Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development




By Dina Paz
March 2, 2021


With the proliferation of nut- and oat-based “milks” comes a focus on better quality and mouthfeel that makes the switch from dairy milk to plant-based alternatives near seamless. The better these products continue to perform, the more consumers will demand and enjoy them.

As brands continue to innovate around plant-based offerings, expect to see growth in culinary products formulated for chefs seeking a thicker and richer dairy experience. We’ll see a wider selection of plant-based cheeses that cover the spectrum of hard/sharp to soft/creamy and the deliciously funkified.

Operators would do well to expand into comfort-food offerings that are indulgent and plant-forward, such as Biscuits & Roasted Mushroom Gravy, Hot Cinnamon Churros with Coconut-Caramel Sauce or Dirty Chai Ice Cream made from almond milk.

Follow Atlanta-based Slutty Vegan’s example by going all-in with over-the-top burger builds oozing with vegan cheeses. Creations like a plant-based chicken sandwich with vegan ranch, a Philly “steak” sandwich with vegan provolone, and indulgent burger builds with melty, plant-based cheeses prove that plant based-dairy can indeed be craveable.


About The Author

Dina Paz

DINA PAZ has over 20 years in the food and beverage industry, during which she has gained broad experience in helping national foodservice chains innovate, develop and scale brand-sincere products. After earning her culinary degree from the Colorado Institute of Art, she trained in esteemed, fine-dining restaurants in Denver, then transitioned her focus to food R&D. As Managing Director, Culinary for SRG (Sterling-Rice Group), she has been successful in bringing to market numerous CPG products, as well as participating in menu development and innovation for national chains. [email protected]