MenuMine has identified more than 2000 unique sauces and toppings in addition to another few thousand unique dressings, marinades, glazes, condiments, spreads, seasonings and dips. Needless to say, tomorrow's flavor heroes are now beginning to creep up from the bottom of usage tables, where they may have ascended from 0.3% to 0.9% to 1.2% and now show upwardly mobile inclinations.
MenuMine tracks the growth of foods, ingredients and flavors on the menus of 1450 restaurant chains, independents and on site operators. The most reliable way to track growth is with the use of a statistical measure called Menu Incidence, which is defined as the "proportion of operators menuing". It is also good to take note of growth in items per operator menuing. MenuMine has identified more than 2000 unique sauces and toppings in addition to another few thousand unique dressings, marinades, glazes, condiments, spreads, seasonings and dips. As a service to clients, a new application called Flavor Trends spots up and coming flavors, ingredients, textures and even qualitative descriptions well before they are noticeable. Needless to say, tomorrow's flavor heroes are now beginning to creep up from the bottom of usage tables, where they may have ascended from 0.3% to 0.9% to 1.2% and now show upwardly mobile inclinations. Please note that the suitability and the growth pattern of any of sauce will vary by application, protein type and platform. This means BBQ Sauce may be complimentary to ribs and chicken but somewhat of a gamble for Salmon Steaks.
Growth is very positive for BBQ with lots of flavor variations such as Hickory, Honey BBQ, Chipotle, Smokey. Cheese Sauce is down slightly. Chili Sauce is getting stronger.
Spicy and Buffalo follow the same path, but are unique. There are more than 70 flavor variations for Spicy.
White Wine has gone from 8.1% menu incidence (1998) to 11.3% in 2009. Other wines to note are: Port, Madeira, Cabernet, Chianti, Zinfandel, Rice Wine, Chablis, Burgundy, more.
Simply listing Spaghetti Sauce on the menu has lost favor. Marinara, Red and Tomato are better choices, as are myriad other selections.
Au Jus and Meat Sauce show softness. Others to consider: Giblet, Sawmill, Pepper Cream, Chicken, Pork, more.
Teriyaki growth is impressive. Same for Ginger, which associates with more than 50 flavor pairings (Wasabi, Ponzu, Plum to name a few.) Make room for Hoisin and Peanut.
Simply listing "Salsa" is not advisable. Pico de Gallo and Chipotle are growing. Ranchera is not. Chimichurri Sauce is poised for more growth.
Hollandaise is on an uptick, while Alfredo is consistent and Remoulade up three points.
Honey Mustard was pervasive at one time, but dipping lately. Curry is up 200%. Jerk Sauce is strong in recent years.
Gain perspective into your product categories' performance on the menu with Menu Intelligence Reports
Protein Positioning on the Menu by Entree and Item Type Chicken and Beef are the largest volume proteins, as well as the most frequently menued on American restaurant menus. Individually, Beef and Chicken are each listed on approximately one of every four entrees, whether Center of the Plate (COP) or Prepared Entrees (PE).