3 dessert flavors on the rise

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

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