The Flavor Experience is a premier gathering of food trend experts and chain restaurant menu developers who are hungry for insights into emerging flavor trends. This year’s two-day gathering recently wrapped up in San Diego. Here’s a look at trends that caught our eye that could show up on menus in 2023:
With 3 billion pizzas served from restaurants each year, something unique is always welcome. You’ll be hearing even more about Detroit-style pizza in ’23. It’s baked in square steel pans, modeled after the pans once used by Detroit’s famed automobile manufacturers. The toppings are layered in this deep-dish arrangement with the cheese below the sauce. Pepperoni is often placed directly on the crust, and other toppings may go directly on top of the cheese with the cooked sauce as the final layer, applied in dollops or in “racing stripes,” two or three lines of sauce.
Korean Corn Dogs
Say hello to Korean Corn Dogs.
Made from either sausage, mozzarella cheese, or a combination of the two, these American corn dog cousins drew long lines for tastings. You will skewer and coat this in a sweet, yeasted flour or rice flour batter instead of cornmeal before rolling in a layer of toppings. Common topping choices include panko breadcrumbs, French fries, cornflakes, and even ramen noodles! It’s a great example of food truck fare heading to mainstream restaurants.
Restaurateurs have been fusing ethnic flavors for decades, and the 2023 version is led by Japanese-Italian mash-ups. Why not? Emerging from the pandemic with some of the most popular ethnic (Asian-Italian) cuisines, a typical combination would include Japanese noodles (Ramen, Soba, Yakisoba, and Udon) with a great Italian marinara. Another is a Japanese-style Spaghetti Carbonara.
The trends we have identified are reflective of dishes that can offer higher profit from simple recipes that can be executed by less-trained kitchen staff. Off-the-wall menu items that grab attention on social media are the hopeful next steps in America’s important restaurant business. If you would like to discuss how your food product can take advantage of today’s trends, let’s talk.