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Volume 6 | Issue 01

January 2, 2019

2019 Top 10 Trends Overview

To kick things off, we’re sharing an overview of our key trends—curated from insights gathered by our team around the world. We hope to inspire you and help you uncover business opportunities as we take a monthly dive into each trend. Each issue of the newsletter will feature chef blogs, product recommendations, recipes, videos and consumer research to support our findings.


They may be retro, but they’re definitely not old-fashioned—nostalgic eats like sloppy joes, deviled eggs and the Hot Brown sandwich are being reimagined to add kitschy appeal to today’s menus. Whether they came from Grandma’s kitchen or an old school diner, ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s classics are being elevated with premium ingredients, on-trend condiments and other distinctive touches. We’re seeing everything from fried chicken Eggs Benedict slathered in pimento cheese to beef short rib corn dogs served with smoked tomato sauce. Comforting, craveworthy and instantly Instagrammable, these dishes are truly of the moment. Custom Culinary® Bacon Onion Marmalade helps upgrade a childhood favorite. Spread on sourdough, topped with provolone, blue cheese and pale ale macaroni and cheese made with Gold Label Pale Ale Cheese Sauce, along with pepper Jack and sharp cheddar in our Triple Play Grilled Cheese. View Recipe


It’s one of the oldest techniques known to man—fermentation has been used to preserve and prepare food for thousands of years. And today, chefs are stretching this method to its limits to go as bold, funky and memorable as possible. Fermented honey, radishes, poblanos and black beans are just some of the ingredients adding unexpected flavor notes to dishes across the menu. With current consumer interest surrounding gut health and the human microbiome, fermented foods offer the intriguing possibility of wellness benefits, too. Pickling and other preservation techniques will also continue to grow in popularity, showcasing such items as preserved lemon, pickled eggs, kimchi and fruit vinegars. This bowl of Tonkotsu Ramen Pork Broth includes Custom Culinary® filled with vegetables, noodles, chashu pork and a mirin egg to warm up your menu offerings. View Recipe


Take a seat around the campfire as we examine the culinary heritage of Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Kansas. Hearty, meaty, richly seasoned, this style of American fare is making a comeback as patrons express an interest in the nuances of regional cuisine. Authentic barbecue and chuckwagon classics such as chili, corn fritters, biscuits and peach cobbler bring old-fashioned appeal to contemporary menus. Distinctive flavors including chicory, molasses and sorghum—found in everything from coffee to cornbread—can be incorporated into sauces, marinades and glazes that bring Western flair to dishes across the country. Serve up Tex Mex Turkey Chili featuring slow-cooked turkey filled with pinto beans, green pepper and tomato, seasoned with Custom Culinary® Master’s Touch® Herb Roasted Beef Base, chili powder, Mexican oregano, garlic and cumin. View Recipe


Citrus fruits play an essential role in many world cuisines—served up fresh, juiced or added to salad dressings, sauces, marinades and more. Beyond the common lemons, limes, grapefruit and oranges that patrons already know and love, a wider variety of citrus fruits are taking the restaurant world by storm. Yuzu, blood orange, makrut lime and calamansi are poised to grow as chefs showcase their versatility in dishes that span breakfast through dessert. Whether it’s a Meyer lemon aioli or tartlets with clementine curd and meringue, we’ll demonstrate some of the exciting ways today’s operators can add tart, tangy and complex flavor with citrus. Zesty flavors abound in a Citrus Yogurt Dip, made with Greek yogurt, thyme, lemon, lime and Custom Culinary® Gold Label True Foundations™ Vegetable Liquid Stock Concentrate. View Recipe


 Korean cuisine is steadily making its way onto menus across the United States—thanks to such flavorful ingredients and dishes as gochujang, kimchi, bibimbap and bulgogi. As American palates become more accustomed to Korean flavors, we’re expecting even more fusion dishes to follow in the footsteps of the late 2000’s Korean taco trend. Barbecue, fried chicken, stews and noodle-based entrées are just a few of the staples of Korean cuisine that are primed to make an impact. We’ll take a closer look at these essential dishes, ingredients and cooking methods—and how to adapt authentic Korean fare to a multitude of menu types. Korean Chicken Noodle Soup is the ultimate comfort food, featuring Custom Culinary® Gold Label True Foundations™ Chicken Base, glass noodles, shiitakes, ginger, tofu, poached chicken and kimchi. View Recipe  


What’s new and next in Latin-inspired fare? A desire for authenticity will play a major role in the trend, with regional Mexican, Dominican and Cuban cuisine taking hold. And while tacos, tortas and empanadas aren’t going away anytime soon, experimentation with dishes such as huaraches, arepas and pupusas can be a great way to introduce patrons to new flavors without going too far out of their comfort zones. As we examine beloved dishes (alambres, tostones, pozole) and timeless sauces (pipián, mole poblano, mojo criollo), we’ll discover the flavors that bring nuance and depth to the next generation of trending Latin cuisine. Try our Verde Pistachio Mole—a blend of olive oil, green chiles, pistachios and Custom Culinary® Master’s Touch® Chicken Base—as a flavorful simmering sauce for baked chicken thighs. View Recipe  


With so much innovation in the plant-based burger category, it’s no longer “impossible” to imagine a burger menu with protein choices “beyond” the classic patty. These meaty-tasting-veggie burgers continue to expand their reach in foodservice, but they’re not the only beef alternatives in town. Quinoa and chickpea burgers have demonstrated meteoric growth, and black bean burgers continue to find a place at the table for meat eaters and vegetarians alike. Lamb, chicken and turkey are also ideal platforms for incorporating a wider range of global flavor profiles into the classic format of a burger. Unique sauces and toppings serve as the signature touches that will set your burger offerings apart from the competition. A Hand-Cut Alaskan Salmon Burger, topped with cucumber-fennel slaw, grilled Valencia oranges and Custom Culinary® Gold Label Harissa brings a premium touch to your burger menu. View Recipe  


A majority of today’s consumers demonstrate interest in functional foods—items that are said to have positive effects on health beyond delivering basic nutritional benefits. Gen X’ers and baby boomers desire weight management and low-sodium foods, millennials seek out clean, antioxidant-rich items and Gen Z’ers choose foods with stress-relieving, immunity and alertness-boosting benefits. Functional ingredients initially made their way into beverages and breakfast bowls, but there’s no limit to the power of acai, turmeric, spelt, pea protein, kombu and jackfruit—to name a few. We'll discuss how operators can boost the functional benefits of menu items without sacrificing flavor.
A Charred Beef and Vegetable Grain bowl, filled with Custom Culinary® Gold Label True Foundations™ Beef Base-rubbed flank steak, quinoa and farro prepared in Gold Label True Foundations™ Roasted Vegetable Base serves as the ultimate wholesome yet hearty meal. View Recipe    


It’s a combination that just can’t be beat! Though sweet and savory items have always been in style, the opportunity for innovation lies in the complexity of the flavor pairings. Take chocolate, for example. You may already be familiar with cocoa-based barbecue sauces—but how about a manchego cheese and cherry chocolate bar? Hot honey, infused with pickled chili peppers, can be drizzled on anything from pizza to ice cream. Even classic condiments can take on a new identity with a balance of sweet and savory ingredients (think chipotle ketchup)! From mild to spicy, sweet + savory flavors give signature flair to a range of menu items and can serve to bridge the gap between dayparts. A bit of sweet, a bit of heat—our unique Jamaican Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Soup starts with Custom Culinary® Gold Label Savory Roasted® Chicken Base seasoned with bay leaves, nutmeg, cinnamon, cream and habanero hot sauce. View Recipe    


Beverage inspiration is moving beyond the bar and onto the plate. Tea, coffee, whiskey and beer are just a few of the delicious drinks that infuse the flavor profiles of breakfast entrées, side dishes, sandwich sauces and desserts. Matcha lattes are being transformed into pancake batter. Bloody Mary cocktail sauce is being served up with shrimp and oysters. And bourbon caramel brings sweetly sophisticated flavor to cake or bread pudding. As an added bonus, creative adaptations of these flavors can also boost check averages by encouraging patrons to purchase beverage pairings with their meal. We’ll drink to that! Add a kick with Tequila Citrus Chicken, drenched in a cocktail-inspired marinade of tequila, triple sec, lime and lemon juices, Custom Culinary® Master’s Touch Roasted Garlic Flavor Concentrate and Custom Culinary® Gold Label Chicken Base to add zesty flavor to sautéed chicken and colorful bell peppers. View Recipe  

FlavorIQ® enables our customers' growth and success by approaching the creation of customized solutions with a bold mix of expertise, aspiration and curiosity. We develop unique products, menu concepts and "gold standard" flavor delivery systems, meeting the requirements of our customers today and anticipating their emerging needs, too. The opportunities we identify for operators and food manufacturers on a global scale are rooted in a deep understanding of the culinary arts, sensory science, consumer insights and food science. Our ultimate goal? Innovation without limits.