Top Products for Operators from NAFEM 2017

Video Produced by Denise Toledo

On this episode of "On Foodable Weekly: Industry Pulse," we continue last month's conversation around the NAFEM 2017 show. The National Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers holds its Equipment and Supply show every other year for members to showcase their newest products to thousands of buyers in the foodservice industry. On the last Industry Pulse, we looked at some of the best chef products showcased at NAFEM 2017. This week, we're taking a closer look at the coolest products we saw available to operators. You won’t want to miss these!

Steelite Thrill

The Thrill machine from Steelite International both chills and sanitizes glassware — with style. By simply pushing a glass down on the Thrill for three seconds, the Thrill sanitizes the glass with 88 percent microbial reduction. Another six seconds and the glass is chilled to 40 degrees below, “so the drink that you’re charging 10 bucks for is actually more enjoyable,” says Steelite International VP of National Accounts, Terry Tanael. Using CO2 gas, the Thrill can fit on any bartop or be built into your bar for even more space saving. Plus, your customers will love the experience!

RATIONAL SelfCookingCenter®

The RATIONAL SelfCookingCenter® can cook virtually anything you need with the push of a button. It has settings for poultry, meat, fish, egg dishes, baking, sous vide, and more. This product makes bulk cooking a breeze and can cook a number of different items at different temperatures and with different settings — all at the same time. National Corporate Chef for RATIONAL USA William Buck demonstrates for us how to use the grill setting for 20 steaks at once, but RATIONAL has the SelfCookingCenter® in sizes allowing chefs to make 120 steaks at a time! And once cooking is done, the SelfCookingCenter® cleans itself, too!

Franke BKON Craft Brewer

Using reverse atmospheric infusion, the BKON craft brewer can infuse almost any liquid imaginable! Using a vacuum, BKON extracts organic material with any solvent from water to wine to chicken stock! Using the touchscreen settings, users can use a number of categories to personalize their infusion. Franke is excited to see how chefs experiment with this new product.

Play the episode to see these cool products in action! And watch our last Industry Pulse episode to see some of the best products for chefs at NAFEM 2017!

Brewers Association Releases Mid-Year Metrics, Brewery Count at All-Time High

Brewers Association Releases Mid-Year Metrics, Brewery Count at All-Time High

By Kerri Adams, Editor-at-Large

The craft beer movement is still gaining momentum as new breweries are setting up shop, while established breweries are developing more unique flavors for the beer lovin’ consumer. The Brewers Association, a not-for-profit trade association, has released new data about the craft beer industry.

To fit consumer demand, craft beer production is up by 8% in the first half of 2016. To keep up with the influx in production, the industry currently employs roughly 121,843 full-time and part-time workers. The brew industry is expected to continue to grow in the next few years and has yet to reach its full potential.

“While the craft brewing industry is entering a period of maturation, most markets are not near saturation,” said Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association in a press release. “As craft’s base gets larger, as with any industry, it becomes more difficult for it to grow at the same percentage rate. Yet there is still tremendous dynamism reflected in eight percent growth for craft. Production growth of small and independent craft brewers continues to be one of the main bright spots for domestic beer in the U.S. Even in a more competitive market, for the vast majority of small and independent brewers, opportunities still exist.”

As of the end of June, a record high of 4,656 breweries were brewing in the US. This is 917 breweries more than the same period in 2015. Not to mention, 2,200 breweries are in the process of opening.

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The Business of Staying Small Pt. 2: How Limiting Production Has Led to Success for Two Craft Breweries

The Business of Staying Small Pt. 2: How Limiting Production Has Led to Success for Two Craft Breweries

By Justin Dolezal, Foodable Contributor

There's been a lot of discussion as of late about the expansion of craft breweries, particularly those acquired by large macro-beer companies such as AB InBev, the owner of Budweiser, and Heineken International. These mergers and acquisitions are often framed as the next step in a small brewery's evolution and expansion, and in recent years beloved craft breweries such as Chicago's Goose Island, Northern California's Lagunitas, and Seattle's Elysian have all taken advantage of the resources and cache that major brewing operations can provide. In purely capitalistic terms, the moves make sense: a company like AB InBev, flush with cash, distribution access, and marketing resources can help a small brewery grow incredibly quickly.

Still, these acquisitions seem to fly in the face of the ethos of craft beer. Craft beer initially rose to prominence as an exciting, flavorful David rising up against what was a market dominated by bland, flavorless Goliaths, who cared more about advertising and profit margins than producing great products. The fact that companies like AB InBev have begun to snap up craft breweries just as craft beer has begun to cut significantly into macro-beer's market share smacks of opportunism, and has led to a sense of betrayal among craft beer fans who had previously supported breweries who have since sold out to larger corporations.

Thankfully, there remains a class of breweries who have stayed defiantly small, choosing to shun the chance at mass product distribution and the capitol that comes with it in favor of the control that comes with independence. Producing world-class beer takes great attention to detail, time, and patience, luxuries that can be difficult to come by when boards of trustees and multi-million dollar investors are involved. Staying small also allows breweries to drive demand for their products through a consumer base that is incredibly enthusiastic about rare, highly lauded products. The following is a list of craft breweries that have built a huge consumer demand, while remaining defiantly small.

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The Future of Craft Beer: Market Expectations and Upcoming Challenges

The Future of Craft Beer: Market Expectations and Upcoming Challenges

By Bill Sysak, Foodable Industry Expert

Part 3 of a Three-Part Series on the State of the Craft Beer Industry in America
Read part one here and part two here.

If you’ve been following my 3-part series on the State of the Craft Beer Industry in America, you now know about how the craft beer revolution began and where it is currently. You also know what giant brewing companies like AB InBev are doing about craft beer’s rising popularity. Now let’s look at what the future holds for craft beer.

Where is craft beer going?

The future continues to look bright with craft beer showing a 17.1% growth by volume YTD in the first quarter of 2015. I, like many industry insiders, agree that we are looking at a 20% by volume market share by 2020, up from the 11% mark in 2014.

India Pale Ales continue to hold the top spot in craft beer sales with an amazing 26% volume share of all craft, and make up for 3% of all on-premise alcohol beverage sales. No more bitter-beer-face commercials, beer drinkers love the hops and continue to want their palates challenged with more extreme, aggressive flavors.

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The Proliferation of Breweries in America

The Proliferation of Breweries in America

By Fred Crudder, Industry Brew Expert

Every year around this time there is a gathering of the American craft beer community called the Craft Brewers' Conference. This is no beer fest, although plenty of beer will undoubtedly be consumed. This is exactly what it says it is: a conference. The people attending just happen to make the best beers brewed in America, so naturally they are going to hoist a few. But during the day, it is all business. Industry stats, growth, threats, innovations, trends, best practices, etc. Like I said, it’s a conference. And it always starts with a “state of the industry” address, where we inevitably hear about the number of breweries thought to be in operation in the country at the time. But wait…thought to be? You mean they don’t know…?

Moving Target

The reason the Brewer’s Association cannot pin down the actual number of breweries in America is simple: so many are opening, or are in different stages of development, that by the time they calculate an accurate number, it has already changed. Add into the mix a closure or two, a re-categorization here and there, and you get the picture. Things are just happening too rapidly in the craft brewing world right now to say precisely how many breweries we have. The question of whether or not we should be celebrating this proliferation is a little more complex and the answers will most likely differ depending on a few keys issues.


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