menu trends

Menu trends to watch: Healthy bowls, pickling and honey

By Kristin Menas

Below we will highlight some of the leading menu trends to watch on Canadian menus.

Healthy bowls

About the trend: Bowls are serving as a popular format to highlight better-for-you ingredients like superfoods

  • At quick-service and fast-casual concepts
  • Smoothie bowls are a booming health trend
  • Bowls eliminate the need for hearty starches like buns or wraps
  • Trend goes beyond salads to include lettuce-free bases like grains

Menu Examples:

  • Jugo Juice’s Baja Wellness Bowl and Smoothie Bowls lineup
  • The Chopped Leaf’s Beet Bowl
  • Sushi Shop’s new lineup of poke bowls


About the trend: Operators are pickling a variety of ingredients, such as veggies and peppers, to add flavour complexity to menu items

  • At chains ranging from quick service to casual dining
  • Going above and beyond traditional pickled cucumbers
  • Depending on preparation, acidic vinegar flavour can be imparted along with sour, sweet or spicy tastes

Menu Examples:

  • White Spot’s Harvest Salad served with a side of pickled cauliflower
  • Triple O’s Firecracker Chicken Burger with pickled jalapenos
  • Milestones’ Surf N’ Turf Caesar cocktail garnished with sweet pickled peppers


About the trend: Honey is acting as a natural sweetener in glazes, mustards, dressings and sauces on everything from sandwiches to seafood

  • At quick-service, fast-casual and casual-dining chains
  • Honey flavour mentions are up 6.1 per cent in the latest year-over-year period
  • Pairs well with a variety of proteins

Menu Examples:

  • Chili’s Bar & Grill Canada’s Honey Chipotle shrimp & Sirloin
  • Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews Canada’s Bee’s Knees sandwich with Angry Orchard honey
  • Wendy’s Canada’s Grilled Chicken Sandwich with smoky honey mustard

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *