Fall might’ve just started, but winter weather isn’t far off. Consumers will be craving something hot to melt the winter blues.
In fact, they might have higher—or hotter—expectations than ever. Whether they’re pushing the limits of their spice tolerance or just looking for a slight kick, consumers are seeking more heat this year. This opens up opportunities for restaurants and foodservice operators to bring in customers by bringing the heat.
The portfolio of cozy soups has grown from chicken noodle and tomato to include pho and ramen. As U.S. consumers continue to span the globe for comfort food, restaurants should also venture to different countries and regions to cook up international soups.
Give chicken and dumplings a Jamaican spin with jerk chicken, pumpkin, and yams.
For vegetarian options, head to India for inspiration, where chickpeas, curry, coconut milk, and lentil are common soup ingredients.
Part of the joy of pho, ramen, and pozole are all the toppings consumers can throw on. Have fun with customization by giving consumers a beautiful dish of garnishes to choose from or some unexpected options.
Trendy Tea & Coffee
From boba to moon milk, there’s always a tea or coffee beverage generating buzz and awakening cravings. Baristas and mixologists should capitalize on emerging and global beverages as they get their drink menus ready for winter.
Transition tea to afterhours with tea cocktails and mocktails. For example, add Irish cream to chai tea for a spiked chai tea latte.
Protein coffee—or “proffee”—took over TikTok earlier this year. As the name indicates, it’s a protein-spiked coffee. Often a cold beverage, it can just as easily be made with a fresh, hot brew and elevated with spices, milks, and other mix-ins.
Besides being a delicious cold drink, horchata is a great flavor for a hot latte or hot chocolate. Typically made with rice milk and cinnamon sticks, it has strong vegan appeal, so be sure to stick with plant-based ingredients even while offering variations.
According to 62 percent of consumers, most savory foods taste better with some degree of spiciness. But everyone’s spice tolerance is a little different. Flavored butter is the perfect vehicle to introduce spices to more timid diners. Butter tempers the heat of spices to create a moderate spread.
Ancho chili, curry, harissa, and wasabi are all ingredients chefs can turn to to give their butter an extra kick. For more complex flavors, bring the heat and the sweet with combinations like strawberry and black pepper or honey and jalapeno.
Your Sourcing Solution
Operators don’t need to fear adding spice to the menu, especially as we approach colder months. Visit our website to find broths, spices, and more ingredients to heat up menu offerings.