According to Technomic MenuMonitor data, mentions of salted caramel are up 25.6% in the latest year-over-year period.
We have observed a noteworthy boom in menu items featuring salt and caramel flavour pairings on chain menus this summer, ranging from beverages to desserts. Below are some salted caramel offerings recently introduced to chain menus.
Montana’s BBQ & Bar promoted its Salted Caramel Crunch dessert with salted caramel pudding, Rold Gold salted pretzels and whipped cream. This summer, the chain is offering two mini desserts at a special price of two for 5 Canadian dollars or CA$2.99 each.
Good Earth Coffeehouse and Bakery introduced a lineup of cold-brew drinks, including the new Sweet & Salty Cold Brew. The specialty beverage is made with caramel, Hawaiian sea salt and cream, served over ice.
Arby’s Canada rolled out a Salted Caramel & Chocolate Cookie as part of its summertime LTOs. Similarly, Cobs Fresh Bread took the baked goods route with its seasonal Apple Pie Scone, which paired salted caramel with Granny Smith apples, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Other operators are using dairy as a base, introducing ice creams and milkshakes spotlighting salted caramel. Union Burger rolled out a Salted Caramel Cluster Milkshake for summer. Joey Restaurants launched a limited-time lineup of made-to-order ice creams, including a salted caramel variety.
It is crucial for foodservice operators to keep up with trending flavours and ingredients. Salted caramel in particular is a flavour that can easily be applied to offerings in all seasons. This sweet-savoury combination is craveable, especially for consumers uninterested in super-sweet flavour profiles. Currently, we are seeing it spotlighted in baked goods and desserts; but looking to other mealparts such as entrees is one way for operators to innovate and stand out against competitors.