Responding quickly to consumer tastes, preferences, trends and the latest flavors is essential to remain competitive and profitable. Our monthly ‘Menu Innovations’ showcases recent developments in the foodservice sector that are proving popular with customers locally and globally.
1. Native American concepts go back to the future
Indigenous foods tap into current healthful dining trends, and a growing number of Native American restaurant concepts are introducing consumers to America’s ancestral ingredients in a way that couldn’t be more on trend. Click here to read the full story https://goo.gl/X2JR6b
JG Neil suggestions: Corn, beans, squash, chile, tomato, potato, turkey, vanilla and cacao feature as popular ingredients. Talk to us about the wide variety of relevant ingredients available via our distributors such as The Peterson Company https://goo.gl/T3xpnv and via our manufacturers such as turkeys from Norbest https://goo.gl/cexNf5
2. Four new twists on tacos
Taco menu mentions are up 17.4% at colleges and universities year over year, according to Technomic’s MenuMonitor data. And fish is by far the fastest-growing taco protein, up 61.5% over the last year. Click here to read the full story: https://goo.gl/5b00ju
JG Neil suggestions: Talk to us about a wealth of ingredients for tacos including fish from Great American Seafood https://goo.gl/DdB29H, Mexican salsa and sauces from La Victoria https://goo.gl/u5ho5s, guacamole from Wholly Guacamole https://goo.gl/Idt0S and a broad variety of ingredients from Unity Foods https://goo.gl/kxwpzS.
3. Beverage Flavor Profiles Millennials Crave
A diminished interest in sweetness is changing how operators craft their beverage menus. Click here to read the full story: https://goo.gl/M8hPt0
JG Neil suggestions: Follow the trends for sour, spicy and reduced sweetness in drinks; use ingredients such as chili and jalapenos. Talk to us about sourcing relevant products from Apple Foods https://goo.gl/aquMo3
4. What’s (Really) Old is New: An Ancient Ingredient Makes a Comeback
Health-conscious consumers are discovering ancient grains, which offer nutritional benefits as well as inventive menu applications. Click here to read the full story: https://goo.gl/sl0XPW
JG Neil suggestions: Hummingbird Wholesale provides a range of grain alternatives including quinoa and barley – see their full range here https://goo.gl/R4odKg
5. Indian food catches fire
Indian food has long played second fiddle to cuisines that are trendy in the U.S. Aficionados admire it, but the general public greets it with a shrug. Click here to read the full story: https://goo.gl/TIG3TQ
JG Neil suggestions: Indian food covers a wide range of flavors and styles; from vegetarian to protein-based dishes. Talk to us about sourcing quality products such as chicken from George’s https://goo.gl/svAv6h , and spices from Apple Foods such as curry, chilli and garlic https://goo.gl/aquMo3
6. What’s cooking for breakfast on the go?
Crafting intriguing new portable options could be the way to entice time-poor consumers. Here are four ways operators are thinking outside the breakfast burrito when it comes to handheld options. Click here to read the full story: https://goo.gl/Wq6O3C
JG Neil suggestions: Re-create the parfait in a cup-to-go using Zoi Greek Yoghurt from Auburn Dairies – https://goo.gl/U6SRvz
7. Seven menu surprises popping up in noncommercial
Here are seven ‘aha’ moments operators and industry folks shared at FoodService Director’s MenuDirections Conference in Charlotte NC. Click here to read the full story: https://goo.gl/QzMWx9
JG Neil suggestions: Use locally sourced ribs from Oregon Beef Company https://goo.gl/p4XfLD to develop similar styles of recipes.
8. The Year of Brisket
Consumers and chefs agree barbecue remains a hot commodity. The demand is up for smoked sausage (+19%), beef brisket (+12%) and beef ribs (+16%) for dinner—a trend non-commercial operators say they are also noticing.
Cilck here to read the full story: https://goo.gl/CiVIrt
JG Neil suggestions: JG Neil services a wide range of local and quality distributors who provide the latest in ingredients and products such as Brisket Choice from Corfini Gourmet – http://corfinigourmet.com/beef.htm
9. Trendinista: Polenta shows off its flexibility
Move over pasta and rice; polenta takes the plate. Cilck here to read the full story: https://goo.gl/k6j0xo
10. Three dessert flavors on the rise
Rosemary – herbs are migrating from the savory menu to dessert in frozen items, compotes and baked goods
Hibiscus – operators source it as dried flowers or tea, then steep it in sugar syrup or another liquid to use as an ingredient in desserts – especially in combination with fruit and berries.
Yuzu – Yuzu is sourced mostly as juice or a puree, so operators initially used it to flavor cocktails and Asian appetizers. Click here for the full story: https://goo.gl/4QpcaJ
11. Protein Still Important
Food Service Directors need to keep meat and protein-based sides on the front burner despite the trend for veg and grain. Vegetables and grains have stepped into the spotlight, thanks to the “flipping the plate” trend, but protein is still an important part of a balanced diet. Sources including meat, cheese, nuts, and meat alternatives such as tofu and tempeh can and should still be on the plate—albeit as a side dish or topping rather than the main event. Click here to read the full story: https://goo.gl/lbRB4h
JG Neil suggestions: Talk to us about sourcing quality and local ingredients from a wide variety of manufacturers such as Great American Seafood, Rose Packing Company, Emmi Roth, Bruce Pac, Alouette and our distributors such as Oregon Beef Company, MaccDonald Meats, Rays Meats, US Meats, Childer’s Meats, Peterson Company and many others.
12. Spring is here
The earliest local salad greens, asparagus, berries and other seasonal vegetables and fruits are also arriving to freshen up menus—so the timing is right to incorporate some spring produce into the lineup, starting with these recipes. Click here to read the full story: https://goo.gl/5vpwzE
13. Fresh take on fries
Fries are offered by 50% of limited-service concepts. For three new innovative ways of presenting fries, click here
JG Neil suggestions: Add cheese to fries for a more tempting dish. Talk to us about Peterson Cheese – https://goo.gl/RuyRRO – and their wide variety of cheeses; both local and internationally sourced.
14. Five Crossover solutions for Dietary Restrictions
While just 15% of consumers overall follow some sort of restrictive diet, including vegetarian and vegan, 21% of younger diners fall into this category, Technomic’s Center of the Plate: Seafood & Vegetarian Consumer Trend Report finds.
Fortunately, operators are coming up with a bevy of creative ways to meet the reality of these challenges while fitting a variety of diets and lifestyles. Click here to read the full story: https://goo.gl/gQzwIV
15. Healthy Options for Business Diners
Putting nutritious options front and center feeds employee and company wellness goals.
Growing numbers of corporations also share this commitment to health, making healthy menu options a marketing advantage for restaurants and caterers. Click here to read the full story: https://goo.gl/VRhjP3
JG Neil suggestions: Talk to us about Harbor Wholesale healthier eating options – https://goo.gl/8hGLNS