Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

Five Ways to Maximize On-trend SKUs Managing operations while keeping up with trends

  1. Analyze and focus on the bigger macro-trend influence of a flavor or ingredient. Consider how the trend driver aligns with your operation instead of focusing on the specific flavor or ingredient.
  2. Maximize a new flavor or ingredient for multiple menu or LTO cycles, introducing it in creative new ways and formats across your menu versus jumping to the next “it” trend.
  3. Run a successful LTO flavor or ingredient for multiple years (three or more), at its cycle time/season, leveraging the proven consumer appeal instead of creating new LTOs each cycle.
  4. Turn the equity you have from one existing star flavor or ingredient on a core menu item into a new menu creation on a different menu category or with an LTO feature.
  5. Showcase seasonal items to maintain brand relevancy. This is a natural opportunity to change out or enhance less desirable SKUs and perpetually optimize new seasonal flavors. Use that new seasonal ingredient to test the elasticity of your menu and to gauge consumer reactions to price and new flavor experiences.

For more on keeping up with flavor trends while staying true to your brand read out The Innovation Game feature.

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About The Author

Rob Corliss

ROB CORLISS is a three-time James Beard House guest chef with more than 20 years of experience that includes running world-class hotels, launching new concepts, working in top marketing agencies and, currently, owning a consulting company, ATE (All Things Epicurean), focused on flavor, menu and restaurant innovation. Based in Nixa, Mo., he has an energizing passion for food and is dedicated to connecting people to their food, environment and wellness.