Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development




By Lisa Shames
May 12, 2022

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Brittney Hollinger

Brittney Hollinger

Creating new standout menu items in the quick-serve space requires aggressive flavor innovation, an approach Wendy’s deftly applies as it pairs new bold flavors with classic, beloved dishes. Take, for example, Wendy’s Hot Honey Sauce, which stars in two new sandwiches: the Hot Honey Chicken Sandwich and the Hot Honey Chicken Biscuit. “The sauce forges two flavor profiles, sweet and spicy, to bring forward something explosive and mouthwatering,” says Brittney Hollinger, Specialist, Culinary Innovation.

“Our Hot Honey duo is the perfect example of passion, collaboration and patience coming together. My team and I love exploring new flavors and knew we could take the hot honey trend up a notch,” she says. “We nailed the perfect balance of sweet yet spicy in the sauce by bringing a secret weapon into the mix—the habanero pepper. It brings forward fruity, citrusy flavors offering a spicy kick alongside its sweet flavors.”

Wendy’s Hot Honey Chicken Sandwich features a spicy chicken breast topped with pepper Jack cheese, applewood-smoked bacon and crispy pickle chips, plus a drizzle of the new sauce. And while that sauce is the star, the accompaniments are key elements, as well. “Fan response to the crispy pickle chips has been incredible. They combine the distinct flavor of a dill pickle with the fried crunch of a potato chip—the perfect bite, every bite,” says Hollinger.


About The Author

Lisa Shames

Lisa Shames has combined her lifelong passions for food, restaurants and travel into a 20-plus year career of writing about the equally passionate people who make it all happen. [email protected]