The month that begins with Thanksgiving and ends with Christmas is an exciting time for foodservice operators. Customers are in a festive spirit and are on the hunt for more indulgence than perhaps at any other time of the year. They crave holiday classics and are also seeking the next great fall/winter flavor, so it’s a great time to get creative with the menu and feature new dishes that offer updates on old favorites.

Certain flavors and ingredients are poised to dominate this year’s winter menu trends. Cinnamon, with its warm spice appeal, can be found in dishes both sweet and savory and is a great way to bridge between traditional holiday fare and new dish concepts. With a refreshing burst that matches the chilly weather outside, mint is another ingredient that can be found across menu segments and is eager to take on a larger role outside the dessert menu. Reflecting the continuous desire of consumers to eat local produce, hearty winter greens like kale which can be grown in some areas of the country throughout the winter are a perfect ingredient for seasonal dishes. Another ingredient that is ready to break the boundaries of its traditional role are cranberries, whose sweet-tart flavor offers up loads of menu applications. And finally there is that king of cold weather flavors, the powerfully popular pumpkin spice, and in this case, we’ve made it even easier to get this fan favorite flavor on the menu with our All Purpose Pumpkin Spice Baking Mix. It’s the perfect starting point for creating fun new offerings that showcase this incredibly popular seasonal delight, versatile enough to bring pumpkin spice to your breakfast, lunch, or dessert menu!

Winter is also a season when comfort should be on the menu. For years now consumers have continuously craved the taste of home cooking in the restaurant environment, elevating dishes like simple fried chicken to culinary stardom. In the colder months warm, hearty fare like tomato soup joins the ranks of comfort food favorites and affords another great opportunity for menu innovation. Of course, comfort dishes like barbecue and fried chicken are only as good as the sides they’re served with, so great cornbread and biscuits are a must have.

All of our Krusteaz Professional baking mixes are perfect starting points for creating new and exciting holiday dishes that pay tribute to tradition but blaze a bold new flavor trail. Whether you’re looking to incorporate some of these on-trend ingredients or craft fun updates on traditional holiday fare, our baking mixes provide you with simple preparations and consistent results that allow you to be confident when customizing them to create your own great new signature dishes. Wherever your culinary creativeness takes you remember it’s a season to celebrate, in the dining room and in the kitchen, so take advantage of the best of what’s around and have very merry holidays this year!

Sources: 1) FoodService Director 2) Restaurant Business