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Fall flavors: What’s on the menu at Brizo?

From soups and ciders to pumpkin and all things apple, fall brings with it a distinct set of flavors. It’s that time when cooler temps — and some clever marketing — have consumers flocking to their favorite restos, quick-serves, coffee shops and even food trucks for more comforting fare.

And while food/flavor experts like T. Hasegawa point to overarching trends like “anti-inflammatory”, “energy boosting” and “mental health” in food choices for 2022, the fact is, when fall arrives, customers cling to that desire for warm and cozy.

A few quick stats to set the fall stage…

Dipping into Brizo FoodMetric’s Insights

So what’s on fall menus at Brizo FoodMetrics? We did some foraging into fall menu items and ingredients, drawing from our total of more than 1.3 million foodservice establishments across North America. Following is some food for thought.

Pumpkin

Who doesn’t love a good pumpkin dish? It’s the perfect way to celebrate this fall season! Out of 33,756 independent restaurants, we found that 5% offer “pumpkin” on their menu and within this segment there are many different dietary styles. The most popular are fried food, vegetarian as well comfort foods; the top 3 cuisines types in order are American, Italian and Mexican.

Apple

This is another long-time classic that continues to be a consumer favorite year after year. But apple is no longer relegated to cider and pie; it’s now finding its way into soups, salads and mains. Moreover, according to our research, it surpasses pumpkin on the popularity scale: 237,888 establishments have been identified using Apple as an ingredient.  We are also observing that over 62,000 foodservice establishments that serve salad as the main dish and use apples as an ingredient.

Salted maple

While this mouthwatering twist on the Canadian classic is still relatively scarce on menus — only 180 establishments appear to have “salted maple” on their menus — some industry insiders are predicting that (similar to salted caramel) its appeal will continue to grow.

Mulling spices

While they sound a little exotic and a tad old-fashioned, we plugged mulling spices (a.k.a. cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, allspice) into the Brizo FoodMetrics tool because they tend to be more distinctly fall ingredients used in drinks like mulled wine and hot cider. Brizo FoodMetric’s ingredient filter found over 174,950 locations using these fall spices while the menu keyword finder shows 223 establishments mentioning “mulling spices” in their menus.

Savory and sweet

Savory and sweet are not technically reserved for fall, but the umami zing of pairings like salted maple, chocolate and sea salt, and Nutella and bacon beg for hot coffee and a hand-made sweater. The Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News calls savory-sweet combos “a fun fall trend” for 2022, and notes that pretzel in particular is growing in popularity. According to a recent fall flavors report from T. Hasegawa, 69% of respondents are interested in pretzel-flavored desserts (think McDonald’s Chocolatey Pretzel McFlurry). We decided to scout around for “pretzel” on our platform, and found that 73,651 establishments have “pretzel” listed on their menus — and perhaps it’s no surprise that the majority of them are McDonald’s. 

Butter

This is another fall flavor noted by The Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News, which points out that this foundational ingredient, while universal and perhaps “standard”, is getting more attention these days — and not just the traditional dairy-based variety, but herbed and spiced, as well as alternative nut butters. Our keyword searching shows that “butter” shows up on menus at well over a third of establishments: 324,456 in total, with over half — 193,109 — independent locations. McDonald’s is the leader here, with Wendy’s close behind and Little Ceasars a distant third. “Nut butter” is a little more niche, with only 1,065 establishments listing it — the leader being True Food Kitchens. 

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Back up your research with real-time data

With consumers today continually seeking new flavor combinations — that next taste bud temptation — the general consensus in terms of ingredient pairing, for fall flavors and otherwise, seems to be: If it works together, go for it.

And the highly granular searchability on the Brizo FoodMetrics platform makes it easier and faster to target these ingredients and the establishments that use them, for more efficient prospecting and better informed decision-making

Start searching and targeting today — get your free trial now!

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