Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development
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Consumers have shown that pent-up demand for dining out is real, and now there are signs that they’re ready to move beyond the limited menus and old favorites and get back to exploration. With 65 percent of consumers tired of cooking at home and 79 percent craving something new1, chains have an opportunity to offer dishes with fresh, natural, authentic ingredients, big flavors, beautiful plate presentations and good value on the menu.

Seasonal flavors offer a simple and quick way to meet diners’ demand for new and special…while seasonal produce delivers on fresh, natural, authentic flavors and eye appeal. Seasonal produce is also an approach to celebrate regional specialties. In fact, preference for domestic origin has grown among consumers with almost two-thirds (64.7 percent) looking for “grown in the U.S.” sourcing.2

When it comes to fresh produce, chains should consider a regional or state-wide accessibility to widen the options of suppliers who will be able to be consistent with their growing practice.

Seasonal Special: California Avocados

According to California Avocado Commission’s proprietary research, customers have a positive perception of restaurants with California Avocados on the menu, with nearly half associating them with healthy menu choices; and more than half perceiving a restaurant serving California Avocados uses fresh ingredients and would be willing to pay more for California Avocados versus imported avocados. Equally important, these customers want the restaurants they visit to feature more menu items with California Avocados.2

Consumers associate avocados—more than any other crop—when the menu item has “California” in the descriptor.2 So, with California Avocado season in full swing, operators have plenty of opportunity to create California-style LTOs featuring California Avocados. To start the culinary juices flowing, the California Avocado Commission offers over 200 foodservice recipes—many developed and contributed by chefs—to browse for inspiration. Recently added recipes showcase California Avocado Cauliflower Ceviche and California Avocado Shrimp Po’Boy.

For more information about the California Avocado Commission foodservice program or to search the CAC foodservice recipe database, visit CaliforniaAvocado.com/foodservice/.

1 Datassential, Seasonal LTOs, April 2021
2 Menu Matters, “Patron preference for ‘California’ and ‘California Avocados’, 2020.”

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