Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development




By Flavor & The Menu
January 21, 2021

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Flavors on the Road
Going the distance with takeout and delivery

A lot is riding on flavor when it comes to successful takeout menus. Always important, flavor building is even more critical here because it’s compensating for a few shortfalls that are inevitable in the takeout model. Texture and temperature often take a hit during transport, and of course, a brand’s hospitality gets muted once outside of its four walls. Developing assertive, complex flavors leads to a winning takeout strategy.

Staple condiments carry trending flavors nicely, giving operators a way to capitalize on the takeout model while optimizing ingredients. Here, we offer up five go-to condiments with trend-forward ingredient combinations aimed at dialing up a signature flavor experience for off-premise dining.


Togarashi Mayo: mayo + lime juice + togarashi + rice wine vinegar
(fish tacos, shrimp tacos, loaded fries)

Thai Curry Mayo: mayo + red curry paste + ketchup + lime juice
(grilled chicken or turkey sandwich)

Sweet Umami Mayo: mayo + miso + honey
(pork belly sandwich, deviled eggs)

Pickled Ginger Mayo: mayo + pickled ginger + furikake
(poke bowl, California sushi rice bowl, salmon fillet sandwich)

Provençal Mayo: mayo + capers + Dijon mustard + champagne vinegar + tarragon
(salmon cakes, fish and chips)

Spicy Tunisian Ketchup: ketchup + cumin + harissa
(shawarma burger, Mediterranean-style hash browns)


Peach-Ancho Barbecue Sauce: barbecue sauce + peach marmalade + ancho chile powder
(turkey burger, brisket sandwich)

Spiced Apple Barbecue Sauce: barbecue sauce + apple butter + garlic hot sauce
(ribs, wings)

Spicy Root Beer Barbecue Sauce: barbecue sauce + root beer concentrate + poblano peppers
(pulled chicken or pulled pork sandwich, baked beans with bacon)

Bulgogi Barbecue Sauce: barbecue sauce + gochujang + Asian pear
(Korean sticky ribs, grilled steak sandwich)

Hot Passion Barbecue Sauce: barbecue sauce + Sriracha + passion fruit purée
(shrimp rice bowl, fried chicken sandwich)


Hot Pepper Jam: habanero + orange marmalade + apple cider vinegar + honey
(grilled cheese sandwich, mac and cheese)

Apricot-Bourbon Jam: apricot jam + bourbon + malt vinegar + cardamom
(waffles, pancakes)

Five-spice Apple Jam: red apple + onion + Chinese five-spice powder + Chinese black vinegar
(pork bun, charcuterie kit)

Tomato-Harissa Jam: tomato jam + harissa + brown sugar
(BLT, artisan toast)

Caramelized Shallot & Espresso Jam: bacon + balsamic vinegar + shallots + espresso + honey mustard
(brisket sandwich, burger, breakfast sandwich)


Coffee Butter: butter + coffee grounds + cacao nibs
(steak topper, bread service)

XO Butter: butter + XO sauce
(dumplings, loaded baked potato)

Smoky Blueberry Butter: butter + blueberry powder + chipotle
(steak topper, French toast/waffles

Tamarind Butter: butter + tamarind powder
(bread service, fried chicken)

Honey Sriracha Butter: butter + wildflower honey + Sriracha
(roast trout or branzino, fried chicken)


Hot & Spicy Ketchup: ketchup + Buffalo hot sauce
(hot dog, burger, loaded fries)

Smoky & Spiked Ketchup: ketchup + bourbon + chipotle powder
(hot dog, burger, loaded fries)

Umami Ketchup: ketchup + red miso + tamari
(hot dog, burger, loaded fries)

Korean Ketchup: ketchup + gochujang + brown sugar
(hot dog, burger, loaded fries)

Roasted Pineapple Ketchup: ketchup + roasted pineapple + soy sauce
(hot dog, burger, loaded fries)


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