Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

Protein

Menu Trends > Protein

1.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.

2.Going Upstream

At Modern Market - a fast casual based in Denver that serves farm-fresh, artisan food, including wholesome grain bowls, modern salads and toasted sandwiches - director of culinary operations Nate Weir talks about how he worked to source exactly the right salmon, then showcased it in a Curried Salmon Bowl LTO, before developing a Salmon Caesar Salad that quickly became the No. 2 seller in the overall menu mix.

6.Hooked on Fried

Unique breadings, global sauces, inventive formats and sustainable sourcing paint a picture of the elevated fried seafood landscape of the future.

8.'Cue Up Flavor

Barbecue today invites experimentation—melding Korean with Texan, Carolina with California. It also encourages a push outside of traditional barbecue formats, moving into bar bites and shareables, and adapting flavor systems that don’t typically see a play in barbecue.

9.Championing Chicken

Chicken moves into stardom when chefs show it some love, developing recipes that are delicious and trend-forward. Here are three dishes that stand out—each bringing a different approach to a very familiar protein.

11.Omelette, Oh My!

Signature Flavor: “This dish is a sensory roller coaster. You get smooth, creamy, briny, crispy, smoky, salty, sour—all in one bite.”

RECIPES

This potato-based take on the shawarma boasts better-for-you benefits as well as showstopping creativity.
These Savory Rice Waffles are an innovative, gluten-free offering that appeals to a wide range of diners. Eggs are whisked together with cooked U.S. long-grain rice, savory turkey sausage, spinach, cheddar, cremini mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes. The mixture is seared in a waffle iron to a crispy golden brown and served with a maple-sambal sauce.
This Roasted Pear, Spinach and Gorgonzola Omelette is a sweet-savory take on the classic, boasting elegant flavors. “Gorgonzola can be overpowering, but the sweetness of the roasted pear softens its bite, and the flavors marry well together,” says Kathy Stephenson, director of marketing communications for Pear Bureau Northwest. “It’s a unique and unexpected combination in an omelette.”

FROM OUR FRIENDS

With consumers showing hummus so much love, there’s an opportunity for menu differentiation through creative play in flavor combinations—both in the hummus and atop. Jorge Cespedes brings you five creative ways to top plant-based purées, lending flavor, texture and menu differentiation.
For Spokane, Washington–based chef Adam Hegsted, beef means profits across his restaurant group, from the pure craveability of a Teres major steak, cooked sous vide then grilled, to Spaghetti-Stuffed Meatballs that turn a beloved classic literally inside out.
Vibrant color dinnerware options from Libbey® help your one-of-a-kind plating ideas take flight, creating new looks to complement your venue’s unique character. Serve up an experience that is funky, eclectic or adventurous – and always memorable.
Amid the real concern of rising prices in an ever-changing landscape of labor, transportation, food costs and tariffs, flavor should remain every restaurant operator’s top priority.

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