aloe beverages

Trend Watch: Green strawberries, chrysanthemums, and aloe beverages

By Katie Belflower

This month’s edition of Trend Watch with Technomic takes a look at some of the unique menu trends being featured across Canada. We are highlighting green strawberries, chrysanthemums, and aloe beverages, and including some of the restaurants that are successfully showcasing these items on their menus.

Green strawberries

Trending at independent restaurants are green strawberries, meaning underripe strawberries not yet turned red. These strawberries have a crisp, firm texture and acidic, tart taste. Green strawberries are often used in savoury dishes, with pickling being a popular preparation of the fruit. Canadian operators are typically spotlighting them alongside shellfish or in salads.

Menu examples:

  • The Acorn in Vancouver, British Columbia, served Oysters with blue oyster mushrooms, kelp brine, green strawberry mignonette, and Hungarian hot “Tabasco”
  • Grey Gardens in Toronto menued a Radish Salad with hazelnut, green strawberry, and Manchego

Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums are a flowering plant with edible leaves and petals that have a mild, sweet taste. Used traditionally in teas for medicinal purposes, chrysanthemums can help lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation. Due to their relatively mild taste, chrysanthemums can be used in both sweet and savoury preparations, such as in salads or to flavour honey.

Menu examples:

  • MIMI Chinese in Toronto offered Smacked Cucumber Salad with wood ear mushrooms, chrysanthemum, and Shanxi vinegar
  • Kouign Cafe in Vancouver, British Columbia, served a dish dubbed The Midnight Sky with a signature black sesame sourdough baguette, mildly spiced whipped miso compound butter, housemade chrysanthemum honey drizzle, and Maldon sea salt

Aloe beverages

Operators are spotlighting aloe, a succulent plant with medicinal properties, in both nonalcoholic and adult beverages. The flavour is bitter, so operators are often adding citrus or sweeteners to help balance the taste. The functional plant is also high in antioxidants and can help improve digestion.

Menu examples:

  • Guu with Garlic in Vancouver, British Columbia, menued the Aloe Vera Vodka cocktail with vodka, aloe vera juice, and cut lime
  • Vij’s in Vancouver, British Columbia, offered the Marguerite Daisy with aloe, Lumette Bright Light Botanical Distillate, agave syrup, sansho, white and black pepper, citrus peel syrup, lime and sea salt

Trend Watch is based on menu trends noted by Technomic.

Katie Belflower is Associate Editor for Technomic, a Chicago-based foodservice research and consulting firm. Technomic provides clients with the facts, insights, and consulting support they need to enhance their business strategies, decisions, and results. The company’s services include publications and digital products as well as proprietary studies and ongoing research on all aspects of the food industry, including menu trends.