Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

Menu Trends

Lent’s Momentum

What better springboard for seafood innovation than Lent? Seafood consumption up, and there’s a general uptick in excitement around seafood. The pathway to success follows two strategies that walk hand-in-hand today: flavor and sustainability.

Talking Mac

Mac and cheese serves up a great platform for innovation. More sides and shareables, cast-iron serving pans, bite-sized balls, unique add-ins, and longer noodles are also becoming the norm among trend-forward menus. Doing something different—and doing it well—is key to transforming mac and cheese from a stalwart side into a buzz-worthy bite.

Snack Time

Today, the snacking category is huge, and the bar bite category continues to deliver a world of flavor-forward, fun choices. Candied bacon, meatballs, tots, veg-centric dishes like Crispy Squash Blossoms are all on the menu.

Breakfast Breakouts

There are really no limits to flavor play in the breakfast space. We bring you inspiration. Salmon tacos. Avocado chicharrones. Adjarian Khachapuri – a flatbread from Georgia. A Roasted Pear, Spinach and Gorgonzola Omelette. And much much more.

Awesome Sauce

Sauces are the silver bullet, armed with craveability, uniqueness and, of course, flavor. Their role in plate composition isn’t new, but the opportunity today sees chefs leveraging the culinary might of sauces and wielding it in unique and memorable ways—all with the strategy of building a flavor impact that knocks their guests’ socks off.

Instagram Moments

Instagrammability is becoming part of menu strategy today, particularly when trying to woo younger consumers. It’s not enough to make plate presentation appetizing. Gorgeous colors, interactivity, unexpected flourishes, tableside drama—all make the dining consumer click and share. Here are 12 ways to shine on Instagram, garnering that social-media love.

Cocktail Round-up

To identify what is being done to drive appeal and sales of cocktails at trend-forward concepts, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits set out on its second-annual fact-finding tour. The standout discovery this year is the creative and sophisticated use of high-impact ingredients that introduce unique profiles to classic cocktails. Based on our research, here are four key opportunities in the cocktail category.

BEVERAGE

INGREDIENTS

PROTEIN

PRODUCE

GLOBAL

DESSERT

RECIPES

GALLERY

FROM OUR FRIENDS

These General Tso’s Potatoes are sticky and spicy, featuring buttery-flavored yellow potatoes and a fragrant chile-hoisin sauce.
Pairing classic flavors with potatoes dials up crave
Using peanuts throughout the menu helps convey wellness, sustainability and comfort—all important attributes to younger generations.
7 trend-forward ways to leverage the power of peanuts to resonate with the next generation
Flavors of Italian antipasto easily convert to a handheld with Butterball Sliced Smoked Turkey Breast as the hero of this Turkey Antipasto Panini.
Turkey offers a versatile protein for creative flavor building
Banh Mi Chicken Sandwich on new King’s Hawaiian Original Hoagie Roll. This brand-new hoagie is exclusively for foodservice; it arrives pre-sliced with the hinge intact, making it an easy, out-of-the-bag solution for operators. It delivers on pliability to make it a versatile carrier for big or small handhelds.
A beloved brand gives sandwiches a competitive edge

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