CHICAGO — Let’s be honest: One of the biggest highlights of the National Restaurant Association Show is the food.
It’s where operators and self-proclaimed foodies can literally take a bite out of the hottest trends to hit foodservice. As CSP Daily News perused the Show, which was held May 18-21 at McCormick Place in Chicago, it was clear that plant-based foods are gaining steam, while spicy, ethnic and bite-size foods remain as popular as ever.
Click through for 10 food finds that could have a place in a c-store …
Tofurky Plant-Based Pockets
Tofurky, long a major player in the faux meat segment, debuted its new Plant-Based Pockets at the Show. The calzone-like products feature plant-based meats and vegan cheese wrapped in a whole-wheat crust. Three varieties are available: Pepp’roni Pizza; Turk’y, Broccoli & Cheddar; and Ham & Cheddar.
Jackfruit is known for its meatlike flavor and texture, perfect for creating plant-based tacos, barbecue sandwiches and more. The Jackfruit Co. offers the high-fiber meat alternative in Naked, Smoked Pulled and Tex-Mex varieties, each of which is free from soy, gluten, dairy, nuts and cholesterol.
California Authentic Loop Churros
J&J Snack Foods’ California Authentic Loop Churros can serve as an appetizer, snack or coffee pairing. For a more decadent experience, the handcrafted, Spanish-style treats can be paired with numerous toppings, including chocolate sauce, sprinkles and cookie pieces.
Hormel Bacon 1
Bacon 1 from Hormel is a precooked bacon that can be finished off in a convection oven in half the time it takes to cook raw bacon, the company said. The versatile product can be used for a variety of applications, including burgers, breakfast sandwiches and salads. For the Show, Hormel showcased the savory meat in a sweet maple-chai glaze.
Tyson Nashville Hot Chicken
Tyson brought the heat with its new Nashville Hot Chicken, available in boneless wings as well as breast and thigh fillets. Tyson’s recipe features a combination of cayenne pepper and chile powder. Operators simply heat the fully cooked chicken before tossing it in the sauce.
Cooked Perfect Chicken Fries
Burger King may have made “chicken fries” a thing, but Home Market Foods is looking to put them on the map with its Cooked Perfect Chicken Fries. Ideal as a grab-and-go snack, the Chicken Fries are made from tender, all-white meat chicken and contain 10 grams of protein and 210 calories per serving. Original and Spicy varieties are available.