menu trends

Menu trends to watch: cauliflower, flavoured breads and specialty cold brew

By Kristin Menas

Below we will highlight some of the leading trends to watch on Canadian menus for January 2017.


About the trend: Cauliflower is becoming a diverse menu addition, appearing in everything from fried items to soups and salads

  • At quick-service and casual-dining concepts
  • Cauliflower is a diverse ingredient that can be prepared many ways
  • Mentions of cauliflower increased 26.4 per cent on Canadian menus in latest year-over-year period, according to Technomic MenuMonitor data

Menu Examples:

  • White Spot’s Harvest Salad with pickled cauliflower
  • Shoeless Joe’s Sports Grill’s Beer Battered Buffalo Cauliflower
  • Coffee Depot’s Cauliflower Soup

Flavoured buns/breads

About the trend: Operators are differentiating their handhelds, such as burgers and sandwiches, with the addition of flavourful buns and breads

  • Primarily at quick-service chains
  • Breads with complementary flavour infusions can elevate the quality perception of an item
  • Overall, 31 per cent of consumers say they like specialty breads for sandwiches, according to Technomic’s 2016 Canadian Sandwich CTR

Menu Examples:

  • McDonald’s Canada’s McTaster Mexican Chipotle Burger with a sesame paprika bun
  • Coffee Culture Cafe & Eatery’s Peri Peri Chicken BLT on an artisan cheddar ciabatta bun
  • Wendy’s Canada’s Spicy Sriracha Chicken Sandwich on a Sriracha-infused bun

Specialty cold brew

About the trend: As cold brew coffee continues to grow in popularity, operators are introducing their own signature varieties to stand out from the bunch

  • Primarily at quick-service coffee cafes
  • Using drink names to spotlight sourcing and coffee’s origin
  • Adding unique or seasonal flavours to appeal to consumers’ changing preferences

Menu Examples:

  • Good Earth Coffeehouse and Bakery’s Mayan Cold Brew
  • Starbucks Canada’s Spiced Sweet Cream Cold Brew

About the author:

Kristin Menas is the Associate Editor, Canada & Adult Beverage at Technomic Inc. in Chicago. Technomic provides clients with the facts, insights and consulting support they need to enhance their business strategies, decisions and results. Its services include publications and digital products, as well as proprietary studies and ongoing research on all aspects of the food industry. For more information, visit

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