CHICAGO (December 10, 2018) – RATIONAL North America, the leading manufacturer of combi-steamer technology, announced today that the RATIONAL North American Distribution Center shipped a record-breaking 10,000 RATIONAL SelfCookingCenter® combi ovens to customers across the United States and Canada.  The North American RATIONAL install base now exceeds 60,000 units, solidifying RATIONAL’s position as the market leader within this foodservice equipment category.

Apart from being the first manufacturer in North America to cross this milestone, year-over-year shipments in 2018 show an increase of 50 percent over 2017, exceeding category growth rates.  RATIONAL combi oven market share is estimated at 45 percent in the United States and 65 percent in Canada, demonstrating clear customer preference for the RATIONAL brand. RATIONAL employs 150 people focused on the combi oven market segment in the United States and Canada.

“At the beginning of the year, shipping over 10,000 units was our goal. Today I am proud to say that we surpassed it. The North American team’s determined focus on delivering unmatched customer benefit enabled us to grow our business across all customer segments. We have a tremendous amount of momentum, and as combi technology gains greater acceptance in our market, we anticipate further growth,” said Markus Glueck, executive vice president of RATIONAL North America.   

Common in European commercial kitchens for four decades, combi technology is now gaining traction in North America where approximately 20 percent of relevant foodservice locations purchase combis, often in place of ovens.  However, with the capability to steam, blanch, poach, bake, roast, sear, fry, grill, smoke, sous-vide, overnight cook & hold, and much more, combis frequently replace several pieces of kitchen equipment. This unexpected multi-functionality combined with advanced intelligence needs to be experienced to be embraced, so RATIONAL invests heavily in live programs ranging from cooking demonstrations, to tradeshow pop-up restaurants, to culinary school seminars.

In 2018 alone, nearly 33,000 chefs and commercial kitchen operators and more than 7,000 culinary school students, were introduced to the RATIONAL SelfCookingCenter®. The RATIONAL Culinary School Initiative prepares future chefs for the next generation of culinary excellence. RATIONAL CookingLive events introduce participants to combi technology and show how the RATIONAL SelfCookingCenter® in particular improves day-to-day kitchen operations.

To learn more about RATIONAL products and services, or to register for a RATIONAL CookingLive event visit


TORONTO — December 07, 2018 — Restaurants Canada has just released a carefully curated list of the top food and dining trends you can expect to see at the 2019 RC Show, Canada’s largest foodservice and hospitality trade event.

The upcoming RC Show is leading the conversation around the true meaning of sustainability for the restaurant and hospitality industry. Recognizing that the future of foodservice is tied to the health of the planet as much as healthy profit margins, here’s a look ahead at the culinary and technological innovations coming to kitchens and menus near you:

1. Root-to-Stem Cooking — A new trend addressing food waste has taken root. Like the nose-to-tail practice when cooking meat, root-to-stem cooking focuses on vegetables and making use of all the parts we’d typically remove and throw away. Chefs have found that ingredients like broccoli stalks and leaves, beet greens, asparagus stems, carrot tops, jackfruit cores etc. all bring unique tastes, textures and colours to a dish and are 100% edible.

2. Restaurant Robotics — Bring on the bots! In 2019, a new generation of gizmos, gadgets, autonomous robots and artificially intelligent technologies will be making their way into our dining experiences. Innovations like the hands-free sushi-making machines from AUTEC and Sally from Chowbotics — the robot that serves customizable made-to-order salads, snacks, breakfast bowls and grain bowls — are revealing that the future is here, and the kitchen is evolving faster than ever. Expect everything from robots delivering meals, to AI providing training, to ordering systems replacing waiters and cashiers. 

3. Clean Motherless Meat — As more and more meat lovers are becoming opposed to eating animals and concerned about the impact that raising livestock has on the environment, interest is growing in innovative alternatives. Lab-grown meats, or “clean meat”, is meat grown from small samples of muscle tissue from animals like cows, pigs, chickens etc. These small samples are then combined with stem cells to multiply growth and generate large amounts of meat without having to raise and kill any animals. Companies like Memphis Meats are working to get these products to market as soon as possible, and are expected to greatly impact the world by reducing water usage, taking up less land and significantly cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

4. Incredible Edibles — Now that Canada has become the second country to legalize recreational use of the herb nationwide, interest in cannabis is taking the country’s hospitality industry by storm. With regulations around edibles expected in 2019, new doors might be opening for chefs to introduce this green to their menus. With the potential for infusing dishes and beverages just around the corner, the possibilities are endless, and consumer expectations are high.

5. We Sea Greens — This year, expect to see more marine greens — anything from kelp noodles and jerky to fish alternatives made from algae. Seaweeds have been found to be a natural source of vitamins A, B1, B2, C, D and E, as well as being rich in minerals like zinc, iodine, magnesium, iron, copper, potassium and calcium. Turns out the ocean floor is a literal breeding ground for healthy, green ingredients with unique flavours that will add diversity to menu offerings.

6. The Plant-Based Movement — If you aren’t adventurous enough to test out lab-developed meat, you will still have a growing number of plant-based protein options in 2019. EcoIdeas Organic Jackfruit is working to bring innovative plant-based food to the mainstream with their delicious and convenient alternatives to meat dishes. With ingredients like heme and innovative products like Beyond Meatas well as plant-based milks derived from pea protein and barley proving to be worthy animal product replacements, the future is looking greener than ever.

7. Pretty Please, Without Sugar — Once upon a time we were fighting against fat and now another opponent is in our crosshairs — sugar. The quest for creative ways to reduce sugar and sugary counterparts continues in 2019. We will start to see chefs substituting sugar, honey and agave on their menus for equally sweet but more nutritious alternatives such as carrot, sweet potato, golden beet, butternut squash and corn.

8. Culinary Cocktails — Forget the fruity and sweet. In 2019 we’ll be sipping on endless, refreshing blends of juiced herbs and vegetables, edible flowers, and splashes of tequila, brandy, rum or vodka. The bar industry has seen a shift in pallet from sweet to savoury. This can be attributed to the introduction of bitters and the resurgence of spirits like amaro, vermouth and sherry. The food and hospitality industry’s move to more sustainable practises can also be credited for these bar glass innovations, as chefs now have uses for the leaves and stems and veggies that aren’t quite plate perfection. Culinary cocktails have been popping up all over Canada’s finest bars and cocktail lounges. These drinks stray away from the typical tastes and work to bridge the gap between bar and kitchen by incorporating flavours and techniques used in dishes, all to provide customers with a flavourful experience from glass to plate.

9. In and Out — Kale has officially outstayed its welcome! In 2019 you can expect to see this leafy green replaced by gut flora-friendly ingredients, such as dandelion greens — a natural prebiotic — and amaranth — a hypoallergenic grain substitute for wheat, both pushing the notion that food really is medicine. Other trends you can expect to see making their way into your dining experiences include: oat milk and other dairy alternatives, dry and hot pot cooking, more

substitutions for diners with food sensitivities, creative approaches to reducing waste from single-use items, virtual restaurants and cloud-based dining, spice palettes from countries such as Kazakhstan, Tajikstan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, plus edible flowers are back — and they’ll be in your water glass!

You can check out these trends and more at the upcoming RC Show taking place from February 24-26, 2019 at the Enercare Centre in Toronto. To learn more or to register for media accreditation, please visit


FORT WASHINGTON, Penn. (Dec. 6, 2018) – Cost is “king” when purchasing restroom paper products for a strong majority (78 percent) of cleaning industry professionals. Yet new research from Sofidel, a leading global provider of paper for hygienic and domestic use, reveals other important buyer considerations. The survey of 100 attendees (78 distributors, 13 end users and nine building service contractors) at ISSA Show North America 2018 revealed that 55 percent rank softness as a top consideration, 32 percent evaluate the number of sheets per roll and 30 percent prioritize product durability and environmental profile.

“Purchase price will always be a top consideration, but buyers are also looking for paper products that are strong, help limit waste and can even reduce the risk of toilet clogs,” said Giorgia Giove, Marketing Manager – Away from Home, Sofidel America. “Our Papernet brand continues to innovate to provide customers with paper products and dispensers that deliver value beyond just cost savings.”

The survey also revealed the following top considerations when purchasing paper dispensers:

  • 3 in 5 – The majority of respondents evaluate durability when purchasing dispensers. 
  • More than half – Fifty-seven percent of buyers check the cost of the dispenser.  
  • 1 in 3 – Thirty-three percent of those surveyed want touchless dispensers. 
  • 38% – Many buyers want restroom dispensers that can limit paper waste. 

According the survey, nearly 8 in 10 respondents (79 percent) would prefer to buy restroom paper products that are proven to reduce the risk of toilet clogs. Papernet brand’s Bio Tech toilet paper uses Biologic Active Tissue Paper (BATP) technology to accomplish this. When the paper comes into contact with water, it produces enzymes that target buildup in pipes. After about four weeks of continual use, Bio Tech will reduce the risk of clogs, and can provide total savings of up to 40 percent compared to standard toilet paper.

At the show, Papernet also introduced two new dispensers designed to reduce paper waste. The HyTech Auto-Cut Jumbo Roll Tissue (JRT) dispenser uses a mechanism that dispenses toilet paper sheets without needing to touch the unit. The dispenser is crafted from durable plastic materials and offers 15 percent savings compared to traditional dispensers.

The Touchless Roll Towel dispenser also offers 15 percent savings by dispensing a second paper towel sheet that is shorter than the first. Facilities can customize the paper-saving mode by selecting the desired savings percentage (zero percent, 12 percent or 25 percent), the time delay for the second towel and the sheet length (9 inches, 12 inches or 15 inches). 

For more information about Papernet’s Bio Tech toilet paper and HyTech dispensers, visit


Jonathan Davison, Beverage Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, identifies the defining beverage market trends in 2018:

1. Company diversification:

1.pngResponding to a game-changing shift in consumer attitudes towards health and wellness, carbonated soft drinks giants looked to protect their volume and value sales through category diversification. Delivering on its promise to become a "total beverage company", Coca-Cola led this trend through a wave of acquisitions across multiple industry sectors, as well as revamping the marketing of Diet Coke and Zero Sugar.

The company also expanded into other categories such as dairy alternatives, increased its energy and juice drinks portfolios and made its presence felt in Foodservice with the £3.9bn acquisition of Costa Coffee.

2. Combatting packaging waste:
2.pngThe strength of consumer demand for sustainable packaging solutions is driven by industry collaboration and company innovation.

Over 106 brands signed up to the UK's 'Plastic Pact', while PepsiCo joined Nestle, Danone and Origin Materials in the NaturALL Bottle Alliance. When asked about the effect of a tax on plastic products, *79% of global consumers indicated their shopping behaviour would change. In the UK, Government and industry have reflected this sentiment in a number of actions this year.

The Gov’t continues its consultation on a UK wide deposit return scheme (DSR) for drinks containers. Starbucks introduced a 'latte levy' of 5p on single-use paper cups, Carlsberg launched its pioneering 'snap packs' solution to bond packs of multiple cans together without using plastic rings and a number of resealable and recyclable can innovations have been launched.

3. Cannabis-infused drinks:
3.pngFunctional beverages continue to play an important role in the beverages market with the perceived health benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) driving a surge of interest amongst young consumers in 2018. 

This emerging sub-category has caught the attention of the biggest players in the market. Constellation Brands and Molson Coors made significant investments in August and both Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are keeping a watching brief on developments.

4. Blossoming plant-based sub-category:
4.pngVegans and vegetarians make up just *7% of the world's population so it is significant that attitudes to plant-based drinks from non-vegetarians shifted markedly in 2018, as the multi-layered benefits of these drinks became more apparent. The growing consumer interest in this sub-category has taken it mainstream, with market volumes set to increase by **5% in 2018.

Key developments in 2018 included Coca-Cola’s relaunch of its dairy-free smoothie brand AdeZ and the introduction of a range of plant-based milks under its Innocent brand, together with new launches from Starbucks and PepsiCo. 

5. Individualism and self-tailoring:
5.pngGlobalData's latest report, ‘‘TrendSights Overview: Individualism & Expression - Exploring the impact the Individualism & Expression mega-trend has on innovation across the FMCG space,2018, reveals thatconsumers are looking for more bespoke, individual experiences, with 61% of global consumers expressing an interest in creating their own products.

In the crisps market, Walkers’ ‘Salt 'n' Shake’ provides a good example of how well this concept can work and some soft drinks brands are now including similar options for customization. Kolibri Drinks launched of a range of botanical products this year which allow consumers to tailor the flavour and sugar content themselves, by using a syrup-based sweetener stored in the cap. This concept could be widely adopted by ready-to-drink (RTD) formats, providing consumers with more choice by offering customisation with convenience.


iToronto, ON (Nov, 20, 2018)  - Canada’s Quesada Burritos and Tacos, known for reinventing classic Mexican cuisine, officially launches the Ancho Braised Tofu Burrito at its 114 locations nationally today. The new item debunks the myth that meatless means flavourless, and aims to win over vegans, vegetarians and hardcore carnivores alike.

“A lot of vegetarians and vegans are flavour-challenged and many folks think going meatless means they have to sacrifice flavour,” said Steve Gill, Founder and Chief Recipe Officer, Quesada. “With Ancho Braised Tofu, we’re redefining what meatless means. We’re excited to constantly innovate and are already thinking about our next mouthwatering meatless menu item.”

Quesada’s social media efforts involve support of noted fitness expert influencer Kale & Krunches. In addition, Quesada will kick off its #QuesadaVegChallenge this month, where Canadians can help develop the next meatless menu item, to be launched in early 2019.

Made with roasted tofu, braised in a delicious homemade ancho and chipotle pepper sauce, the Ancho Braised Tofu burrito has a smoky-sweet flavour. Peppers known to traditional Mexican cuisine like pasilla, ancho, and morita varieties, and a flavour-packed blend of spices, such as cumin and cinnamon, give it that ‘extra kick’ Quesada fans keep coming back for.

According to research, about 10 per cent of Canadians don’t eat meat, marking a 3 per cent increase in the last 15 years. At the same time, trends such as meatless Mondays and changing attitudes towards health are causing meat-eating Canadians to modify their diets to include more vegetables.

“We are committed to offering all Canadians, no matter what their dietary preferences, the tastiest tacos and burritos in the country,” said Gill.


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