A entire generation of school meal food bloggers may go to a school cafeteria near you, warned food and restaurant “guru” Phil Lempert in his presentation on the Top 10 Food Trends at the School Nutrition Association Industry Conference in January.
Such “Koodies” (Kid-Foodies) will be modeling the behavior of food-blogging parents and adults they’ve seen photographing meals in restaurants and then commenting on them via social media, he said.
“Your kids that have mobile phones might be taking pictures of your food and posting them on Facebook, and saying good things or bad things. And you are not in control of that.”
Kids and not just customers, but are also consumers, Lempert added. “And how they vote matters, and will affect this industry.”
The growing use of mobile technology among them means that “Kids can find out anything they want,” he continued. “They can tweet anything they want and they can Facebook anything they want.
“I know what you’re going to say—‘their parents won’t let them….’
“I say—Hah! Their parents don’t know.”
In other remarks, Lempert commented on the impact rising food prices would continue to have on foodservice programs and on the need for school directors to bring more culinary innovation to their dining programs.
“It’s all about a connection, a conversation, a community, and your schools have to strive to achieve all of these things in your cafeterias and lunchrooms,” he concluded. “If you do, you will see it all come together in a very positive way.
You can view video excerpts from Lempert’s remarks at the Food Management website: http://video.food-management.com/pages/fm-editorial