The annual lists of trends keep evolving, yet the overall direction is clear: most people are very focused on the flavor, story and substance of the foods they eat every day. And inspiration for operators is everywhere, thanks to chefs’ creative efforts to meet today’s customer demands.
Starting with plants
Plant-based foods continue to dominate trend lists and get a lot of applause on sites like Pinterest, too. But the customer-winning dishes are flavorful, fun, indulgent, and often appeal to meat-eaters, too. Like a delicious patty made with chickpeas, black beans, lentils, Markon® Mushrooms and Cauliflower, wrapped in a pita. Or even a Roasted Beet Reuben topped with kimchi, chopped pickles, and Cobblestreet MKT.™ Swiss slices. Plus Katy’s Kitchen® Ketchup and Mayo: Guests add flavor bursts from nicely branded tabletop containers – or single serve packets when the sandwich is to-go.
Bowls are big
The customization trend continues! And for many successful operations, that means bowls. Start by menuing choices of protein, such as new Cobblestreet MKT.™ All Natural* Ham, Turkey and Roast Beef. Then there’s an endless array of vegetables to offer, from fresh avocado to smoked jackfruit. For on-trend crunch, try Katy’s Kitchen® Nuts or Croutons. It’s also easy to market bowls for delivery: A one-dish delight can be simple to transport. And single serve condiments like Katy’s Kitchen® Hot Sauce and Buttermilk Ranch can go right into the bag!
Delicious flavor and incredible versatility make plant-based purées a menu star. Consumers are ordering it in appetizers and main dishes, even as a sandwich spread. It’s also a great snack dip, taking dunks from pita bread, crackers and cruditiés. Tasty, appealing inclusions for hummus include chopped olives, nuts, fresh herbs and spices. Or, use it as a base for COP, like Paleo-focused Gold Canyon® Premium Lamb ragu and flexitarian-focused roasted cauliflower. For gluten-free takeaway, partner hummus with crispy vegetable sticks in sturdy ProPak® containers!
It’s time to consider the sales benefits of menuing and promoting clean-label choices like Regal Crest Farms® Natural* Reserve Chicken. With the powerful attraction of USDA process verified, No Antibiotics Ever (NAE), this versatile and delicious protein attracts health-conscious consumers. Try Green Chile Chicken Soup with Butternut Squash, inspired by global cuisine and sure to be a fall favorite.
All-day breakfast continues to rise and shine, and there’s real appeal (and profits) in upgrading your flapjacks. Toppings can do the trick. Like maple syrup simmered with finely ground Ridgeline® 100% Colombian Coffee, and crisp-cooked, chopped Shamrock Foods Bacon. Or create a “cinnamon-roll” finish to your LTO pancakes: Melt Shamrock Farms® Butter and combine with Katy’s Kitchen® Cinnamon and Nutmeg, plus brown sugar. Pipe the pancakes with cream cheese frosting and sprinkle with Katy’s Kitchen® Walnuts.
Clean meat options
Even casual meals and snacks are important to health-conscious customers. Introducing premium Cobblestreet MKT™ All Natural* Deli Meats. Call out all the benefits on your menu and in your promotions, from “no artificial ingredients” to “no nitrites or nitrates!” Even better, use the marketing materials available to showcase the Cobblestreet MKT.™ brand in-house and reinforce the “quality here” message. As for easy recipes, an Italian style Panini featuring our All Natural* Ham, Mozzarella, fresh basil, tomato and Katy’s Kitchen® Mayo is sure to be a winner for fall.
Chefs surveyed by the National Restaurant Association put street-food dishes on their top-trends list for 2018. However you spell it, the “K” street food is king, and great for catering! Customers love the flavor and the opportunity to customize. Gold Canyon Meat Co.® is your source for classic beef and lamb; Regal Crest Farms® Natural* Reserve Chicken brings another favorite protein choice. Meat marinades start with flavor bursts like Katy’s Kitchen® Soy Sauce, Honey, Ketchup and Ginger. Potatoes, pineapple, bell peppers, mushrooms: The possibilities for complementary kabob ingredients are many. And it’s smart to offer them for takeaway with sturdy ProPak® containers.
*All Natural – Minimally processed, no artificial ingredients
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