary moment to take trend temperatures, Kara Nielsen also puts the cupcake trend into perspective (part of the specialty bakery trend at this point) and wishes more writers would dig deeper into trend drivers. Read more »

11/28/11: Online food purveyors thrive on customized product creation in Supermarket News: Whole Health "Have it your way"
Consumers with specific health conditions, like a need to eat gluten- or lactose-free, are good candidates for using online food websites that allow for customization of foods like snack bars, trail mix and even breakfast cereal, according to Kara Nielsen. Read more »

11/8/11: Gatorade’s G Series Fit Prime Pre-workout Fuel energy bites, developed by CCD Innovation in Food Business News
In "Nutrition workout: Consumers eye sports drinks, energy bites for boost," Kara Nielsen talks about the principles behind the bar, namely to be more like real food and less like a laboratory-made product, to appeal to consumers’ interest in more natural, real feeling energy foods. This trend extends to more naturally rooted energy drinks, like coconut water, that are based on traditional nutritional principles. Read more (registration required) »

11/8/11: CCD Innovation’s Fats & Oils Culinary Trend Mapping Report in Food Business News
In "Swinging the pendulum on fats," Kimberly Egan challenges the food industry to take a leading position and give consumers a new perspective on fats and oils via innovative products and an effort to change consumer mindsets that all fats are bad. Read more (registration required) »

9/11: Meatingplace magazine looks at Asian sandwiches
CCD Innovation continues its conversation around bao and banh mi sandwiches in this Food Focus Sandwiches article. A natural extension of our love of Asian food, these newcomers to the sandwich scene offer bigger global flavors in a safe format for the uninitiated. Read more (registration required) »

Summer 2011: Nielsen on sweet trends in Gift Shop
"Gourmet treats stack up sales" traces new candy and chocolate trends influencing the industry. Kara Nielsen mentions the trend of chocolate paired with chile, now almost a mainstream trend, as well as new savory flavorings, such as herbs and spices. Read more »

9/19/11: Kara Nielsen comments on Boomer Marketing at Natural Food Network
In "Marketing to Baby Boomers," CCD Innovation's Trendologist notes how Boomers have embraced nutritional education, strive to live longer, healthier lives, and are a good target for natural food marketing. Read more »

9/11: On sandwich trends in Meatingplace magazine
Kara Nielsen touches on the Asian sandwich trend profiled in our Sandwiches Culinary Trend Mapping Report for this trend exploration. She cites Asian-inspired bao sandwiches, made from Chinese steamed buns and tasty fillings, often pork belly, as a step in sandwiches' global evolution. Read more »

9/11: CCD Innovation's Condiments & Sauces Trends in Food Technology magazine
The trends we profiled in our Condiments & Sauces Culinary Trend Mapping Report were mentioned in "Highflying Sauces," including gastrique, romesco and aioli. Read more (membership may be required) »

6/11: Kara Nielsen discusses today's definition of "artisanal" in Natural Food Network
The term "artisanal" is being used by small and large manufacturers to connote a higher quality product, whether or not it's really made "by hand." Read more in "The art of artisanal." »

Sprouted Grains and the Wellness Ingredients Culinary Trend Mapping Report in the news:

5/11: Trendologist on Asian meat trends in Meatingplace
Authentic ramen, with its cooked-for-hours meaty stock, is one example of hot Asian foods this year mentioned in "Food Focus: Asian – Exotic Tastes" at by Stephanie Soong.

4/11: Kara Nielsen on street food for convenience store menu development
Convenience store on-site food developers should look to global street food for inspiration because of the many parallels in preparation and consumption, says Nielsen in "Category Close-up: A journey, not a destination," National Association of Convenience Stores magazine, April 2011.

4/11: Marc Halperin shares insights in the annual QSR magazine Chef Survey
Read his comments on Street Food, Nutrition, Back to Basics and Kids’ Meals in QSR Read the Article»

4/11: Kara Nielsen on food ideas for C-Stores in the NACS journal
As more convenience stores add fresh and prepared foods, new inspiration can come from street food, a portable, affordable category that fits well with c-store consumers and behavior, Nielsen noted in “A journey, not a destination.”

3/11: Progressive Grocer Store Brands looks at the “Untapped Potential” in cookies and crackers
Trendologist Kara Nielsen suggests private label developers tap into the premium cracker arena by adding ancient and heritage grains, featuring new Asian and sweet flavors, and playing around with shape and length. Read the article »

3/11: Nielsen notes the rise of “artisan” foods in Specialty Food magazine
In “Heritage Foods,” regional American products are profiled. CCD Innovation’s Trendologist attributes the growing popularity of heritage-made foods to consumers’ interest in knowing where their food is coming from and nostalgic feelings for the past.  Read the article »

3/6/11: CCD Innovation’s trend predictions in Italian??
For Italian speakers out there, read about CCD Innovation’s trend predictions in Dissapore, an online Italian-language magazine. Read the article »

2/11: Wellness trends that tap into ancient wisdom a new niche for baking?
In Baking & Snack magazine, Kara Nielsen talks about the Wellness Ingredients Culinary Trend Mapping Report and how foods like agave nectar, hemp, sprouted grains and healing spices can be used in baking and snack formulation. Read the article »

Winter 2011: Kara talks about beans and ice cream trends in Flavor & the Menu’s 2011 Top Trends issue. Read more…

2/28/11:  Trendologist on artisan sausages in The National Provisioner
In the Annual Sausage report, sausage managed the downturn thanks to popularity in the breakfast daypart. Kara Nielsen observed that sausage sides have stepped aside as more consumers enjoy the flavorful meat as part of fresh or frozen breakfast meals and bowls.  Read the article »

2/24/11: Kimberly Egan and Kara Nielsen in Nutraceuticals World
They discuss the nutritional benefits of foods and ingredients profiled in the Wellness Ingredients Culinary Trend Mapping Report including those behind sprouted grains and agave nectar. Read more »

2/11: Oprah's O Magazine O List: Honey Lovers by Gimbal's
CCD Innovation is proud to see Gimbal's Honey Lovers candy on the O List for February. CCD Innovation participated in the product development of this tasty honey-based colorful heart. To learn more click here »

2/11: People StyleWatch What's Hot! What's Not!
"Everyone's talking about the fresh flavors and seafood of Denmark, Sweden and Norway," says Kara Nielsen in the pages of People Stylewatch. These dishes focus on dill, almonds, open-faced sandwiches and much more. What's not hot? Bacon is delicious but its everywhere..." Time to move on!"

1/26/11: Diane Toops describes CCD Innovation’s Trend Mapping process in Food Processing
Kara Nielsen discusses which top 2011 trends are most likely to translate into more mainstream CPG products. They include foods with enhanced umami, grass-fed beef and dairy with conjugated linoleic acid and Japanese yuzu flavor. Read the article »

1/19/11: Trendologist on top 2010 trends in Progressive Grocer's Store Brands
Kara Nielsen discusses ways store brands can translate the top trends of 2010 in "What fuels foodies." Read the article »

1/3/11: Kara Nielsen explores pizza trends in Culinology magazine and Food Product Design
In "Ubiquitous Pizza," Kara Nielsen charts current trends appearing in both independent and chain pizza restaurants, including the artisan pizza, fresher quality, healthful indulgence and pizza's bolder flavors and flexibility. Read the article »

12/7/10: Breakfast rituals on the table for development
Trendologist Kara Nielsen talks about applying trends from the Breakfast Culinary Trend Mapping Report to private label product development in Progressive Grocer's Store Brands. Read the article »

12/10: Artisan chocolate trends discussed in Food Technology
In "Thinking Outside the Box of Chocolate," Kara Nielsen notes the appeal of artisan chocolates that appeal to connoisseur consumers with quality markets like unique bean sourcing, ranges of chocolate percentages and unique flavorings like varietal spices and chiles. Read the article »

Nov-Dec/10: In Candy & Snack Today, Nielsen on peanut butter confection trends
Both premium and mass confectioners turn to beloved and homey peanut butter to add savory appeal to confections of all kinds. Read the article on page 14 of the digital edition »

7/14/10: Kara Nielsen joined Ron Tanner for the NASFT webinar@work Trendspotting: What's Hot in Specialty Food Now. The webinar explored the hottest trends from the Summer Fancy Food Show and the driving forces behind those trends. Read more »

7/30/10: CCD Innovation on the growing gluten-free trend in the IndyStar
"You don't have to sacrifice taste on a gluten-free diet" profiles several Indianapolis-based gluten-free food producers and illustrates how sourcing gluten-free products has become much easier. The question remains: Is gluten-free food a fad or a long-term trend? Keep watching. Read more...

7/28/10: Kara Nielsen comments on U.S. regional food trends in Wall Street Journal
Food and fashion trends vary by region and sometimes are even similar; read more in "Fashion Nation: What retailers know about us." Read more...

7/21/10: CCD Innovation Trendologist speaks on Imported Health at IFT
This panel at the annual meeting of the Institute of Food Technology explored current health and wellness trends making news, including digestion, cognitive function and satiety, explored case studies of how oversees markets have been quicker to market products aimed at key wellness issues, and showcased imported and domestic functional products aimed at addressing these consumer health concerns. Read more...

6/30/10: Kara Nielsen joins Trendspotter Panel to pick food trends at Summer Fancy Food Show
Kara Nielsen joined a group of esteemed trend watchers, including Sara Moulton, to spot the hot foods, flavors and themes at the summer NASFT show in New York City. Top spots went to Great Vinegars; Indian Products; Grains, Nuts & Seeds; Squash, Pumpkin & Sweet Potato; and Handcrafted Local Heritage Foods. Read more...

6/4/10: Kara Nielsen discusses consumers' desire to know the sources of their food in San Francisco Chronicle
Large manufacturers, such as Chiquita, find new ways to allow consumers to trace the origins of food products. Smartphone technology is assisting. Read more in "New systems allow shoppers to trace produce." Read more...

6/10: CCD Innovation Trendologist talks about consumers craving marinated grilled meats in MeatingPlace
"Marinated: A matter of taste" explores how consumers have mixed feeling about pre-marinated meat in the marketplace. At the same time, marinades are becoming more globally flavored. Read more...

5/20/10: Kara Nielsen explores trends around wraps in Culinology magazine
Taste, hunger satisfaction, portion control and healthful qualities are some of the reasons wraps continue to resonate with consumers. New innovation is coming from global wraps and even the gluten-free world. Read more in "Wrap World" and "Wrapping Without Gluten."

05/01/10: In Shopper Marketing, Kara Nielsen comments on how snack foods have become more sophisticated
"Snack Time!" charts the growth of salty snacks and how consumers are seeking bigger flavor profiles, more a unique flavors from their snacks, which have grown in value to busy consumers.
Read the article see page 36 »

Prepared Foods

04/01/10: Kara Nielsen forecasts what "New Flavors of Summer" consumers will be using
In Specialty Food Magazine, CCD Innovation's Trendologist lists Pan-Latin and Pan-Asian sauces we expect to see on the grill, such as Adobo, Yucatecan and Korean, as well as yogurt-based marinades and lemongrass flavors. Read the article »



Prepared Foods

04/10/10: Caramels: Rediscovered retro comfort gone artisan in C Magazine
In "Candyland" in C/California Style magazine, Kara Nielsen explains that brown flavors (as in caramelized sugar) are hot again as they represent familiar comfort. But new caramel confections are stepping out with upgraded ingredients such as goat milk, organic maple syrup and honey, and pricey sea salts.


04/10/10: Pastry chefs move into the spotlight with new explosion of interest in sweets, Associated Press reports
In "Pastry chefs rising stars of the culinary world," former pastry chef and CCD Innovation trendologist Kara Nielsen chimes in on current fascination with the profession, and its delightful sweets. CCD Innovation Chefs' Council member and master bread baker Peter Reinhart also comments. Read the article »


04/01/10:  Dessert-flavored chocolates a growing trend in premium and boxed chocolates
Speaking in Candy & Snack Today, Kara Nielsen talks about comfort food cravings and chocolate flavor trends in "Boxed Chocolate Continue to Evolve."  Read the article see page 12 »

03/16/10: Can Gen Y cook? Kara Nielsen opines in the Baltimore Sun
In "Cheap, easy, good: How to manage cooking for one," Nielsen cites findings from CCD Innovation’s How Gen Y Eats Culinary Trend Mapping Report and our Gen Y research. CCD Innovation has found that many young Millennials struggle to cook for themselves, even as they crave flavorful, global foods that are also often healthful. Read the article »


03/01/10: New olive oil desserts and Parisian macarons are part of new ethnic flavors in mainstream baked goods
In Modern Baking "Ethnic flavors enter the mainstream," Kara Nielsen shares several ethnic baking trends that we discussed in our Confections and Desserts Culinary Trend Mapping Report. Read the article »


Prepared Foods


02/22/10: Waffles part of healthful breakfasts and all-day noshing
In “Rise and Shine,” in Supermarket News’ Whole Health Supplement, Spring 2010, Kara talks about the recent trend in waffles as carriers and as desserts, where they can be enjoyed slathered in sweet while breakfast version offer more whole grain (or even gluten-free) goodness. (For online subscribers of Supermarket News). Read the article »

02/10/10: CCD Innovation Trendologist now penning Culinology Tea Leaves column
In the quarterly publication of the Research Chefs Association Culinology, “Beyond the basic burger” outlines hot trends in burgers such as new grinds of meat, premium beef sources such as Certified Angus Beef, and emerging global flavorings inside the bun. Nielsen also looks at non-beef burgers such as those made from mushrooms and turkey. Read the article »


02/01/2010: Kara Nielsen predicts trend-forward flavor variations for sausages in Meatingplace
In “Sausage: A steady sizzle,” CCD Innovation’s Trendologist sees that both global and regional American flavors will enliven future sausage recipes, popular now for comfort, convenience and economy. Read the article »


Prepared Foods

01/01/2010: Generational Comfort Food Report featured in Poultry magazine
It’s no surprise that chicken soup remains a comfort, but styles of soup are expanding into new global territories for younger generations, according to Kara Nielsen. Read the article »



Prepared Foods 01/20/10: New York Times quotes Kara Nielsen on children’s incessant snacking
With the proliferation of kids’ activities, snacking is growing as well, fueled by needy organizations, notions that kids need to eat all the time and parental desire to control kids’ diets. Read the article »


Prepared Foods 01/29/10: Trendologist featured on American Public Media “Dinner Party Download” radio show
In episode 41 of the popular iTunes download from the folks at Marketplace, Kara Nielsen chats with host Brendan Newman about how to be a crack trendologist and why coconut is so darned trendy these days. She is featured during the Main Course segment. Read the article »

Prepared Foods

12/01/09: CCD Innovation Trendologist discusses the pervasiveness of sweet snacks in National Association of Convenience Store News
Because snacks are playing a bigger role in our daily nutrition, they have become more important, Nielsen pointed out in “Category Close-Up: How Sweet It Is!” by Pat Pape. Read the article »




Prepared Foods 11/01/09: Kimberly Egan on the shifting role of snacks in Wall Street Journal
In “Tighter Belts Mean Thicker Waists," Kimberly Egan comments on the major finding of our Snack Foods Culinary Trend Mapping Report. "Snacks are less and less the hunger-soothing bridge between formal meals. They have become valuable gastronomical events in their own right." Read the article »


10/20/09: Gourmet Retailer illustrates beverage trends from recent Culinary Trend Mapping Report
Coconut water, holistic wellness drinks and trendy cocktails are detailed in “Healthy Beverage Choices and Other Trends.” Read the article »

10/05/09: Fresh foods recommended by CCD Innovation for QSRs developing now for the future
In “Prepare Now for Economic Recovery” at QSR Web, Kara Nielsen discusses how when the economy improves, consumers are likely to be looking for more healthful items. Read the article »

10/01/09: Trendologist Kara Nielsen on the emerging global cuisines in The Art Institute’s AI Insight
In “Ethnic cuisine evolves as eaters seek new flavors,” Kara discusses Peruvian, Moroccan and Korean as hot cuisines taking American diners by storm. Read the article »

Fall 09: Kara Nielsen profiled in Meatpaper #9
Dubbed the Taste Oracle, Marissa Guggiana interviews CCD Innovation’s Trendologist to learn how she predicts the next meat craze. Kara also reviews the glorious path of the bacon trend and predicts a growing interest in Yucatecan food such as cochinita pebil. Read the article »

9/01/09: Kara Nielsen on Gen Y and nutrition in Culinology
Trendologist Kara Nielsen discusses Generation Yís knowledge about nutrition and omega-3 fatty acids in Culinologyís Tea Leaves column by Kate Harrigan, "Omega-3s Rising". Read the article »

7/10/09: Kara Nielsen voices in on the improved reputation of MSG for the Associated Press
Thanks to the growing understanding and appreciation of umami, the fifth flavor, MSG's reputation is improving, says Nielsen in "No longer the notorious MSG: Monosodium glutamate remains ubiquitous." However, artificial additives in food are falling out of favor, so natural MSG will be the way to go. Read the article »

July/Aug '09: Kara Nielsen judges "America's Healthiest Frozen Scoops" in Health magazine
Yes, somebody had to do it: judge America's most healthful ice creams this summer. Kara did her part, loving Haagen-Dazs mango sorbet and enjoying the fun of trying over 10 ice creams and frozen yogurts to pick the winners. Read the article »

6/29/09: How snacks are changing in Drug Store News
In “New snacking ideas present growing opportunities,” Kara Nielsen explains how consumers are snacking more during the day, treating snacks more like mini-meals. Consequently, they are demanding more from these snacks, including nutrition and flavor. Read the article »

6/14/09: "Gen Y Roars" in Natural Food Network magazine
Kara Nielsen talks about Gen Y's natural food habits. Read the article »

6/12/09: Marc Halperin on innovation in the fast-food industry from Investor's Business Daily
In"Using a double dose of product creativity," CCD Innovation's COO, explains how consumers are increasingly savvy and demanding. Taco Bell, cited in the article, tests 20 items annually in search of the hot new dish for its menu. Read the article »

6/2/09: Kara Nielsen attests to international grilling trends in Cheers
San Francisco writer Amy Sherman explores how restaurants are pairing wines with grilled foods in "The Thrill of the Grill." Read the article »

6/09: CCD Innovation's Snack Report cited in Canadian Grocer Today
Kara Nielsen discusses new better-for-you snacks featured in the Snack Trends Culinary Trend Mapping Report made from seaweed, root vegetables like cassava or beet, and more familiar veggies like green beans in "Hip Chips." Read the article »

Prepared Foods04/20/09: CCD Innovation Generation Y research on The Canadian Press wire
Kara Nielsen discusses CCD Innovation research findings on Generation Y with Judy Creighton from The Canadian Press. See if its balanced Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids attract consumers. Read the article »

4/14/09: Snack Foods Trend Report findings in Food Business News
In “Wrapping the snack up to go,” Kara Nielsen discusses how consumer snacking behavior and attitudes have shifted in recent years and how snack wraps can meet consumer needs. Read the article »

4/14/09: Trendologist on “Organic trade-offs” consumers are making today
In Food Business News, Kara Nielsen shares her take on how consumers are buying organic in the new economy: focusing on food for children, when concerned about food safety, in fine dining restaurants committed to organic. However, sometimes local foods trump organic. Read the article »

3/29/09: CCD Innovation Trendologist on non-dairy milk alternatives in the Chicago Tribune
In "Giving up milk? Try these instead," Kara Nielsen comments on the health halo of almond milk. CCD Innovation is also tracking hemp milk to see if its balanced Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids attract consumers. Read the article »

3/18/09: Meditations on the quintessential comfort food in the East Bay Express by CCD Innovation Trendologist
Kara Nielsen looks at generational expressions of grilled cheese sandwiches in "Extreme comfort food" by John Birdsall. Simple old-school grilled cheese, made with white bread and American cheese singles, is the comfort blanket for Gen X and Boomers while Gen Y go global with quesadillas. Read the article »

Prepared Foods

3/16/09: CCD Innovation present Gen Y research at the RCA
Nations Restaurant News covered Marc Halperin, COO, and Kara Nielsen, Trendologist, speaking on How Generation Y Eats at the annual Research Chefs Association conference in Dallas. According to CCD Innovation research, Gen Y eaters are interested in intense flavors, portable foods and are curious about emerging global cuisines. Read the article »

Prepared Foods

2/9/09: Kara Nielsen and Prepared Meal Solutions report in Food Technology
Using research from our Prepared Meal Solutions Culinary Trend Mapping Report, CCD Innovation’s Trendologist comments in “Fresh ideas for mealtime,” which explores the growing assortment of supermarket ready-to-eat meals positioned to compete with restaurant fare. Read the article »

Prepared Foods2/4/09: Marc Halperin on the Peanut butter scare in the New York Times
In “Who’s Sticking With Us?,” CCD Innovation’s COO and culinary director discusses how peanut butter came to be used in so many products in processed food. Read the article »


Prepared Foods1/5/09: Kimberly Egan on how to attract Gen Y, based on CCD Innovation research
In a Prepared Foods exclusive “Gen Y, Culinary Thrill Seekers,” CCD Innovation’s CEO and Principal states, “Capturing the interest and imagination of Gen Y requires foodservice leaders and consumer packaged goods manufacturers to craft a heightened eating experience by using layers of flavors, unique textures or emerging global ingredients.” Read the article »

Also in January's issue of Prepared Foods, according to our recent research, members of Generation Y are culinary thrill seekers, looking for layers of flavors and opportunities to customize their foods. Read the article »

Prepared Foods1/1/09: Kara Nielsen comments on “Top Trends” for Flavor & the Menu
In this year’s Top Ten Trends edition, CCD Innovation’s Trendologist comments on three of the ten trends: the comeback of French cuisine, the rise of Italian desserts and the popularity of Latin Libations. Read the article »


Prepared Foods1/1/09: CCD Innovation’s Gen Y research cited in QSR magazine
“Keep it Real: To attract Millennials, tell it like it is,” a “Short Order” piece in January’s QSR, advises on the best way to market to Gen Y: be true to your brand, be honest and recognize how savvy Gen Ys are. This information is partially derived from our recent Gen Y research. Read the article »


12/31/08: CCD Innovation maps salted caramel as a flavor in the New York Times
Kara Nielsen discusses how salted caramel flavor moved from Stage 1 to 5 over the last few years. One early sighting was thanks to Chef Council® member chocolatier Michael Recchiuti who made fleur de sel caramels in 1998! Read the article »


11/08: CCD Innovation's Kids' Food Trend Report in the news
Canwest News Service covered the emerging trend of "kid-adult fusion" profiled in our October Kids' Food Culinary Trend Mapping Report. This is the merging of child and parent tastes, as parents today cultivate their own tastes and interests in their children. Updated restaurant kids' menus illustrate this trend with expanded entree, side dish and beverage choices. Read the article »

10/20/08: CCD Innovation comments on surge of prepared meals offered in grocery stores
For "Grocers target squeezed diners with prepared meals" by Paul Ziobro of Dow Jones Newswires, Kara Nielsen discussed the rise of grocery-made meals to compete with restaurant offerings. This trend is profiled in depth in our Prepared Meal Solutions Culinary Trend Mapping Report.
Read the Article » | Get the Report »


FPO10/15/08: CCD Innovation's Gen Y research in the news
QSR Magazine reports on CCD Innovation's recent Gen Y research studies. Trendologist Kara Nielsen discusses findings that reveal strategic clues for QSR and Fast Casual categories. Read More »


FPO10/10/08: CCD Innovation Trendologist cited in Private Label Buyer
Kara Nielsen discussed current spice trends in Seasonings Changes. Floral flavors, layered flavors and spice blends are trends to watch. Read More »


QRCA9/08/2008: CCD Innovation Executive Director Brainstorming Workshop techniques receive praise
Lisa Strick, Executive Director of Client Services & Strategy, led a brainstorming workshop for the QRCA (Qualitative Research Consultants Association) of Southern California entitled: “Brand Stretch Brainstorming- How to Extend Brand Equity to New Categories”. This interactive 2-hour workshop taught participants CCD Innovation’s methodology using brainstorming techniques to leverage key elements of brand equity, consumer insights and category opportunities to develop more innovative, compelling and profitable products.

"We were thrilled with Lisa's presentation! She has a unique ability to blend informative content, energetic delivery and audience participation. Attendees walked away with new techniques they can put into practice immediately." -Holly M. O'Neill, President, Talking Business and Co-Chair, QRCA Southern California Chapter.


9/01/08: Handheld Culinary Trend Report sited in Food Technology
“Fast, Forkless Food” explores the new forms, flavors and formulations of handheld foods today. Our recent Handheld Culinary Trend Mapping® Report and Trendologist Kara Nielsen were quoted extensively. Read More »


9/01/2008:“The World of Trends” explored in QSR magazine by CCD Innovation Trendologist
Kara Nielsen describes the art and science to translating trends in this feature that adapts Kara’s IFT presentation “Culinary Trend Mapping: Insights and Applications for Product Development.” Downloadable copies of the presentation are also available courtesy of the QSR website. Read More »


7/15/2008: CCD Innovation Coins "Huetrition"™ Trend as 1 of 7 new food trends from Japan and Western Europe to hit the North American Market
CCD Innovation's latest Culinary Trend Mapping® Report on Global Health and Wellness Trends outlines food trends to make you smarter, happier and younger. Read More »


6/01/2008: CCD Innovation’s Trend Map® leads the way to new flavors in Food Product Design article
Kara Nielsen, CCD Innovation Trendologist, outlines the five trend stages and defines fad in “Scouting Out New Flavor Trends” by Deb North. Read More »

8/11/2008: CCD Innovation Gen Y Presentation on Millennial Eating Habits Generates Buzz
CCD Innovation Presenters Lisa Strick and Kara Nielsen receive praise for unveiling key insights to the relatively untapped Gen Y market at this year's Flavor Experience Conference in San Diego. Strick and Nielsen discussed how to pull in Gen Y consumers offering that "food is the glue that brings teens and twenty-somethings together" and "menus must offer appetizers and entrees that Gen Ys can share in a group or that offer unique flavor experiences". Download Highlights | Read More »

7/28/2008: CCD Innovation talks about the cupcake trend in the Galveston County Daily News
As the cupcake trend continues its march into all corners of the country, Kara Nielsen discusses its source and spread in “Cupcakes Make a Comeback.” Read More »

5/22/2008: CCD Innovation Trendologist speaks up on new mood beverages in Bevnet Innovation
Kara Nielsen sees mood beverages tied to the broadest strokes of the marketplace: the natural foods movement and the quest for a high-quality life. It’s also reached Stage 3 of our Trend Map®. Read More »

5/08/2008: CCD Innovation's Look Back Culinary Trend Mapping® Report Points the Way to Emerging Trends
CCD Innovation Trendologist, Kara Nielsen, and the Look Back Culinary Trend Mapping® Report credited with forecasting hot emerging food trends, like huetrition, gluten-free, and premium, hitting grocery stores and fast-food menus now. Read More »

05/01/2008: CCD Innovation Trendologist speaks on the trend of eating less meat in Restaurants & Institutions
Kara Nielsen believes consumer concerns about food safety, animal welfare, health and wellness and the environment are leading them to choose more meatless fare in “Flex Mex.” Read More »

4/29/2008: CCD Innovation Trendologist Featured on CBS News' Fancy Food Show Video Coverage
Kara Nielsen talks textures and the latest in food trends popping up at Chicago's Fancy Food Expo. Nielsen comments on unexpected bold flavor combinations to the latest texture twists in culinary products from nougat to nuts direct from the show floor. Watch Video »

3/28/2008: Are Vegetarians On The Rise? CCD Innovation’s Trendologist thinks so!
Kara Nielsen urges fast casual restaurants to offer  more meatless dishes to attract consumers concerned about the environmental impact of meat eating. Read More »

1/27/2008: CCD Innovation Trendologist voices in on ’08 food trends in San Francisco Chronicle
Kara Nielsen discusses new trends in supermarket prepared food, label-reading habits and how San Francisco is at the forefront of new food trends. Read More »

1/01/2008: Trendologist speaks up in Flavor & The Menu’s Top 10 Trends 2008
Kara Nielsen comments on two hot culinary trends in 2008: slow cooking technique and barely there sauces in the 2008 annual edition of the Top 10 Trends issue. Read More »


12/10/2007: CCD Innovation's Egan Profiled in Fortune Magazine's December 2007 Power Issue
Egan and the CCD Innovation crew, although not household names, are credited with a highly powerful behind-the-scenes role in innovating recipes and menu items for such major restaurants and fast-food establishments as: Baskin-Robbins, Wendy's, Domino's, Weight-Watchers and Taco Bell, in Fortune's "The Power 25" article.

12/10/2007: CEO Featured in 7x7's Power List
Kimberly Egan lands on top of San Francisco's 7x7 Magazine's prestigous Power List in the Food + Drink category where she discusses the satisfaction of helping clients' innovatate successful on-trend products . Read More »

12/08/2007: CCD Innovation Quoted in People Magazine's December Style Watch Issue
Trendologist, Kara Nielsen, weighs-in on "What's In and What's Out" in Food in the December feature of People Magazine's Style Watch Edition.

12/05/2007: CCD Innovation Spots Dessert Doughnuts in Holiday Insert
Celebrations! Holiday Entertaining 2007, a holiday insert in newspapers across the country, features Trendologist Kara Nielsen discussing the hot trend in doughnuts and beignets on dessert menus across the country. Sightings include apple butter beignets with a Riesling reduction and caramel thyme ice cream and chocolate beignets with peanut butter sauce. Read More »

09/29/2007: CCD Innovation Trendologist Discusses Kids' Snacking Trends In San Francisco Chronicle
"Kids and parents are much more conscious about health and nutrition in general," says Kara Nielsen. Nielsen pointed to a recent survey that shows that more than 50 percent of the 500 teenagers polled said they had changed their diet in the last year and were eating more healthful foods. Read More »

09/15/2007: Nielsen Shares Soy Knowledge and Culinary Insight in Article By Jill Silverman Hough
CCD Innovation Trendologist, Kara Nielsen, sheds some light on the soy debate in the Inside Bay Area article, "Endamame versatile and good for you, but enjoy it in moderation". Read More »

09/15/2007: CCD Innovation Quoted on Allergen-Free Market in Gourmet News
The Allergen-Free Market is nothing to sneeze at. About 4 percent of the population--8 percent of children-- suffer from food allergies, said CCD Innovation's Kara Nielsen, citing data from Food Allergy and Anaphlaxis Network on the Allergen-Free panel at July's Fancy Food Show. According to the FDA, 28 percent of Americans suffer from intolerances--and up to 97 percent may be undiagnosed, she said. Read More »

09/25/2007: CCD Innovation CEO Quoted in Stagnito's New Product Magazine
Kimberly Egan is quoted in “The In Crowd: Early adopters may determine product survival” by Bev Bennett. She discusses how CCD Innovation uses early adopter panels and our Chefs’ Council® to assist in the development process and cautions against relying on blogs to gauge a concept’s viability. Read More »

08/01/2007: CCD Innovation COO featured in New Products Magazine
Marc Halperin discusses what chefs bring to the new product development process in Stagnito's New Products Magazine article “Culinary Persuasion: Notable chefs influence retail offerings” by Bev Bennett. He also lists some exciting restaurant chef trends, such as cured meats, dessert-centric restaurants and trading quantity for quality. Read More »

07/17/2007: CCD Innovation CEO Cited in Fast Casual Magazine
CEO Kimberly Egan and our Spices and Seasonings Culinary Trend Mapping Report® were quoted in "Ethnic influences on the menu," Ethnic spices have become have become key tools in marketers' flavor arsenals. "Beyond salt and pepper, the spice market has now reached $1.2 billion, truly pointing to an awakening in the American palate," said Egan. Read More »

07/12/2007: CCD Innovation Trendologist Quoted in USA Today Article, "Gelato: It's not Italian for Jell-O" + Milwaukee Sentinel
Kara Nielsen, discusses the trend in the "growing appreciation for bolder flavors" of artisanal gelato migrating across the Atlantic and popping up in boutique parlors, supermarket aisles and gourmet kitchens...Read More» And the gelato conversation continues in "Ice Cream but better: Smooth, intense Italian gelato is all about flavor," Milwaukee Sentinel, July 12. Read More »