Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

Custom Culinary® Flavor Partners Showcase

Hearty chicken soup with ancient grains - get the recipe here


Bo Chhay, Sr. Manager, Brand and Insight Development, Custom Culinary®

By Bo Chhay, Sr. Manager, Brand and Insight Development, Custom Culinary®

Briefly describe Custom Culinary® and its role/relevance for foodservice operators.

Custom Culinary® has been perfecting the art of flavorful food for over 70 years. Custom Culinary® draws on this experience to deliver the most authentic culinary flavor systems to our Foodservice, Chain Account, and Food Processing partners.

And today, this passion could not be more relevant, as culinary expectations have shifted dramatically. America’s fascination for how food is experienced, how it is celebrated, and most importantly, how it is created has fundamentally changed forever.

We believe that “true”, “real” and “authentic” are the only options for delivering unsurpassed flavor. And we are unwavering in our commitment to deliver incredible taste, texture and other sensory qualities in our bases, sauces, gravies, soups and flavor systems. While our roots remain true to the culinary ideals and expectations of our founders, we aspire to help our customers take their menu and offerings to new heights. And as a global company, we enthusiastically embrace the importance of global and regional influences.

Our culture is built on supporting our employees, their families, and associations who are committed to serving individuals living in our surrounding communities. Our success is directly related to the advancement of our customers and a strategic approach to business management; ethically and responsibly growing our customers’ brands while ensuring food safety excellence via our BRC certified manufacturing facilities.

Custom Culinary® is dedicated to enabling our customers’ innovation through our continued exploration and advancement of food and flavor.

Hearty Chicken Soup with Ancient Grains recipe

Our Gold Label True Foundations™ contains clean, simple ingredient decks that deliver incredible made-from-scratch flavor and can be used in both hot and cold applications, including sauces, soups, and marinades.

See an example of its use in this delicious recipe for Hearty Chicken Soup with Ancient Grains.

How does Custom Culinary® provide menu development solutions?

With ever-changing business needs and customer demands, it can be hard to identify how to create winning menu concepts/strategies over and over, in a predictive way. But that’s where Custom Culinary® comes in. Through the creation of FlavorIQ®, which is a thoughtful insights-driven approach to innovation rooted in culinary expertise. We turn trends into reality with exciting new dishes that meet your operational needs, delight your customers and exceed your expectations.

Here’s how we do it:

We get to work quickly to evaluate your menu opportunity, through proprietary industry research.

We want to develop menu items that align with your innovation goals and brand vision. Using trend-mapping techniques, we identify major flavor trends and match them to the best fit for your brand and customers.

By analyzing what consumers are hungry for today, we can generate new product and menu ideas for tomorrow. We validate concepts through consumers to accurately measure how items will perform once they hit your menu.

Predictive insights and solutions. With an understanding of how a new concept is expected to perform once it hits your menu, you’ll have the confidence to launch innovative, on-trend menu offerings designed to drive traffic and bolster your brand personality.

How do your products inspire operators and consumers?

New Gold Label True Foundations™ Bases from Custom Culinary® were developed with the needs of both operators and consumers in mind. The clean labeling movement indicates that consumers are more interested in the story behind their food than ever before. 54% of consumers are calling for more menu transparency. In fact, 68% of consumers want food and beverages with ingredients they can recognize. (Technomic, The Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report, 2016.)

For operators this is more than a trend, it’s a change in mindset—taking pride in everything on the plate, starting with the foundations of every dish. That’s why our innovative Gold Label True Foundations™ Bases focus on flavor, not unpronounceable or unnecessary ingredients.

Gold Label True Foundations™

  • Clean, simple ingredient decks deliver incredible made-from-scratch flavor
  • Can be used in both hot and cold applications, including sauces, soups, and marinades
  • Available in two pack sizes: 6x1 pound tubs and 20 pound pails

Gold Label True Foundations™ Bases contain NO:

  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP)
  • Added MSG
  • Gluten (tested at less than 20 ppm gluten)
  • Disodium inosinate & disodium guanylate (I+G)
  • Artificial colors
  • Artificial flavors


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