New Texas Pete® Dust Dry Seasoning includes some of America’s fastest growing dry spices
June 4, 2018
Fresh Flavors for A Menu Mainstay
February 15, 2019

Flavor Trends Emerge at The Flavor Experience

Texas Pete® plugs you into the latest menu opportunities.

Those that know restaurant food trends know that Newport Beach in August is the place to be. In it’s 14th year, The Flavor Experience draws the biggest chains and the best observers in the multi-billion dollar business of restaurant food. Texas Pete® has been a Pinnacle Sponsor of the event for years.

The first night was magical made possible by serving a spicy cotton candy using new Texas Pete® Dust Dry Seasoning encasing a shrimp on a stick. Texas Pete® also demonstrated a trend-forward technique for smoking food by serving octopus that had been sous vide and marinaded in Texas Pete® Honey Mustard Sauce with fresh vegetables. Wow!

Trending menus were shared during general and breakout sessions throughout the conference. These insights will be showing up more and more on restaurant menus as chain menu developers will drive the next round of innovation. Here are nine, there are plenty more:

  1. All-Day Breakfast Dining + Brunch – All-day menus broke a few years ago with success. The new twist is the diversity in ingredients for familiar breakfast fare. A few examples include the use of veggies, bacon, cherry tomatoes and roasted corn headlined as two eggs any style. Two-egg toppers will also emerge with perhaps a poached egg atop scrambled eggs. Here is one more—steal cut oats with a savory connection of bacon, mushrooms and shallots.
  2. Get To Know Rostis – They are a Swiss dish consisting mainly of potatoes, in the style of a fritter or a potato cake. Rostis’ and hash browns are trending and look for them in a variety of applications, such as part of a breakfast sausage biscuit that also includes and egg and grape jelly. Rostis as a crispy addition to a salmon salad or look for hashbrowns as part of a breakfast taco with eggs, spinach and avocado.
  3. A Different Kind of Egg is Caviar – Get ready for a variety of domestic caviar as an addition to fine dining and fast casual fare. You will see it as a garnish in a variety of colors from trout, sturgeon and other species on salads, appetizers and entrees.
  4. An Old Dip is Back – Look for fresh-made French Onion Dip to appear alongside hummus or pimiento cheese as trending chip or veggies appetizers.
  5. Healthy Menus 3.0 – The first wave was about taking away flavor and fat. The second wave was about feeling good about what you are eating (e.g. organic). Healthy 3.0 is about functional foods. Millennials and Gen Zs want to ask food, “What are you doing for me?” Thus, foods that have a healthy benefit to the body are big in our future. Cayenne pepper as an anti-inflammatory is just an example. Other ingredients with functional benefits include: turmeric, fermented veggies, blueberries and even cannabis.
  6. West African & Jollof Rice – While Middle Eastern and Indian foods are still emerging, trend spotters have West African fare is on the radar. One example is Jollof Rice, a dish consisting of rice, tomatoes, tomato paste, palm oil, onions, salt, spices and Scotch bonnet peppers.
  7. Acting Like Cake – Look for dressed up croissants to emerge. Decorated like a cake on the outside and filled with sweet goodness inside, this is a tasty trend most will love. Found in restaurants and Chinese street food, a variation is called ‘Dirty, Dirty Bread’ comprised of a croissant stuffed with chocolate cream and sprinkled with cocoa powder.
  8. Hot Cucumbers & Radishes – Tied to the continued growth of veg-centric foods, look for cucumbers and radishes from deep fried to hollowed out and topped
  9. Cold Brew Cocktails – The recent growth of cold brew coffees are moving to alcoholic beverages as the trendy bars in NYC, LA and Chicago. Bourbon drinks and Cold Brew Old Fashions as well as the use of black teas offer to add some caffeine and bold flavors to old favorites.

From past experience at the event, several of the key trends discussed will grow on menus nationwide. Texas Pete® is happy to share the insights to assure that your menu stays ahead of the curve.