Churros evolve to become mainstream desserts

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Consumers’ love affair with ethnic foods wouldn’t be complete without dessert.

From rolled ice cream to churros, globally inspired treats are increasingly becoming mainstream on U.S. menus.

According to Technomic's 2017 Flavor report, 62% of consumers said they buy ethnic or ethnic-inspired foods from restaurants and other foodservice locations at least once a month. Meanwhile, nearly half of consumers said they consider ethnic flavors generally appealing or extremely appealing.

Increasingly, these consumers want ethnic foods that are authentic. Technomic’s 2018 Ethnic Food & Beveragereport found that, of the 87% of consumers who order ethnic foods or foods with ethnic flavors, 32% are willing to pay extra for authentic ethnic fare.

Among the ethnic desserts gaining traction in the U.S. is Thai rolled ice cream, which was among the top trends forecast in the National Restaurant Association’s What’s Hot Culinary Forecast for 2019. Another trending ethnic dessert includes alfajores, a shortbread cookie sandwich popular in Argentina that is dusted with powdered sugar and traditionally filled with dulce de leche.

Similarly, churros are another treat that has been rapidly expanding on U.S. menus in a variety of forms. The crispy-yet-chewy fried pastries are often topped with sugar or cinnamon and can be filled with a variety of sweet sauces or jellies. They are often served with a chocolate or caramel sauce for dipping and can serve as a breakfast item, a dessert or an anytime snack.

Churros have long been popular among Latino and Hispanic consumers in the U.S. and have been gaining popularity across the broader population. Menu mentions of churros increased more than 3% in over the last year, according to Menu Monitor.

They are appearing in a variety of forms and flavors and offer operators the opportunity to menu an authentic dessert or snack item that can stand alone or serve as a base for their own creations.

The Black Ant, a Mexican restaurant in New York City, offers Uji Matcha Churros with prickly pear gel and uji-matcha sugar, for example.

Churros have also become a popular snack at both Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif., and Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla. The parks offer churros in several different foodservice venues throughout the parks and feature a variety of forms and flavors, often themed for the season or tailored to specific areas of the park.

J&J Snack Foods Corp. offers several churro products for the foodservice industry, including

OREO® Churros made with Oreo® Cookie pieces and Oreo Crème. They’re perfect for creating a dessert base that’s unique to a restaurant’s menu—a fusion of comfort food favorites and ethnic flavors are a sure win when it comes to desserts.

*OREO is a registered trademark of Mondelez International, used under license.

Other varieties of churros include California Churros®, a more traditional style churro that is coated with cinnamon sugar and available in a variety of sizes and fillings, as well as a swirled Churro bun™! For health-conscious consumers, J&J’s Tio Pepe’s 51% Whole Grain Churros are perfect, and they’re designed specially to meet school lunch requirements—great for kids!

As consumers increasingly seek out globally inspired foods and flavors, churros offer operators an authentic, handheld, anytime ethnic dessert that can be served in a variety of ways in a broad range of foodservice venues and formats.

This post is sponsored by J&J Snack Foods