Strawberries give smoothies a bright, fresh color and mix well with most other flavors, making them a sure bet for any smoothie menu, evident in the surge of smoothies spotlighting the fruit. Also, data indicates that the popularity of smoothies in general is slowly growing. Technomic’s MenuMonitor reveals that smoothies as an add-on increased 21.2% on menus in the second quarter of 2016 vs. the year prior.
McDonald’s McCafé Strawberry Banana Smoothie (pictured): Made with California strawberries, it joins mango pineapple and blueberry pomegranate.
Dairy Queen’s Strawberry Watermelon Smoothie: It’s part of the restaurant’s “Hardest Working Happy Hour” campaign, with drink specials from 2 to 5 p.m.
California Pizza Kitchen’s Fresh Strawberry Mango Cooler: Contains strawberries shaken with Fresca and Monin South Seas syrup, with mango, guava and ginger flavors.
Foodservice operators are answering the call for more snack-sized treats by giving the classic American slider a kick. According to Technomic’s recent Sandwich Consumer Trend Report, 47% of millennials would like more restaurants to offer mini sandwiches as a snack or light meal. As more menus answer this trend with tiny burgers, we expect operators to continue to innovate with different flavors and proteins.
Krystal Co.’s Fired-Up Spicy Chik Sandwich (pictured): This summer limited-time offer featured the brand’s Fired-Up cheese sauce infused with Tabasco sauce, offering an extra branding boost.
Arby’s Buffalo Chicken Slider: With a crispy chicken tender coated in a spicy Buffalo and topped with a Parmesan peppercorn ranch sauce, it joins the chain’s wide variety of sliders.
Ruby’s Diner’s Southwest Slider: This burger features a Cajun-spiced beef patty with pepper jack cheese, salsa, chipotle mayonnaise and Ruby’s hot sauce.
Shrimp is a perennial favorite, and operators have been ramping up the popular seafood with bold flavors. Technomic’s MenuMonitor data indicates that Asian and spicy flavors are current favorites. Asian flavors are the most popular, capturing 15.2% of shrimp entrées. Spicy flavors are featured in 10.8% of shrimp entrées across the foodservice spectrum. Explore the growing variety of shrimp products—from frozen to fully cooked—to test it on your menu.
Hooters’ Buffalo Shrimp (pictured): A limited-time offer earlier this year, it joined Baja Shrimp Tacos and New Orleans Shrimp.
Bar Louie’s Jerk Chicken Shrimp Lettuce Wrap: Combines shrimp, sesame chicken, jalapeño, red pepper, carrot, pineapple, cilantro, rice sticks, ginger and soy sauce, romaine lettuce cups and barbecue and sambal sauces.
Ruby Tuesday’s International Shrimp Trio: Comes with the chain’s spicy and sweet Thai Phoon shrimp, classic breaded and fried shrimp, and shrimp scampi over linguini.