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

Sponsored Content
green smoothie

From DanoneWave Away From Home.

Not so long ago, finding non-dairy milk in a supermarket dairy case was a challenge. But these days, that aisle is bursting with plant-based beverage choices—cow’s milk alternatives crafted from soybeans, nuts, grains or coconut, as consumer demand for these beverages has grown exponentially. According to Euromonitor, worldwide sales of non-dairy milk alternatives more than doubled between 2009 and 2015.

Millennials and Gen Zers, many of them already accustomed to drinking dairy alternatives at home, expect to see some of those same choices...

Industry News & Opinion

George Washington University in Washington, D.C., is adding an additional $200 in dining dollars to each student's dining plan this fall, The GW Hatchet reports.

The boost comes just a year after the university switched to an open-format dining plan that allows students to spend their entire meal fund off campus; allowed venues include about 90 grocery stores and restaurants.

While students support the new plan, they are concerned about dining affordability. In conjunction with discounted meal deals that were implemented last semester, school officials hope the extra $200...

Ideas and Innovation
breakfast restaurant food

This March, past FSD of the Month Randy Lait and his team gave the FoodService Director staff a tour of the operations at North Carolina State University. During our visit, Randy shared how data is affecting their menu creation and menu mix. At the university, they’re encouraging chefs to use big data—and not just gut feelings—to inform menu decisions.

Every foodservice operator wants to offer more contemporary items in order to please their customer base and keep chefs challenged and engaged. Many chefs make those decisions based on their own tastes, or what’s exciting them at the...

Ideas and Innovation
french press

While a French press isn’t a tool found in most noncommercial kitchens, operators might want to think twice about multiple uses for this fancy coffee maker. Staff at the Hard Rock Cafe are using the French press to muddle fruit and alcohol for their mixed drinks, while at Chicago bar Moneygun, bartenders use a French press to blend spices and tea for hot toddys.

FSD Resources