How to Bring On-Trend Fall Flavors to Your Foodservice Operation

Everyone loves fall flavors: pumpkin, maple, apple, cinnamon—diners can’t get enough of the cozy taste sensations that come with crisp autumn air and sweater weather. In fact, 42% of millennials say they would select items with fall flavors instead of their typical order.1

Fall flavors are also easy to combine with one of the biggest trends in foodservice: café and coffee shop-inspired items. Think about the success of Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte, a drink that pairs coffee shop appeal with fall flavor and has become an icon of the season. Increase YOUR revenue by thinking beyond lattes and incorporating fall flavors in fresh-baked goods, mix and dough applications, smoothies and parfaits, bulk cereal and more!

1. Pumpkin perfection

There was a 240% increase in pumpkin specialty drinks between 2014 and 2016.2 Get in on the trend with Pumpkin Pie Smoothies, a delicious and easy pumpkin drink made with Yoplait® ParfaitPro®.

Don’t forget about classic pumpkin applications either! Technomic reported that 40% of consumers would gladly order a slice of pumpkin pie if they saw it on a menu.2 Delight pie lovers by offering Pumpkin Pie S’mores, a creative spin on pumpkin pie that uses Pillsbury™ Pie Dough.

2. Maple-mania

Mentions of maple in nonalcoholic beverages on menus rose 86% between 2016 and 2017.3 But beverages aren’t the only way to use this emerging fall flavor. Add maple to your menu in a variety of ways with muffin, biscuit and waffle mix you already have on hand!

Try Maple Pecan Muffins, Maple Bacon Scones or Waffled Salmon with Spicy Orange Maple Sauce.

3. Apple appeal

Apples, the quintessential fall fruit, lend themselves to many foodservice applications. Apple Granola Overnight Oats are a super easy and on-trend way to use bulk yogurt. And the apple vinaigrette on this Cornbread Salad with Apple Butter Vinaigrette makes Gold Medal™ Honey Cornbread Mix shine.

Plus, bringing fall to breakfast is easy with Apple Cinnamon Pancakes—incorporate fall flavors, and café style, across items and dayparts!

4. Savory selections

Autumn isn’t just about sweets, give these delicious savory dishes featuring fall flavors a try. Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Turnovers, made with Pillsbury™ Puff Pastry Dough, were a winner in the 2017 Neighborhood to Nation Recipe Contest and are sure to wow your patrons. Or, use Gluten-Free Honey Nut CheeriosTM in a creative and delicious new way with this Gluten-Free Stuffed Peppers recipe.

The savory autumn fun doesn’t stop there, who says sweet potatoes have to be served in sweet applications? Offer delicious Savory Sweet Potato Granola Gratin made with Cascadian Farm™ Oats & Honey Granola.

5. Further Inspiration

  • Coffee shops and cafes offer many grab ‘n go items. Fall-flavored drinks, bowls, and fresh- baked goods can be pre-packaged for patrons on-the-go.
  • Entrées such as sandwiches and salads can be easily offered to-go as well.
  • Keep fall flavors fresh, and appeal to impulse-buyers, by positioning your new items as limited-time-offers.
  • Don’t forget social media! If you’re changing your menu to incorporate fall flavors and coffee-shop inspiration, let your followers know.

Check out our coffee shop concept for more fall inspiration and ideas for bringing café style to your operation. Plus, C&U ramps up the excitement with Reese’s Bats Halloween activities and Catering offers you a collection of easy and delicious recipes featuring fall flavors!

1Technomic, Flavor Consumer Trend Report, 2016

2Technomic, Dessert Consumer Trend Report, 2016

3Technomic, MenuMonitor, 2017