Incorporating foodservice trends in your menu can give you an edge over the competition. Adapting with the times ensures that you are able to deliver what people want right now. Mondelēz International Foodservice makes this task easier by identifying trends that we believe are poised to go mainstream in 2014 and beyond.

Peanut Butter Shake with OREO 1 BEVERAGE SALES ARE BOOMING

With large profit margins, simple preparation and growing demand, beverages represent a huge growth opportunity for foodservice. Beverages are versatile. They can be a snack or a dessert, a quick to-go item or something to linger over. In 2014, frozen and iced beverages are poised to become more popular, with iced coffees and teas, shakes and smoothies dominating menus.

Peanut Butter Shake with OREO

What does this mean for you?

You can boost sales by offering more iced and specialty beverages. Infuse your ice with berries, herbs, citrus peel or maraschino cherries. Add garnishes such as wild herbs. Or mix in OREO cookie pieces, a crowd favorite for frozen beverages. Make them even more appealing by using unique glassware such as a champagne flute or a mason jar.

Sales of commercial restaurant coffee and specialty drinks have exploded in the last few years, growing more than 20% since 2007¹ to become the leader in foodservice beverage growth.

Lemon-Glazed Cheesecake Bars with Cookie Crust 2 SOUR FLAVOR FINDS FAVOR

Inspired by the prevalence of multicultural cuisine, people are expected to continue to seek big, bold flavor experiences in 2014. Sour items will fulfill this demand in intriguing ways. Chefs will evoke memories of life's simple pleasures with lemonade, lemon bars and lemon meringue pie. Fermented foods (think kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut and miso) and pickled foods (everything from Brussels sprouts to daikon) will be popular in this new flavor movement.

What does this mean for you?

Use sour flavors to embolden your snack and dessert menu. SOUR PATCH KIDS candies offer sour and sweet flavor that you can use in a shake.

EVERY FOOD HAS A STORY

These days, people realize that food doesn't just appear on a plate. There's a process involved, a story to tell. Recently, we've seen this trend come to life with the farm-to-table movement, which makes the stages of food production transparent. Today's socially aware consumers eat up this information along with their snacks and desserts. They want to know where their food comes from and how it's produced.

3
What does this mean for you?

Proudly showcase your story. If your establishment follows guidelines for sourcing food (local, organic, sustainable, etc.), let your customers know what they are. If you use meat or produce from a particular farm, tell people why via the menu or a tent card. Likewise, if a menu item uses a brand with a long and trusted history, feature it prominently.

"

Black Forest Cupcakes with OREO 4

Black Forest Cupcakes with OREO

NEW WAYS TO INDULGE

This year, indulgence means so much more than just rich, decadent dessert. It also describes the way people treat food as an experience. They indulge in smells and flavors, textures and presentation, extravagance and simplicity. They post these experiences to social media, indulging their need to share. And they indulge in food nostalgia. Re-experiencing the tastes and flavors of their youth allows them to momentarily transcend time.

What does this mean for you?

Think of your offering as a complete sensory experience. Creating something memorable may earn you rave reviews, Facebook likes and favorable tweets. Your dessert menu is an ideal place to tap into the retro indulgence trend. Offer small bites of carrot cake with cream cheese icing, Black Forest cake or cherries jubilee to take people back to their childhood.

5 MADE-TO-ORDER & CUSTOMIZATION

There's no denying it: everyone's a little different. And now foodservice operators are recognizing this by bringing meaningful, customizable snack and dessert options to their menus. These made-to-order items allow people to have what they want, exactly when and how they want it. Giving people options and choice not only nurtures their sense of uniqueness, but also gives them a feeling of control and builds loyalty.

What does this mean for you?

Customization may be easier than you think. For example, you can offer a choice of salt, cinnamon and sugar, peanut butter or mustard with a soft pretzel. Desserts such as shakes and sundaes can be customized with ice cream mix-ins, whose use has risen 55% from 2011 to 2012².

TESTING THE LIMITS OF TECHNOLOGY

As technology becomes more integral to our everyday lives, foodservice operators are finding new ways to use it to their – and their customers' – advantage:

  • Mobile devices can be used to order and pay for food.
  • In-store signs and menu boards are going Digital, allowing for frequent, low-cost changes to menu items, promotions, pricing and messaging, and creating a modern atmosphere that's appealing to customers.
  • Tablets on tables can be used to view menus, place orders and pay bills quickly and conveniently, and they keep customers entertained.
6
What does this mean for you?

If your customer base is tech-savvy, you will benefit from staying on top of new technology trends through social media (Twitter, LinkedIn, et al.) and relevant industry e-newsletters/blogs. If you're ready to take the plunge into new technology, determine which high-tech trend will give you the best ROI (return on investment), and consider implementing it in 2014.

HONEY MAID Lil' Squares 7 KIDS ARE PEOPLE, TOO

Kids' nutrition is a hot topic these days. Parents are more concerned than ever about their children's health, seeking nutritional snack options even when traveling or at restaurants. The trend towards sophisticated menu options for kids is also growing. Kids are exposed to multicultural foods from a much younger age, so they often gravitate towards the same bold flavors as their parents.

HONEY MAID Lil' Squares

What does this mean for you?

Snacks and desserts are a great way to appeal to kids, who often need a quick fix for their hunger while the family is on the go. Try offering zucchini chips and whole wheat popovers instead of fries and muffins. For dessert, try wholesome HONEY MAID Lil' Squares and fruit smoothies.

"Queso Fundido" Mac & Cheese 8 LUXURIOUS COMFORT FOOD

Diners are known for homey foods that satisfy not just your appetite, but also your soul. In the last few years, popular comfort foods have moved out of diners and gone upscale. Gourmet burgers feature Kobe beef and black truffles, and ice cream sundaes are topped with Madagascar vanilla beans and gold shavings. In 2014, this trend is likely to extend to other foods traditionally associated with diners. Think upscale meatloaf made with veal, macaroni and rare cheeses, and Pacific bluefin tuna melts.

What does this mean for you?

Any comfort food can become a luxury item when you choose top-notch ingredients. For example, you can create an upscale peanut butter and jelly sandwich by using gluten-free artisanal bread, homemade wild berry jam from a local farm, and the all-natural nut butter of your choice. If the cost becomes prohibitive, consider miniaturizing portions to create unique snacks and desserts.

GET FRESH

When it comes to foodservice, fresh is fantastic! Simply put, freshness provides taste and quality that can't be equaled. The push for fresh foods will continue throughout 2014 and beyond, and foodservice will respond by using more seasonal and local ingredients. At the forefront of this trend, some operators have turned to foraging and in-house gardens, which eliminate the need to source ingredients. Food prepared tableside also implies freshness, and produces a "wow" factor that creates a whole experience.

9
What does this mean for you?

Simple changes can improve freshness. For example, swap frozen food for fresh food and cook from scratch as often as possible. Make salads and sandwiches in front of customers, so they know these items haven't been sitting around for hours.

THE VENDING REVOLUTION THE VENDING REVOLUTION 10

In recent years, the vending industry has come a long way. One sign of this progress is cashless vending. People no longer need a fistful of coins to make a purchase. In 2014, cashless vending will make transactions easier and faster by accepting payment via credit card, debit card, pre-purchased pay cards, mobile apps and even PayPal. Today's vending revolution also features touchscreen technology, like the Diji-Touch® vending machine, and interactive customer experiences, which help attract more people and result in more purchases.

What does this mean for you?

Improved vending technology gives you more flexibility than ever with pricing strategies. You can also benefit from simplified cash management, inventory and re-stocking processes.

SMALLER TREND IDEAS
Maraschino Cherry Waffles with Chocolate Cream-Filled Cookies

Maraschino Cherry Waffles with Chocolate Cream-Filled Cookies

ALL-DAY BREAKFAST/ALL-DAY DESSERTS

People are becoming much more open-minded about eating non-traditional items for breakfast, and breakfast items throughout the day. For example, chocolate is now a popular flavor at breakfast, and eggs are a main course at dinner.

FOOD INNOVATIONS

The croissant–doughnut hybrid took North America by storm in 2013. Now it's time for other food innovations to take center stage. Chefs and recipe developers will look for groundbreaking new ways to combine foods and capture people's hearts.

NUTRITIONAL KNOW-HOW

More and more people want to know what's in their snacks – not only the ingredients, but also the nutritional content (fiber, protein, omega-3s, etc.). In some cases, they want to know what's not in their snacks (gluten, peanuts, sodium, dairy, etc.). In 2014, mainstream snack and dessert menus will provide even more options that appeal to those with specific nutritional or dietary concerns.

¹ The NPD Group/CREST OnSite (r) / YE Dec '12
² Technomic Menu Monitor