Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development




By Patricia Fitzgerald

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Ashley Balluff

If you suspect that many of today’s pizza concepts are engaged in an unspoken competition for the most audacious pizza builds, count the Crab Rangoon Pizza from Happy Joe’s Pizza & Ice Cream as a serious contender. Whipped cream cheese is spread across a signature dough and topped with real crabmeat before being baked. Out of the oven, wonton strips and drizzles of sweet chile sauce are added, with thin-sliced green onions as a colorful garnish. “It looks as delicious as it tastes,” says Ashley Balluff, Director of Training & Culinary. “With your eyes closed, you couldn’t tell the difference between our pizza and your best crab rangoon experience.”

The kid-centric fast casual keeps its menu fun and flavor-forward with several specialty pizzas that surprise and delight. “We take nontraditional menu items and reinvent them as pizza,” says Balluff. The Crab Rangoon Pizza, promoted heavily during Lent, is the brand’s second most-popular variety, behind its Taco Pizza. Happy Joe’s new Sloppy Joe Pizza is another inventive build combining two favorite comfort foods: pizza and sloppy Joe meat, topped with tangy yellow mustard and dill pickles for an authentic flavor experience.


About The Author

Patricia Fitzgerald

Patricia Fitzgerald is Contributing Editor of Flavor & The Menu, and a writer and content editor for a wide range of clients and media outlets. With more than 25 years at the helm of School Nutrition magazine, she has made the K-12 foodservice segment a particular niche, but her experience also includes work in many other industries and professions, including telecommunications, packaging, disability advocacy, waste management, community associations, small business retailers and more. [email protected]