3 dessert flavors on the rise

By 
Lizzy Freier, Technomic Menu Analysis Managing Editor

yuzu tart

With diners seeking out less sugary treats, savory herbs, floral flavors and Asian ingredients are giving classic desserts a twist that mellows sweetness. Here are three such flavors making waves, featuring growth stats from Technomic's MenuMonitor tool. 

1. Rosemary

rosemary sprigs

Growth: 20%

Today’s consumers don’t always equate dessert with sweet. Herbs are migrating from the savory menu to dessert in frozen items, compotes and baked goods.

Where it’s trending:

  • Farallon (San Francisco)—Strawberry rosemary panna cotta
  • Costa di Mare (Las Vegas)—Rosemary gelato
  • David Burke Kitchen (New York City)—Market berries with rosemary, elderflower liqueur and sheep’s milk frozen yogurt

2. Hibiscus

dried hibiscus

Growth: 300%

Consumers have become familiar with hibiscus on beverage menus, where it’s been trending in teas and cocktails. Now, the flower is crossing over to the dessert side. Operators source it as dried flowers or tea, then steep it in sugar syrup or another liquid to use as an ingredient in desserts—especially in combination with fruit and berries.

Where it’s trending:

  • BLT Steak—Yogurt panna cotta with hibiscus and berries
  • Bice—Molten pistachio and chocolate lava cake with raspberry sauce and hibiscus ice cream
  • Silver Diner—Hibiscus mango soy shake

3. Yuzu

yuzu tart

Growth: 10%

Ethnic influences are bringing citrus fruits other than lemons, limes and oranges into the dessert mix. Yuzu is sourced mostly as juice or a puree, so operators initially used it to flavor cocktails and Asian appetizers. With Asian desserts expected to grow on menus, finds Technomic, yuzu is making its way to the end of the meal, both as an ingredient and a drizzle.

Where it’s trending:

  • Pod (Philadelphia)—Raspberry sugared doughnuts with yuzu curd and raspberry gel
  • Sushi Roku—Yuzu tart
  • Lambeau Field-1919 Kitchen and Tap (Green Bay, Wis.)—Yuzu sorbet, a choice in the Frozen Tundra Trio

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
eggs

Loyola University Maryland took a new approach to all-day breakfast with an egg-focused concept.

Breakfast options were top of mind for students when asked what they would like to see on the menu at the university’s revamped Boulder Garden Cafe. Instead of creating an all-day breakfast station, however, the Baltimore-based dining team went beyond traditional options and created a concept that services all mealparts with eggs.

“It can be somewhat mundane,” says Executive Chef Don Crowther on why the team strayed away from the trendy all-day breakfast. At the eatery’s Sunny...

Industry News & Opinion

The University of Kansas has added a retail pass that allows students to purchase one to-go combo meal per day at cafes and markets on campus, the University Daily Kansan reports.

The pass is available on two different meal plans and is geared toward on-the-go students who don’t have the time to sit down and eat at a residence hall.

“It has increased the participation rate,” Jamie Reed, a service assistant for the school’s dining services, told the University Daily Kansan.

Over 1,800 students have used the pass since its debut at the beginning of the semester....

Industry News & Opinion

The University of Minnesota dining team has created a vegan student group in an effort to improve the school’s vegan offerings, Minnesota Daily reports.

The group was created by the school’s foodservice vendor, Aramark, and its campus sustainability coordinator, who is vegan, after receiving numerous complaints from students about the lack of vegan options on campus.

The group will this week host its first meeting, during which members will be able to share feedback and provide solutions to help enhance the school’s vegan offerings. Members will also keep a photo journal...

Industry News & Opinion

Panera Bread Co. announced today that it intends to buy the Au Bon Pain brand as a way of opening more bakery-cafes in colleges, healthcare facilities, office buildings, travel centers and malls.

Au Bon Pain, which was Panera’s sole business under an earlier incarnation of the company, consists of 304 bakery-cafes. Several units are located in noncommercial venues.

Panera owns or holds the franchise rights to about 2,050 restaurants, few of which are located outside of strip malls.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Immediately after the deal was...

FSD Resources