Global strategy consulting firm L.E.K. Consulting released this month its U.S. Foodservice Operators Study: Optimism and Opportunities that predicts increased growth in the foodservice industry over the next three years due to leading trends.The foodservice industry reports a 4.9 percent compounded annual growth rate from 2003 through 2012, which significantly rises above the retail industry which was at 3.5 percent, the study shows. The fastest growth has been among QSRs and fast-casual brands since 2007, according to the study.

Gone are the days of planning out each meal for a week and buying everything in bulk at one grocery store. Today’s consumers are replacing full meals with snacks, deciding on and buying their next meal within an hour, and stopping at multiple stores to find what they want.

So you want to start buying foods that are healthy for you and not smothered in chemicals, but does that mean you buy organic? Local? Aren’t those the same thing? No, they aren’t the same thing. Buying organic doesn’t necessarily mean you are buying local and vice versa.

In the first quarter of 2014, quick-service restaurants (QSRs) came to battle and industry analysts say they expect it to continue. Over the span of just a few months, Taco Bell launched its breakfast menu, Burger King came out with the Big King sandwich and McDonald’s responded by offering free coffee during breakfast hours and two Big Macs for $5.

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