Volume 6 | Issue 8

August 14, 2020

Fired Up Flavor


The combination of summer weather and current industry conditions means that many restaurants have pivoted to an outdoor dining model. And what better way to satisfy patrons and sustain business than by firing up the grill? Nearly every country around the globe puts its own succulent twist on cooking with fire—giving chefs a bounty of inspiration for ways to add smoked, charred and seared dishes to the menu. Think simple: tacos, flatbreads or burgers incorporating flavorful barbecued meats give a premium touch to the comfort foods consumers are craving right now. Smoked meats hold extremely well for carryout and delivery, too. And don’t be afraid to infuse smoke into ingredients beyond beef, chicken, lamb and pork. Smoked sugar, smoked cheese, smoked tofu and smoked soy sauce are just a few of the creative ways we’re seeing the fiery flavor trend play out on menus. Finally, don’t forget about the sauce—signature marinades, glazes and rubs transform fired-up meat, vegetable and even fruit-based dishes into instant classics.




Hungry for more?
Check out our FlavorIQ® video for insights behind this top trend.


Jane Margolies, “Dining in the Street? As Restaurants Reopen, Seating Moves Outdoors,” The New York Times, June 16, 2020.

Katie Ayoub, “Smoke’s New Draw,” Flavor & The Menu, March 31, 2020.

Patricia Cobe, “New Items Keep Rolling Out Even as Some Chains Shrink Menus,” Restaurant Business, July 21, 2020.
Patricia Cobe, “What Consumers Are Craving Now,” Restaurant Business, June 22, 2020.

Rob Corliss, “10 Flavor Builders: Center of Attention,” Flavor & The Menu, December 3, 2019.