Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

The Innovation Game Keeping up with flavor trends while staying true to your brand is key to stability and growth

Twin Peaks’ Buffalo Chicken Salad stars Buffalo tenders that are also featured on a sampler app, and the blue cheese also appears in another salad’s dressing.
PHOTO CREDIT: Front Burner Restaurants

Case Study: Pico de Gallo

The secret sauce in a successful cross-utilization tactic is using the SKU across the menu without triggering flavor fatigue. Pico de gallo offers a great case study in how to leverage a high-impact ingredient without making it look like you’re cleaning out the pantry.

We use pico in our tacos, and we also garnish our green chile soup with it. It doesn’t feel like the same product as it’s used in an entirely different context. And we still get that pop of fresh, big flavor that we want in each application.
Jamie Carawan, VP of Food and Beverage Innovation, Twin Peaks

Pico de gallo is a topping on a number of our tacos, but we also cross-utilize it by blending it into our summer gazpacho. There’s a familiarity of flavor, which is great, but not the exact same experience.
Rob Corliss, Executive Chef, Sheridan’s Unforked and Founder, All Things Epicurean

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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.