Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

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Innovating Within Ubiquity Breathe new life into late-stage trends with creative flavors and forms

Tapping into Alfredo’s built-in appeal requires the simplest of touches—perhaps a hint of Gorgonzola or an infusion of spices, like ancho or smoked paprika.

2. A-Listing Alfredo

A well-executed Alfredo sauce is a thing to behold—voluptuous, creamy, indulgent. And it’s truly familiar, ranking high among comfort-food cravings with many consumers. Innovation here sees flavor-forward add-ins, like Sriracha or even Buffalo sauce. Using the rich sauce in unexpected carriers also modernizes the profile nicely, such as Alfredo pizza sauces or taco drizzles. “We’ve also seen Alfredo zoodles and avocado Alfredo,” says Datassential’s Darr.

That’s the beauty of playing with a flavor like Alfredo—it anchors the consumer to the comfort zone while providing a canvas for safe adventure. “Take a three-daypart approach to innovation around ubiquity,” says Nick Saba. “Maybe work the flavor into a chicken-and-waffles concept, then work it into a sandwich and pasta, too.”

The familiarity and popularity of dishes like fettuccine Alfredo make it a smart springboard for easy signature innovations.

The familiarity and popularity of dishes like fettuccine Alfredo make it a smart springboard for easy signature innovations.

4 Ways to Make Alfredo the Star

By Nick Saba

Alfredo sauce is a great carrier for unique flavors—not only for pasta dishes, but as a topping for proteins, like fish, chicken and red meat. Here are four ideas:

  1. Steak topping: Alfredo, Gorgonzola or blue cheese, cracked pepper, fresh herbs
  2. Chicken topping: Alfredo, Parmesan, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, fresh herbs
  3. Seafood topping: Alfredo, fresh lemon, capers, garlic, fresh parsley
  4. Appetizer dip: Alfredo sauce embellished with chorizo, roasted peppers, jalapeño, spinach, pepper Jack cheese

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About The Author


Katie Ayoub is managing editor of Flavor & The Menu. She has been working in foodservice publishing for more than 16 years and on the Flavor team since 2006. She won a 2015 Folio award for her Flavor & The Menu article, Heritage Matters. In 2006, she won “Best Culinary Article” from the Cordon D’Or for an article on offal.