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Flavor Trends: On the Menu in 2008

By: Joanna Peot, Mintel
Posted: November 10, 2008

Wondering which flavors and ingredients will rule in 2008? From fast food to fine dining, Mintel Menu Insights has identified five restaurant menu trends likely to explode in the New Year. Echoing American’s growing health concerns and desire for more natural foods, these flavors and ingredients will breathe new life into flavors across the country.

1. Superspices

Just beginning to receive recognition, “superspices” have been shown to contain more antioxidant power than already-popular superfruits. In 2008, expect spices such as cinnamon, ginger and anise to grow on restaurant menus as people seek out their health benefits. 

Cinnamon is already common in breakfast and dessert entrees, but it will likely appear more in 2008. Baker’s Square serves a Maples Inn Signature Blueberry Stuffed French Toast that contains (antioxidant-rich) blueberries in blueberry sauce topped with cinnamon. The superspices work well in sweets, but they can also enhance the flavor of savory entrees. Clio Restaurant demonstrates this by enhancing its luscious Foie Gras Terrine with Concord grape, yogurt and candied anise.

2. Ancient Grains