McCain Foodservice

The Evolution of the Lunch Side

Ordinary meets extraordinary as menus overhaul the familiar

The days of plain are over. Canadians are looking to liven up the lunch scene and explore menus that offer exciting mains with tasty sides that are craveable and familiar, but with a twist. Even the most basic of sides is open to evolving, and Canadians are all for it. McCain Foodservice recognizes this creative change and has the wide range of easy-to-prepare products made with quality ingredients that can easily become the next signature side.

Recent consumer research commissioned by McCain revealed that the majority of Canadians (52 per cent) are eating more vegetables now than they did a decade ago. They’re also looking beyond the traditional peas and carrots, with vegetables like cauliflower growing in popularity. The versatile vegetable continues to be on trend for its ability to inspire countless creative dishes. Try tossing battered cauliflower in buffalo sauce for a savoury veggie alternative to wings at a much lower food cost.

Also trending is the potato tots, a crispy classic that’s easy to dress up or down depending on your menu. For a full flavour experience, add gravy and cheese curds for a new twist on the classic poutine.

Eating adventurously and experimenting with exotic flavours is an emerging trend that Canadians across the country are craving in their dining experience. We’re already starting to see restaurant operators meet this need through experimentation with condiments and sauces, for example mixing traditional and newer sauces such as Sriracha and ketchup, wasabi aioli, guacamole with ranch, or chipotle mayo. Fries work well here because they’re a great base for dipping and sharing with friends.

French fries remain the number one food item ordered at restaurants, and operators are increasingly offering new takes on the classic side such as Twisted Potatoes, Lattice Cut Fries, Wedges and Sweet Potato Plank Cut Fries. In fact, since 2009, sweet potato fries have doubled on menus. Consider changing up traditional ketchup dip with mayo and extra pepper.

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McCain Foodservice