Consumers are gobbling up food trends faster than chefs can dish them out. Get ahead of the trends, boost sales, and attract more customers with these tips for adding 2023 flavor trends to menus.
A staple of Filipino cuisine, this purple yam exploded on menus last year and has grown 75 percent on menus over the past four years. Featured in everything from ice cream to waffles, rolls, cocktails, and even beer, it seems that ube can do no wrong. It’s healthy, a social media superstar, and it’s versatile enough for several menu applications. Put it in pancakes to add excitement to breakfast menus, serve it as a mousse for dessert, or mashed as a healthy side option to pair with entrees.
While its original relative is mainly seen as a fall spice in pies and candy, spicy maple is on track to make its way to menus and take the spotlight away from hot honey this year. Swap it in to bring a new level of flavor and excitement to waffles, chicken wings, granola, or even combine it with butter to top your dinner rolls, steak, or roasted chicken. It caters to the “swicy” trend that emerged last year, and there are endless possibilities for infusing this flavor into your menu.
Fun with Fungi
Food trend forecasters declared 2022 the year of the mushroom, and experts predict they will continue to grow on menus this year. Becoming trendy again during the pandemic when many took up the hobby of fungi foraging, mushrooms soon sprouted up on menus as a popular plant-based alternative to meat. In fact, 40% of consumers say they plan to purchase plant-based meat substitutes in 2023, with nearly 50% of millennials being the most likely. Offer it as a protein option for plant-based diners to swap in for sandwiches and tacos, serve it up as a savory appetizer, or on a burger using Performance Foodservice’s Peak Fresh Produce® Portabella.
You Need Yuzu
Coming in with the surge in interest for international flavors, this sour and tart fruit can be used in everything from desserts to cocktails. Whisk it into salad dressings, punch up the ordinary Mojito, whip up a dipping sauce for chicken or shrimp satays, or a glaze over salmon. It can also be used in soups, so the new year is the perfect time to test out yuzu on your LTO menus if you haven’t experimented with it already.
We Can Pickle That
Fermented foods saw an immense surge in popularity during the pandemic, with health-conscious consumers not only buying them but making them at home. Pickled veggies have pushed their way into the spotlight and pickled strawberries are the next act waiting in the wings. Pour them over cheesecake for a savory topping, as a simple syrup for cocktails, or pair them with goat cheese to serve atop toasted crostini. Want to take it a step further? Consider adding pickled cherries to your menu with Performance Foodservice’s West Creek® Vinegar.
Success with Sisig
Another Filipino food driven by the growth in popularity of this cuisine, the crispy, tangy dish is dressed up with calamansi, onions, and chili peppers. Adventurous eaters will love trying out something new, and 2023 is the year to ramp up your culinary creativity. And you can serve it as an appetizer or main dish. Add eggs, try out different pepper varieties, a unique blend of house spices to make it your own, or even swap in some tofu for the vegetarian crowd.
Salsa Macha Madness
This cost-effective and versatile condiment hails from Mexico and is made from dried chiles, garlic, seeds, and nuts and then fried in oil. And just as chile crisp and chile oil reigned supreme on menus the last several years, salsa macha will be the new condiment in town on menus this year. Serve it up alongside grilled fish, over fried eggs, on a taco, or even to add a spicy kick to vanilla ice cream. It’s sure to light up tastebuds and get guests talking.