Let's Chat Snacks

Trend Watch: Foodservice Trends and Innovations to Chew On

photo-1553365857-9cc1a715084fEach year, the Multi-Unit Foodservice Operators (MUFSO) Conference serves up a feast of food and beverage trends.

This year’s conference in Denver dug into a new mix of wide-ranging fare, from the rise of Dragon Fruit (which the market research firm Datassential reports is growing on menus faster than almost any other fruit1), to creative applications of cauliflower, a trending vegetable that has become popular as a lower-carb alternative to starches.1

Among the cauliflower dishes presented were baked chicken crusted with a blend of cauliflower and rice flower, and the riced cauliflower and cheese served at the Hot Concepts reception.2

Wingin' It: Duck Wings Take Off as a Foodservice Trend

The popularity of duck wings, one of the MUFSO’s high-flying trends, exemplifies a global market shift toward quick bites and small portions, which are becoming more and more of a big deal as the pace of modern life continues to accelerate.  

Convenience ranks as the #1 driver of snack choices for adults around the world, according to The State of Snacking: 2019 Global Consumer Snacking Trends by Mondelēz International and The Harris Poll.3 And as chicken wings continue to get premium prices, particularly during football season, it seems the sky is the limit for similar items, like fried duck wings.

Given the ability of wings to satisfy the growing consumer appetite for convenience, it may not be surprising that sales of them as grab-and-go items are poised to reach new heights on the retail level.  As part of the hot food offerings in a chainwide store refresh program that is blurring the line between retail and foodservice, the Stop & Shop chain of supermarkets is rolling out chicken wing bars at nearly 200 locations across the northeast.4

Available just in time for football season and holiday entertaining, the wings are freshly made and fried onsite. Eight flavors of wings are offered hot at self-serve bars in the prepared food section. As Mark Messier, the supermarket chain’s executive vice president of merchandising, explained: “We know our customers are busy, and our new wing bars offer an easy snack, meal or entertaining solution for tailgates or at-home gatherings.”4

Sustainable and Alternative Menu Innovation

Beef as part of the sustainability solution for foodservice operations was another key trend explored at MUFSO. “Both Strauss Brands and Verde Farms had pasture-raised, grass-finished beef available from cattle raised in a way that encourages grass to grow, developing deeper, stronger roots that sequester more carbon,” reported Nation’s Restaurant News.1 “Ideally that process can help mitigate global warming.”5

Plant-based protein also sprouted up at the conference, this time as an ingredient. Vegan chili with crumbled plants as a meat substitute from the plant protein company Beyond Meat was featured as an example of the next generation of vegan meat alternatives.5

Sustainable and better-for-you food trends like these are consistent with findings in Mondelēz International’s The State of Snacking report, which found that the future of snacking is wellness-oriented and balanced. “In the next 5 years," the report states, "people’s top hopes for snack foods are that they become more functional to meet nutritional needs (47%) and provide more personalized nutrition (42%).”6

“At Mondelēz International we believe our consumers shouldn’t have to choose between snacking and eating right,” said Christine Montenegro McGrath, VP and Chief of Global Impact, Sustainability and Well-Being. “And they shouldn’t have to worry about the impact their snack choices have on the world.”7

To learn more about how our trusted brands and culinary expertise can help keep your foodservice operation on trend, reach out below.


1 Thorn, Bret, “9 food and beverage trends to watch,” Nation’s Restaurant News, Oct. 17, 2019, p. 4

2 Thorn, Bret, p. 2

3 Mondelēz International and The Harris Poll, The State of Snacking: 2019 Global Consumer Snacking Trends, 2019, p. 8

4 Redman, Russell, “Stop & Shop bring wing bars to nearly 200 stores,” Nation’s Restaurant News, Oct. 29, 2019

5 Thorn, Bret, p. 5

6 Mondelēz International and The Harris Poll, p. 15

7 Mondelēz International and The Harris Poll, p. 13


Topics: Restaurant Operations, Snacking, Trends, Recipe

Subscribe via email

Discover the Top 2019 Trends to Help Turbocharge Your Business

The Foodservice Fast Lane

Discover the Top 2019 Trends to Help Turbocharge Your Business
Read Article

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all
Visit Recipe Center