CHICAGO — Consumer demands for flavor innovation have resulted in a variety of international dishes emerging on c-store menus. Although sandwiches, hot dogs and wraps still dominate in convenience, Mexican fare grew on 15.5% of c-store menus in 2019—more than any other type of item, according to Technomic’s Ignite menu data. This growth is a result of c-stores in general adding more ethnic options to meet growing consumer demand, Technomic said. Kwik Chek Food Stores offers chorizo tacos on its menu, while QMart, a division of Northwest Petroleum, offers a variety of international dishes such as Vietnamese banh mi tacos and Indian samosas.
What follows are four products that meet the global flavor trend, as well as additional insight from Technomic.
El Monterey Burritos
Ruiz Foods’ El Monterey Burritos are now available in half-pound (8-ounce) formats. The company has also launched new flavors, including Chicken Fajita; Shredded Beef Steak & Cheese; Egg, Bacon, Cheese & Salsa; and Egg, Sausage, Cheese & Potato. While the nutrition facts differ per variety, each contains 430 to 500 calories and 19 to 25 grams of protein. They can be cooked in conventional ovens or heated in the microwave.
Doritos Flamin’ Hot Limon
Frito-Lay’s new Doritos Flamin’ Hot Limon variety brings a Latin-American twist to the chip brand. They are available in 9.75- and 2.75-ounce bags. While “limon” traditionally means “lemon” in Spanish, the definition varies by country. In Colombia, the word means lime, while in Mexico, limon is used for both limes and lemons. In this case, Frito-Lay uses limon to add a lime flavor to its spicy chips.
Curried Riced Cauliflower
Plant-based food producer Caulipower will release its new Riced Cauliflower this summer. One flavor is an Indian-inspired Curried Rice Cauliflower, which is made with cauliflower, cilantro, sunflower oil, curry powder, turmeric, yeast extract, dried onion, dried carrot and more. The product is also gluten-free and keto, and it has 100 calories per cup.
Coconut and Rice Chips
Asian-American snack brand Dang Foods has launched new flavors for its Coconut Chips and Rice Chips portfolios. Sticking with its Thai-inspired varieties, the products include Tropical Mango Coconut Chips and Toasted Sesame Thai Rice Chips. The coconut chips are made with Thai coconuts, while the rice chips are made with Thai rice grains. Both items are plant-based, dairy-free, non-GMO certified, gluten-free, soy-free and made without preservatives.
Chinese flavors in chicken dishes grew 5% at U.S. foodservice in 2019— more than any other flavor for chicken items, according to Technomic’s 2019 Flavor Consumer Trend Report.