Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

Eastern Med Meats Trend Insights Insights into the Eastern Mediterranean meats trend from our panel of experts


“The best döner is made from layers of whole-muscle meat and intensely flavored ground meat. Building a döner is an art. The result is lightly charred, juicy, thinly shaved meats that melt in your mouth. Add traditional fresh vegetables and a tangy yogurt sauce for a memorable handheld.”

“Mediterranean proteins are perfectly suited to the grab-and-go nature of our culture—easy to eat with a quick-bite texture and decadent flavor.”

“Hooray for Middle Eastern meats such as shawarma, kafta and döner kebab! Flavorful spices, along with rich meats, crisp produce, bold and creamy sauces, all fit into the cravings of Millennial and Gen Z consumers.”

“There are two strong opportunities here. First, to explore the many different kebabs of places like Turkey. These can have unique flavors and textures—many of which could be replicated in the United States. The other opportunity is to push the gyro to its creative extreme. This could involve different combinations of meats, or additions of other ingredients to the vertical cooker. It could also include new combinations of ingredients within the pita (or another flatbread). Perhaps kebabs and mini gyros as part of a snack food menu, or even breakfast or brunch?”

“The dried, cured sausages from the Eastern Med region also offer really interesting flavors and menu opportunities. Basturma is a fenugreek-cured New York steak, and soujouk is an acidic sausage that hits you with waves of garlic and cumin.”

  From the Jan/Feb 2018 Top 10 Trends issue of Flavor & the Menu magazine. Read the full issue online or check if you qualify for a free print subscription.

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