Menu

3 ways to add global flavors to a K-12 menu

Ramen noodles
Photograph: Shutterstock

Global flavors are experiencing a serious popularity boost across the country. DoorDash reports that Mexican, Chinese and Tex-Mex were their top ordered cuisines in 2020—with Taiwanese, French, Filipino and Australian food on the rise.1 One audience in particular has an especially fond appreciation of these flavors: Gen Z. 

Going global doesn’t have to mean being 100% knowledgeable of the cuisine, either. Simple recipe additions can bring a dash of global flare to any menu. For those building menus for K-12 schools and Gen Z students, try these three tips for experimenting with flavors from around the world!

Craveable carbs

A simple bread substitution like pita or tortillas can change the whole personality of a dish. One of the most popular carbs for Gen Z is ramen noodles—which score in the 96th percentile for that age group.2 Ramen is delicious in its natural habitat as a soup but can also add a delicious crunch straight out of the package when added to a salad.

Exciting sauces

Younger eaters are more adventurous with their choice in condiments than other generations. While Gen X likes more mild condiments like Dijon mustard and Italian dressing, Gen Z gravitates more towards Asian flavors like gochujang and eel sauce.3 An easy way to test one of these flavors with a younger audience is to make a limited batch dipping sauce and serve it next to ketchup and mustard. Who knows—that sriracha-infused condiment might be a big hit served with french fries!

Flavor-filled products

Want to know one of the simplest ways to take the work out of adding global flavors to a menu? Buy low-prep—or no-prep—products that already have them infused, such as  Pillsbury™ Cheesy Pull-Aparts, which come in a delicious Southwest Queso flavor.

Eager to discover more delicious, exciting flavors that K-12 nutrition specialists can offer for breakfast, lunch and a la carte? Click here to learn more about Pillsbury™ Cheesy Pull-Aparts and other globally-inspired products today!

1 DoorDash, State of Flavor in America, 2020

2 Datassential Food Bytes, Vol. 84, 2021

3 “Awesome Sauce: Exploring Condiment Trends,” Datassential, 2019

This post is sponsored by General Mills Foodservice

Want breaking news at your fingertips?

Click here or text FSD to (877) 281-7554 to receive text alerts from FoodService Director and get the news and insights that matter to your operation.

Trending