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Volume 5 | Issue 11

September 16, 2019

The New Wholesome


The functional foods trend is making its way from retail across limited- and full-service menus alike. Ingredients such as turmeric, kombucha, matcha and bee pollen are showing triple-digit growth (Datassential, 2019), showing up in everything from soups to salad dressings. While you may not want to call out specific health claims of these ingredients on your menu, you can position them as part of an overall attention to wholesome offerings—letting your patrons make the food and beverage choices that best suit their needs.

In this case, the perception of “better for you” benefits is a compelling selling point. Part of what makes the wholesome ingredient trend so appealing is that patrons can easily incorporate superfoods into their diet rather than having to completely change their lifestyle or behavior (Flavor & The Menu, 2019). So add a bit of kelp to that noodle salad, steam up an activated charcoal latte or griddle up a maitake mushroom burger. You’ll boost the functional benefits of your menu items without sacrificing flavor!

Antioxidant-rich Bok Choy and Salmon, an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids, are just some of the wholesome ingredients in our Charred Salmon in Smoky Thai Broth. Watch our video!

Custom Culinary® products, especially our True Foundations clean label bases, bring a wholesome element to soups, entrées, appetizers and sides. Try these patron-pleasing recipes as inspiration.


Charred Beef, Vegetables, and Grain Bowl 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.


Hearty Chicken Soup with Ancient Grains

A colorful, appealing assortment of vegetables and ancient grains puts a functional ingredient spin on the classic chicken soup recipe, featuring Custom Culinary® Gold Label True Foundations Chicken Base.

Roasted Vegetable Flatbread

This crisp flatbread is topped with a bounty of vegetables—including yellow squash, red pepper and beets, a great source of potassium, magnesium and vitamin C. They’re roasted in Custom Culinary® Gold Label True Foundations Roasted Vegetable Base for additional flavor.

Pumpkin White Bean Soup
This seasonal soup is hearty without being heavy, featuring roasted pumpkin (rich in vitamin A), sautéed vegetables, white beans (containing B vitamins) warm spices, Custom Culinary® Mirepoix Base and Custom Culinary® Whisk & Serve® Cream Soup and Sauce Starter.



Berry-flavored kombucha, Greek yogurt, frozen mixed berries and honey are blended into a “gut-friendly” smoothie,
served in a bowl and topped with chia seed granola, Custom Culinary® Açai and Blackberry Chutney, fresh mint and cacao nibs.

Matcha Yogurt Morning Probiotic Shot

This probiotic-rich drinkable yogurt is made with Custom Culinary® Moringa and Matcha Curd, yuzu and fresh herbs, garnished with matcha-dusted white chocolate shavings.

Keralan Fish Curry Bowl

Flaky whitefish, chickpeas and kale stewed in a savory Keralan curry made with “superfood” Custom Culinary® Turmeric, Kombu and Shiitake Mushroom Broth. Topped with grilled portobello strips and fresh cilantro.

Loaded Falafel Waffle

Chickpea falafel made with Custom Culinary® Vegan Umami Base, cooked in a waffle iron until crispy then topped with charred cherry tomatoes, grilled red onion, fresh cilantro and dairy-free avocado tzatziki sauce—making it ideal for vegans, vegetarians and flexitarians alike.

Jackfruit Shakshuka

Eggs poached in spicy Custom Culinary® Southwestern Jackfruit Chili, served in a cast iron skillet topped with crispy tortilla strips, fire-roasted corn, red onion, crumbled queso fresco and cilantro-lime crema.

Branded Products

Product No. 5334

Gold Label True Foundations Beef Base

This great Beef base delivers authentic made-from-scratch Beef flavor with clean, simple ingredients – using only consumer recognizable Ingredients. 
Product No. 5505

Gold Label True Foundations Clam Base

This great Clam base delivers authentic made-from-scratch clam flavor with clean, simple ingredients – using only consumer recognizable Ingredients.
Product No. 5417

Gold Label True Foundations Roasted Vegetable Base

This great Vegetable base delivers authentic made-from-scratch vegetable flavor with clean, simple ingredients – using only consumer recognizable Ingredients.

Product No. 5417

Gold Label True Foundations Chicken Base

This great Chicken base delivers authentic made-from-scratch chicken flavor with clean, simple ingredients – using only consumer recognizable Ingredients.


  • Moringa and Matcha Curd     
  • Açai and Blackberry Chutney
  • Turmeric, Kombu and Shiitake Mushroom Broth    
  • Vegan Umami Base     
  • Southwestern Jackfruit Chili

*Products are customized; please contact your Custom Culinary® representative for more information.

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Chef Talk

Chef Michael Smith discusses how consumer demand for healthy cuisine has changed over time, with the emergence of unique functional ingredients at the forefront.

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.




Datassential, “Functional Foods” Menu Adoption Cycle, accessed August 2019.
Datassential, “The New Healthy SNAP! Keynote,” 2019. “Flavor Takeaway: Plant-Based Protein,” Flavor & The Menu, August 2019.
“Functional Beverages Trend Insights,” Flavor & The Menu, January 8, 2019.
Katie Ayoub, “Functional Sipping,” Flavor & The Menu, January 9, 2019.
“Love Beets? Learn Which Color(s) Can’t Be Beat,” Cleveland Clinic, July 2017.