3 ingredients that appeal to diners with dietary restrictions

By 
Lizzy Freier, Technomic Menu Analysis Managing Editor

health food medicine stethoscope

It is no surprise that gluten-free and vegetarian offerings top the list of healthy items that operators menu to drive sales, according to Technomic’s Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report. But operators can enhance these offerings and acknowledge other special dietary needs gaining momentum with consumers, such as vegan and dairy alternatives.

Here are three trending ingredients that can address diners’ dietary restrictions.

1. Aquafaba

aquafaba cake meringue

Aquafaba hits on two trends simultaneously—no-waste and vegan. What looks like murky goop in a can of chickpeas that was once saved for the garbage can actually be used as a vegan alternative to egg whites in a wide range of recipes. Kindred in San Diego uses aquafaba as a fizzy foam atop cocktails; Erven in Santa Monica, Calif., features coffee date cookie sandwiches with cinnamon custard and aquafaba; and Root in Wilmington, N.C., uses an aquafaba-based sour cream and vegan taco meat to top nachos.

2. Jackfruit

jackfruit flesh

As Pinterest’s top predicted trend for 2017, jackfruit is the latest superfood garnering buzz. When cooked and sauced or spiced, jackfruit tastes like and has a similar texture to pulled pork. On the plus side, it cooks faster than the meat does. Even Stevens highlights the fruit in its Jackfruit Torta, a sandwich that started as an LTO and has permanently replaced its other vegan sandwich after outselling it 400 times more in the first month.

3. Farro

farro measuring cup

For those looking for a healthy alternative to rice, look no further than farro. The ancient grain delivers more protein and fiber than brown rice and has high amounts of calcium. Bar Frances in New Orleans swaps out rice for farro in its farro risotto with romesco, grilled squash and eggplant. For a gluten-free alternative, try quinoa, which can also be featured in risotto, like in the Grilled Striped Bass with quinoa risotto at Gemma in Dallas.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Dining hall workers at Stanford University in Stanford, Calif., have been asked to remove stickers worn in protest of working conditions at the school’s dining halls, The Stanford Daily reports.

School officials say that the stickers with the statement “Respect and a Fair Workload” go against a union-university agreement that states union members may not wear “insignia [with] any message that is vulgar, profane, or disparaging of Stanford, or that results in conflict or disruption in the workplace.”

In a conversation with The Daily, Seth Leibson, senior organizer for SEIU...

Industry News & Opinion

The School Nutrition Foundation has named its five School Nutrition Heroes for 2018.

The honorees were nominated by their peers and then selected by the SNF for helping end hunger for homeless and low-income students and their families.

Those chosen are:

Paula Angelucci, child nutrition director, Colonial School District; New Castle, Del. Anthony Terrell, culinary specialist, Shelby County Schools; Memphis, Tenn. April Laskey, director of school nutrition, Billerica Public Schools; Billerica, Mass. Lynne Shore, food service director, Willamina School District;...
Sponsored Content
spring desserts

From Bistro Collection® Gourmet Desserts.

Consumers and operators alike often associate seasonal desserts with pumpkin pie, gingerbread and candy canes—after all, winter is a season closely associated with indulgence.

But after the winter holidays, when people are hitting the gym and holding themselves to New Year’s Resolution diets, desserts don’t get as much attention. For operators, this can mean a lag in sales of sweets—but it’s not a lost cause. Updating springtime dessert menus to reflect the change in what diners are looking for can generate excitement and boost...

Industry News & Opinion

Sidney Central School District in Sidney, N.Y., has received $58,783 from the state to improve its farm-to-school program, The Daily Star reports.

The grant will be used to aid in appointing a farm-to-school coordinator and assistant who will help source local farm products for 10 districts in the region for NY Thursday, an initiative where cafeterias attempt to serve meals made entirely by local ingredients every Thursday.

The funding is part of a $12 million award spread among 12 districts throughout the state by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Read the full story via...

FSD Resources