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

Ideas and Innovation
chicken wings

We started advertising our chicken wings as halal wings with assorted sauces. Our inspiration was to inform customers of an option that was available but not widely known. By changing our approach to our marketing efforts, we were able to exponentially increase participation in the consumption of our halal menu items.

Managing Your Business
busy kitchen

While catering a wedding for a previous employer years ago, Rahul Shrivastav—now director of catering at University of Michigan—found himself in a panic when an elevator malfunction put salad service on hold. “The wedding was in a very old building and the elevator had issues,” he says. “We had 200 plated salads in the freight elevator when it got stuck. The dinner needed to start—they were doing their toasts.” In a panic, Shrivastav hustled up a plan B: His team would station a chef outside the ballroom, and he’d plate new salads right there.

Luckily, the elevator was fixed in...

Ideas and Innovation
soup sandwich

Aside from Black Friday shoppers, there may be no crowd of people more eager to get to their bounty than wedding guests headed for the passed appetizers. While they’re surely thrilled for the bride and groom, that feeling comes second to the thrill of landing that first shrimp skewer—especially after a long ceremony. Same goes for work-related cocktail parties. Caught up in an awkward conversation? Oh look, it’s the mini-grilled cheese guy!

This month, FoodService Director takes a deep dive into catering, from the latest and greatest in menus to starting a new program at your...

Ideas and Innovation
shrimp lemon

In an interview with Bon Appetit magazine, Victor Clay, a line cook at Nobu Dallas in Texas, reveals his two simple tricks to prep an average of 15 to 20 shrimp per minute.

First, use kitchen shears to split the back of the shrimp. Then, before removing the vein, run the shrimp under cold water, which will loosen the vein. This cuts down on cleaning time, and prevents cooks from having to soak and rinse the shrimp afterward.

FSD Resources