It’s time to fall in love with the taste of pumpkin all over again. Highlight your seasonal offerings with this traditional, favorite comfort food — now being paired with enticing flavor combinations.

Whether served as a slice of delicious pie, part of a dessert flight with delectable pairings, or blended into beverage offerings, pumpkin is a trendsetter that guests can’t wait to pick. It’s time to re-think pumpkin.

Orange is the New Snack

American consumers of all ages are loving pumpkin, as fall’s favorite comfort food is showing up on more menus than ever. According to research1, pumpkin pie is the one of the fastest-growing year-round pie flavors, with at least 33% growth over the last four years. And of the consumers who have tried pumpkin recently, almost three quarters of them like or love it2. In fact3, two out of five diners want pumpkin spice on menus year-round.

Clean Plate

In addition to craving comfort food, many consumers are focusing more on products made using cleaner ingredients. And pumpkin is a perfect fit for guests seeking cleaner labels. Consumers tend to believe that clean food tastes better, and research shows that almost 50% of consumers prefer clean labels to the alternative.

A number of products on the market fit this criterion, including Chef Pierre® pumpkin pies. They are made without artificial flavors, artificial colors, and no high fructose corn syrup — just what the discerning diner ordered.

Easy As Pie

Pie experts also understand labor and cost challenges in the industry. That’s why brands are crafting pies to serve a restaurant’s needs and help foster creativity. Pre-baked pies save time and labor, and pre-sliced pies come in portion-control slices to reduce waste with 100% yield. Sweet Encore®, for example, offers ready-to-serve pumpkin cheesecake slices, with whipped cream, caramel, and cinnamon to really bring out the pumpkin slice flavors.

Un-baked pies are important to have in stock when your restaurant wants to tout “baked fresh in house.” And unsliced pies give restaurants customizable options for takeout and holiday specials. A recent study found that an unbaked pumpkin pie could generate nearly 70% in profit margin per serving.

Creative Pumpkin Eater

Pumpkin happens to now come in more tempting forms and flavors than ever. Consider fun and playful dessert ideas like “deconstructing” pie and serving layers in a bowl. Enticing “piecuterie” boards with pumpkin slices and pairings such as brulé, citrus cream, or ginger pecan streusel should make some noise on social media.

And you can’t go wrong with pumpkin spice hot toddys or a pumpkin pie milkshake, blended with ice cream, pumpkin spice flavorings, and pie crust crumbles. When it comes to creative pumpkin recipe ideations, the possibilities are pie in the sky high!

1 NPD SupplyTrack, December 2021
2 Datassential Flavor Keynote, 2021
3 Morning Consult, 2021

Content provided in partnership with Sara Lee®.

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