Culinology - May/June 2013 - (Page 6)
Old World bread on the rise
pretzel bun in select markets at the beginning of the year.
“The pretzel bun is a real natural because it brings a lot of
these cues of Old World to an already recognizable item,” said
Kara Nielsen, a trend researcher at San Francisco-based CCD
Innovation. “It has a deeper, darker flavor, and it has a little
artisanal touch to it, even if it’s a manufactured product.”
Pitas, pizzas and paninis
Such a versatile carrier is flatbread, which has
rolled out recently in sandwiches, alongside dips
or grilled with toppings.
“There are so many different variations of flatbread, from your extremely paper-thin lavash all the
way to a thin-crust pizza flatbread,” Ms. Webster said.
“It can be extremely versatile and work across dayparts.”
Tim Hortons last year added flatbread breakfast paninis
Step aside, sesame-seed bun. Take a seat, Texas toast. The top
with sausage or bacon, egg and cheese. This spring, Wendy’s
growing bread on restaurant menus offer a twist on tradition,
launched grilled chicken sandwiches served on multigrain flat-
adding texture and excitement to standard sandwiches. With
bread made with flax seeds, cracked wheat, rolled oats, millet
Old World inspiration and artisanal appeal, pretzel bread,
and sesame seeds.
brioche and flatbreads are on the rise.
“Q.S.R. and fast-casual operators are looking to make standard items seem more interesting and unique and trying to
“Flatbread benefits from a perceived healthfulness,” Ms.
Webster said. “They suggest fewer carbs, less heavy. Flatbread
has a better-for-you halo.”
create more competitive positioning of items without revamp-
As for grilled appetizers, this year’s introductions include
ing the whole menu,” said Maeve Webster, senior researcher
a Tuscan chicken flatbread with marinara sauce and peppers
at Datassential. “Changing the carrier is a fairly easy change
from Fazoli’s, a California grilled chicken flatbread with avo-
compared to other changes you could make. It’s not necessar-
cado and pico de gallo from Chili’s Grill and Bar, and a spring-
ily disruptive to the back of the house from a cost or handling
time flatbread with asparagus, mushrooms and bacon from
standpoint. And you can increase the price point because it
Noodles and Company.
has a more unique, artisan perception.”
The top growing bread between 2008 and 2012 was
pretzel bread, rising at a rate of more than 79%, according
This style of flatbread bubbles up from the recent artisan
pizza movement as well as a trend toward more casual dining,
Ms. Nielsen said.
to Datassential’s U.S. Chains & Independents MenuTrends
“It’s a great shareable appetizer,” she said. “You can offer
Database, which tracks appetizers and entrees across all food
it both with a variety of vegetarian and savory meat toppings.
service segments. Brioche climbed nearly 75%, and flatbread
And because it’s flatbread and not pizza, you can get really
grew 61% during the period.
creative and make a flatbread that suits the brand, whether it’s
No longer limited to ballgame bleachers and neighborhood
a slightly more healthful one or a slightly more decadent one.”
delis, pretzel bread is popping up on mainstream menus as
While tried-and-true wheat bread and wraps remain the
soft-baked sticks, bagels, frankfurter rolls and burger buns.
most popular on menus, according to Datassential, res-
TGI Fridays in April launched a small-plates menu with beef
taurants continue to experiment with the sandwich’s shell.
and Swiss sliders on pretzel rolls, and Blimpie unveiled a tur-
Dunkin’ Donuts tested a bacon and egg sandwich on a glazed
key sub on pretzel bread that will be available nationally this
donut bun this year, and Taco Bell is toying with a sausage and
summer. Wendy’s began testing a bacon cheeseburger on a
egg “taco” packed in a folded waffle.
6 | Culinology | MAY/JUNE 2013
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Culinology - May/June 2013
Culinology - May/June 2013
Table of Contents
President's Letter - Keeping it real
Emerging Trends - Old World bread on the rise
Trends - Predicting what's cool in culinary
Spicy Flavors - What's hot?
Beverage prototypes with a kick
Fats/Oils - Embracing fats (and) oils
Member Profile - Time is on her side
Nuts - Ingredients in a nutshell
2013 RCA Annual Conference
Petits Fours - Morning meal occasion getting a makeover
Whole grains, protein highlight first-quarter menu trends
Culinology - May/June 2013