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That's A Wrap Whatever happened to the hottest meal in town?

By Laura Tiffany

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

For the past few years, the trendy, quick meal of choice hasbeen wraps--exotic ingredients wrapped inside brightly coloredtortillas. Wraps were touted as the gourmet meal forhealth-conscious consumers on-the-go--how else could you stuff thefour major food groups into an edible wrapper and eat it in thecar?

But now the hype has passed into a barely audible murmur. Willwraps stick around? "The wrap concept was successful and stillis," contends Julie Malveaux of the National RestaurantAssociation. "What we're seeing is a [redefining] of thecategory instead of a plethora of wrap restaurants out there."Which means wrap restaurants are now adding complementary itemslike smoothies, traditional sandwiches or ethnic foods to theirmenus, and nonwrap eateries are deciding whether wraps would be aprofitable addition to their traditional offerings.

Other experts say time's up for the wrap's 15 minutes offame. "It's not unusual in the restaurant business forpeople to get highly interested in a food item," says RaymondCoen, a restaurant marketing consultant in Pacific Palisades,California. "During the trial or novelty period, it generateshigh sales, then levels out and starts dying." Coen believessome wrap concepts may have staying power but only because so muchof the competition is shutting down.

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