The conditions caused by the pandemic have made today’s consumer value-conscious while fuelling the desire for both exciting and comforting experiences. This dynamic has created the opportunity for foodservice operators to drive interest by offering new twists on tried-and-true menu stars. As, Ryan Marquis, TABASCO® Foodservice Canada corporate chef and president of the Canadian Culinary Federation, notes, menu innovation and differentiation “can be as simple as a plus one — grabbing an existing sauce or condiment and adding a bit of flavour to create something different and unique.” And, he explains, leveraging branded products — such as TABASCO® sauces — makes this strategy even simpler.
For example: by adding TABASCO® Green Jalapeño Pepper Sauce to chimichurri, it can be used to up the global appeal of items such as steak and pork tacos. Or, a hollandaise with the added kick of sriracha could add excitement to breakfast dishes, including Eggs Benedict and breakfast hashes.
Not only does this strategy provide a convenient and efficient way to incorporate bold flavours on the menu, but a familiar brand also adds to the perceived value of the offerings. This, Marquis stresses, is important. “People are very quick to experiment, but they are also quick to stay with what they know and the brands they trust,” he explains.
And, he notes, this strategy can be applied across menu segments — including the bar menu. One example is incorporating TABASCO® Chipotle Sauce into a mezcal-based Negroni to create a unique take on the classic cocktail.
Recipes such as this also play into consumer demand for spicy and globally influenced flavours, which continues to be driven by the adventurous millennial and Gen-Z cohorts. In fact, Technomic’s Ignite-Menu data reveals “spicy” as one of 2021’s top flavours, having grown 9.1 per cent from Q2 2020.
More specifically, Marquis notes, “People have started to play around with different types of peppers for sauces.”
This is confirmed by recent Technomic Menu data, which calls out hot sauce and sriracha mayo among the four fastest-growing condiments in Canada.