Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

Author: Katie Ayoub

The Sweet Sell

Best of FlavorTop 10 Trends PHOTO CREDIT: nocredit Familiar flavors reconstructed with pizzazz will entice diners to order desserts like this dramatic strawberry-almond ice cream “sandwich.” Photo courtesy of california strawberry commission. Desserts entice, beckon and enthrall. But they don’t always sell. Here’s how to change that. By Katie Ayoub What drives dessert sales? Flavor, price and opportunity are three clear motivators, but it’s really emotion that rules here. Consumers look to dessert as a sweet reward, comforting salve or earned indulgence. The challenge for operators is in making the desserts so enticing that emotion triumphs over reason and...

Read More

Embedding Healthy Flavors

Best of FlavorTop 10 Trends PHOTO CREDIT: nocredit Healthy offerings need not sacrifice flavor, as with this 320-calorie Mediterranean wrap from Jason’s Deli, featuring an organic wheat wrap filled with oven-roasted turkey breast and a bounty of tasty veggies. Photo courtesy of Jason’s Deli. Five maxims for incorporating better-for-you fare on your menu By Katie Ayoub As an industry, we used to talk about “healthful dining” as a segment. We parsed it into silos: heart healthy, low sodium, low calorie. We accentuated what we had taken out of the meal to meet diners’ restrictions so they knew that we...

Read More

Modern Flavor Migration

Best of FlavorTop 10 Trends PHOTO CREDIT: nocredit Chipotle can convey both familiarity and innovation, such as with Applebee’s new sirloin and chipotle-lime shrimp with fried red potatoes, black bean-corn salsa, mushrooms, red peppers, red onion and a zesty chipotle cream sauce. Photo courtesy of applebee’s. Tracking the trail of iconic flavor systems as they go from edgy to comfort By Katie Ayoub One of the things that makes foodservice so dynamic is the constant evolution of flavor trends. But that steady forward motion also makes it challenging for high-volume restaurants to key into what their customers crave. Familiar,...

Read More

Produce’s Foundational Four

Best of FlavorTop 10 Trends PHOTO CREDIT: nocredit A greater variety of leaf lettuces and the operator’s ability to customize blends to suit their needs are two of the biggest innovations in the lettuce category. Photo courtesy of markon. Potatoes, lettuce, onions, tomatoes — recent innovations are maximizing the flavor of these menu workhorses By Katie Ayoub When we think about menu innovations in produce, we tend to think about the new players on the scene: jicama, kale, pomegranate. These “exotics” certainly add interest, but they make up just a fraction of a typical produce order. What are the...

Read More

Frozen Treats Put Flavor First

Best of FlavorTop 10 Trends PHOTO CREDIT: nocredit Artisan gelato is a big driver in frozen-dessert innovations and Jessica Oloroso exemplifies this trend with clever creations on a stick at Chicago’s Black Dog Gelato. Her whiskey-spiked gelato is dunked in milk chocolate and rolled in crispy, salty bacon. Photo courtesy of black dog gelato. Modern ice cream desserts serve up nostalgic tradition with a topping of artistic innovation By Katie Ayoub What’s new in frozen desserts? Despite the scoopfuls of innovation in flavors, inclusions, edible carriers and frozen-dessert forms, the familiar vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice creams remain fan...

Read More