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Ice Cream Sandwiches
In terms of portable desserts, the cupcake is over and the donut is dying. Freeman predicts we’ll see ice cream sandwiches on the rise, particularly from food trucks and pop-up restaurants.
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Croissants, hyped by Starbucks with their La Boulange collaboration, are over. Pretzels, which helped Wendy’s narrow losses in the third quarter, are on their way out. Freeman says the new year will bring new interest to the biscuit. And if the absurdly high demand at the new 24-hour Empire Biscuit in New York is representative, he may be onto something.
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Customers are loving unusual combinations. From the ramen burgers at Smorgasburg food market in Brooklyn to the dessert pizza with Nutella at Scala’s Bistro in San Francisco, these Franken-snacks are huge hits.
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2013 saw bar and restaurants debuting distinctive cubes or shaving their own ice. In 2014, Freeman predicts an upswing in ice cubes infused with herbs and other ingredients that add flavor to the cocktail.
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“Tea is going crazy right now,” says Freeman. Starbucks, a force of nature in the beverage industry, made the trend official with the opening of Teavana Fine Teas + Tea Bar. While Teavana isn’t selling cocktails yet, the preview for the opening of the first store in New York offered surprisingly tasty tea bellinis.
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Tableside service can be traditional, like the tableside Caesar salad at Carbone in New York, or like something out of a scientist’s lab, such as the Margarita cart at Stampede 66 in Dallas, where the drinks are frozen with liquid nitrogen. Either way, presentations tableside mean "big bucks" for customers says Freeman.