CSP Magazine

Three Menu Trends Worth Your Consideration

Queso

A nacho staple, queso traditionally consists of melted cheese and chile peppers. However, Technomic is seeing an influx of nontraditional queso varieties in non-Mexican eateries. Some operators are opting to serve queso in innovative ways, such as atop burgers, while others are incorporating non-Latin ingredients. Technomic MenuMonitor data reveals that queso as an add-on increased 35% on menus in third-quarter 2015 vs. the year prior.

EXAMPLES

Wendy’s Green Chile Quesoburger: A test item in select stores, topped with spicy poblano queso sauce, cheddar, salsa verde, bacon and red onion

BJ Restaurant & Brewhouse’s Sriracha Queso: Served with choice of Piranha Pale Ale chili or pork chile verde, topped with Jack and cheddar cheeses

Johnny Carino’s Italian Queso: Italian cheese blend with green chiles and jalapeños, served with pasta chips


Bacon Jam

Operators continue to find uses for bacon in just about everything, including jam. Bacon jam, a bacon-based relish spread, is popping up on a range of entrées, from burgers and sandwiches to pizzas and steaks. The item increased 47.1% on menus over two years, according to Technomic MenuMonitor data. Now the spread is moving beyond burgers and sandwiches to other applications—and even onto the shelves of grocers and specialty stores.

EXAMPLES

Logan’s Roadhouse’s Pork Chop and Bacon Jam Sandwich: Grilled pork cutlet topped with chipotle mayonnaise, melted pepper Jack cheese, grilled onion and bacon jam

Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano’s Bacon Jam and Roasted Pumpkin Pizza: Bacon jam, pumpkin, mozzarella, Parmesan, fontina and walnuts

UNO Pizzeria & Grill’s Butcher’s Cut Steak with Blistered Tomato Bacon Jam: Sirloin topped with tomato-bacon jam made with caramelized onions


Breakfast Sandwiches

Retail establishments are heavily competing with quick-service restaurants during the morning rush. Technomic MenuMonitor data reveals breakfast sandwiches grew 23.7% on menus from third-quarter 2014 to third-quarter 2015. C-stores in particular are rolling out breakfast hand-helds featuring both traditional and nontraditional ingredients and presentation styles. These items attract on-the-go consumers looking for a satisfying and unique yet value-oriented morning meal.

EXAMPLES

Maverik’s Son of the Beast: Ham, sausage, bacon, fried egg and cheese on a maple-iced doughnut

GetGo’s Maple Cake Breakfast Sandwich: Sausage, egg and cheese between two maple-flavored cakes

Wawa’s Chorizo Sausage, Egg & Cheese Sizzli: Served on a croissant

Royal Farms’ Scrapple Breakfast Sandwich: Eggs, cheese and scrapple—a pork patty blended with cornmeal and wheat flour

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