Culinology -- December 2013 - (Page 6)
Fitter food service fare coming into focus
While "gravy-smothered" and "chicken-fried" describe some
of the signature dishes on Cracker Barrel's menu, the casualdining chain took a different turn in August with its first major
launch in a decade.
Czizek, vice-president of menu development and innovation.
In creating lower-calorie dishes, Applebee's has learned that
size matters - both in flavor and in portion.
"We focus on things like fresh zucchini, potatoes and onions
Billed as "homestyle meals with a lighter twist," Cracker
that are grilled and sautéed with barely anything to let the natu-
Barrel's Wholesome Fixin's menu includes 10 meals under
ral flavor come through," Mr. Czizek said. "Adding a hint
600 calories, including multigrain french toast with fruit and
of citrus can also add great flavor without added calories,
a honey citrus yogurt sauce, pecan-crusted catfish and but-
and generous portions of mushrooms can add meaty texture
termilk oven-baked chicken.
without extra fat."
Responding to heavier interest in lighter dining, more res-
More operators have been packing plates with produce and
taurant chains are luring health-conscious consumers with
protein to create a hearty portion with fewer calories and fat,
Ms. Webster said.
"With Cracker Barrel, it hasn't traditionally been part of their
"Adding more filling ingredients, more whole grains, more
wheelhouse, so that's not necessarily something you would
proteins can make a meal as satisfying without significantly
have expected," said Maeve Webster, senior director at the
increasing calories," she said. "Maybe cutting back on the
market research firm Datassential. "But I think because the
carbohydrates but increasing something else, so the compo-
restaurant industry in general is really under attack for its
sition of the dish might not seem radically different, but you
role, rightly or wrongly, in the situation for this country with
can make some pretty significant cuts in calories."
regard to weight and other health issues, and it absolutely
across the board has to respond."
In developing its Simple and Fit menu, IHOP has required
"ongoing innovation, whether it is pairing with Quaker oat-
Applebee's was an early leader in launching lighter menus
meal to develop a proprietary recipe or creating an entire line of
when it added its Weight Watchers-endorsed options in 2004
breakfast items - pancakes, waffles and crepes - that are made
and an Under 550 Calories menu in 2010. The casual-dining
with whole wheat," said Marie Grimm, vice-president of menu
chain said its lighter selections have been a hit among even those
development and innovation at IHOP.
who aren't counting calories. Applebee's signature sirloin with
Rather than featuring a separate section for slimmer spe-
garlic herb shrimp, an item on the Under 550 Calories menu,
cials on its menu, IHOP integrates the lower-calorie options
was its most popular item a couple of years ago, said Peter
among other offerings.
6 | Culinology | DECEMBER 2013
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Culinology -- December 2013
Culinology -- December 2013
Table of Contents
President's Letter - Passion leads to success
Emerging Trends - Fitter food service fare coming into focus
Menu Trends - A Dish by Any Other Name
Dessert - Desert Trends 2014
Healthy Children - Child's Play
Children's recipe challenge
Member Profile - R&D Road Show
Upcoming Events/Ad Index
Culinology -- December 2013