Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

Pizza’s Next Move Adding textural finishes for signature craveability

This Buffalo & Crispy Jalapeño Sausage Pizza brings the heat with Frank’s® RedHot® Original Buffalo Wings Sauce, then doubles down with a topping of French’s® Crispy Jalapeños.
PHOTO CREDIT: The French's Food Company

We’ve seen so much flavor play in modern pizza development, where chefs consider each element carefully, building complexity of experience while also differentiating their offerings. Texture helps weave a unique narrative, perhaps through cooling, crisp fresh greens or a crispy bite of battered onions.

“We see pizza operators finishing a pizza once it’s come out of the oven with textural additions like crisp salads or crispy vegetables,” says Trip Kadey, Research & Development Chef for The French’s Food Company. “This adds a signature touch, unique appearance, texture and flavor. This approach is ideal for dining-room service.”

Through the pizza lens, that next-level texture shows up in a number of creative ways, carrying trending flavors that elevate pizza, such as hot, bright or savory—all while delivering another layer of texture, building craveability with every bite.

Certainly, the textural component can be a creamy dollop of burrata, like Bestia in Los Angeles does to finish its Burrata Pizza, with San Marzano tomatoes. Castelvetrano olives, oregano and fermented chiles.

But crispy elements bring a big impact. At Illinois-based Gia Mia, crispy potato tops the Sweet Onion and Bacon Pizza.

And charred Brussels sprouts make the Brussels & Bacon Pie at Railroad Pub & Pizza in Burlington, Wash.

“Chefs are seeking to discover innovative ways to complement their menus with ingredients that not only provide texture but a touch of heat,” notes Gary Patterson, Executive Research Chef/Director Culinary Science for McCormick. “These additions create memorable points of differentiation that customers crave and return for.”

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