Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

Author: Maeve Webster

Carrot Craze New ways to showcase carrots are turning this everyday ingredient into a signature menu item

Best of FlavorTop 10 Trends Veg-centric, root-to-stem, as well as an overall greater attention paid to produce, are all propelling carrots from workhorse to star status.PHOTO CREDIT: Thanks to a number of macro trends, carrots are being catapulted into trend-leader position. And that’s despite the fact that carrots have not seen the explosive growth or media coverage enjoyed by kale. But their potential for stardom is evident across foodservice. What makes carrots interesting, for those of us who track this type of thing, is their near ubiquity on menus. As all chefs know, carrots lie at the heart of...

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Grain Salads Whole-grain salads offer a healthful, natural platform for flavor innovation

The world of grains has opened up in the last few years, ushering in a new era of discovery. Bolstered by intriguing, historical narratives and significant health positives, chefs are menuing ancient grains like quinoa, freekeh, farro and barley in whole-grain salads, as both sides and entrées. Bowls have become the modern version of a salad: heartier, driven by global flavor exploration, and perceived as both delicious and wholesome.

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Hooked on Sandwiches Easy upgrades turn the standard fish sandwich into the exceptional

Best of FlavorTop 10 Trends Although fish sandwiches are more prominent during Lent, these sandwiches can translate into year-round opportunities for operators.PHOTO CREDIT: Although fish sandwiches are more prominent during Lent, these sandwiches can translate into year-round opportunities for operators. When entrepreneur Lou Groen invented a sandwich featuring a fried, breaded fish fillet in a steamed bun, history was made and the Filet-O-Fish was born. And while the Filet-O-Fish and its many incarnations may be what many American consumers are most familiar with, today’s diner is looking for flavor innovation in even the most familiar places. As the Lenten...

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Crafting Sodas Carbonated nonalcoholic beverages continue to bubble up new opportunities

Best of FlavorTop 10 Trends BUILDING BLOCKS OF SODA: Six components of carbonated beveragesPHOTO CREDIT: American menus are in the midst of a revolution. Flavor innovation is at an all-time high, as operators leverage inspiration from historical menus and far-flung world cuisines. But perhaps the most exciting and innovative part of the menu is the nonalcoholic beverage category. In the past, patrons may have noticed virtually no difference from one restaurant to another when it came to nonalcoholic beverages. Now, customers have a dizzying array of choices from craft and housemade to international options. One of the biggest changes...

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