Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

Caramel Comes Clean Caribou Coffee | based in Minneapolis

PHOTO CREDIT: Flavor & The Menu Staff

Responding to the shift toward transparency in ingredients, Caribou Coffee is striving to incorporate clean-label items, starting with real vanilla syrup and recently adding real caramel sauce. The caramel contains four ingredients: water, pure cane sugar, cream and butter. “It’s made in the classic way of caramelizing the sugar and adding cream and butter until it’s rich and creamy with dark, earthy notes,” says Andrew Kraus, senior manager of food and beverage innovation and management. The coffeehouse’s new Salted Caramel Budino showcases the caramel sauce, combined with espresso and topped with a mixture of steamed cream, milk and a touch of salt. “First the salt hits your palate, then the sweetness of the caramel comes along,” he says. The caramel sauce is a hit on its own and in LTO offerings like the Caramel High Rise and Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate. It will also become one of the concept’s flagship ingredients, signifying Caribou’s efforts to go clean. “We plan to convert all syrups to the clean label standard by the end of 2016,” notes Kraus. “We know that clean-label offerings are increasingly important to our consumers, and meet the taste standards we set for ourselves as a premier coffee brand.”

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