Consumer & Food Service Trends Q4 2021


Technomic Industry Insights October 2021

September 22nd marked the start of sweater weather as well as the return of fall flavor favorites on food and beverage menus across the country. Recent LTOs showcase familiar darlings such as pumpkin, apple and squash applied in both traditional and nontraditional ways.

Nearly half (44%) of consumers deem pumpkin to be an appealing flavor.* The popular Autumn flavor is used heavily in beverages, but increased applications in veggie sushi rolls (+5%) and eggplant dishes (+20%)** indicate that some operators are thinking outside of the cup.

Another flavor finding the spotlight is apple, appealing to 68% of consumers.* Recent buzzworthy LTOs include Starbucks’ Apple Crisp Macchiato (featuring caramelized spiced apple drizzle), and Krispy Kreme’s Apple Cider Glazed Doughnut (featuring an apple cider glaze made with real cider).

Squash, commonly featured in soups during the fall, appeals to 37% of consumers,* and is making an increased appearance in ravioli (+3%) in the form of butternut squash filling, and as a topping on veggie/garden pizzas (+5%).**

Image Source: Shutterstock

Apple and Butternut Squash Soup at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
Autumn-spiced crema

Fall Harvest Salad at MOD Pizza
Romaine, spinach, sherry Dijon vinaigrette, Gorgonzola, diced cucumbers, roasted red peppers, apple-farro blend, apple cider glaze and cranberry-seed mix

Inside Out Apple Pie Ice Cream at Baskin-Robbins
We’re bringing the orchard to you with a scoop of swirled apple- and vanilla-flavored ice creams. Featuring hearty chunks of apple, pie crust pieces and a cinnamon brown sugar ribbon

Pumpkin Chocolate Loaf at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
Pumpkin and fall spices swirled with chocolate and baked into a delicious loaf

Nonalcoholic Beverage
Maple Vanilla Latte at Scooter’s Coffee
Paired with our signature espresso, hot textured milk, subtle ginger and sweet vanilla, this is a favorite among our fall cast of flavors

Adult Beverage
Frozen Pumpkin at P.J. Whelihan’s Pub & Restaurant
White rum, ice cream mix and pumpkin spice syrup, topped with whipped cream and cinnamon


Image Source: Shutterstock

The tomato harvest in California is nearly finished with one, possibly two weeks before the pack is complete. The week ending 10/2 is projected to be 735,482 tons bringing the total YTD number to 9,771,958. The week ending 10/9 is projected to be only 526,154 tons, which would bring YTD to nearly 10.3 million tons.

*2021 YTD based on PTAB’s projected deliveries for week ending October 16th

Image Source: Shutterstock


Image Source: Shutterstock

1. Acacia Honey
Honey derived from nectar of the robinia pseudoacacia flower

2. Aged Rice
Rice aged in a silo, making the rice sweeter

3. Antep Aci Dolma
Turkish chile sweeter than most bell peppers with the heat of a jalapeno

4. Appam
South Indian pancake made with fermented rice batter and coconut milk

5. Avocado Cocktails
Specialty drinks highlighting the trendy ingredient

6. Bacalao
Dried and salted cod

7. Barbajada
Italian chocolate-espresso-cream sauce

8. Black Barley
Ethiopian-originated variety of barley

9. Black Salsa
Mexican salsa made with charred ingredients or black garlic

10. Blitva
Croatian Swiss chard dish

11. Breakfast Ramen
Traditional Japanese noodle soup with morning inspirations

12. Chinese Five-Spice Cocktails
Adult beverages featuring the spice blend

13. Colatura
Italian umami condiment made with anchovies and salt

Image Source: Shutterstock

14.  Cruschi Peppers
Southern Italian crunchy, fried sweet peppers

15. Damiana
An herb (or liqueur produced from the herb) that grows in Baja California

16. Diktamo
Greek amaro

17. Eech
Armenian tomato-pepper-bulgur side dish

18. Erbette
Mild, earthy Italian variety of chard with less bitterness

19. Fassionola
Fruit-flavored red syrup used in tropical drinks

20. Frozen Sangria
Frozen version of the Spanish red wine-based drink

21. Galia Melon
Sweet and aromatic hybrid melon

Image Source: Shutterstock

22. Green Tahini
Traditional Middle Eastern sesame-based sauce infused with herbs and/or chiles

23. Hard Dough Bread
Sweet Jamaican bread

24. Havasu Pepper
Santa Fe-type spicy chile

25. Housemade Oatmeal Cream Pies
Signature versions of the nostalgic oatmeal cookie-vanilla buttercream sandwich dessert

26. Kashmiri Chile
Northern Indian sweet chile with slight heat

27. Kasundi
Indian spiced ketchup

28. Kaya
Malaysian coconut egg jam

29. Kefta Spice
Middle Eastern spice blend of coriander, cumin, turmeric, allspice, cardamom and black peppercorns

30. Kiwi Berry
Bite-sized fruit that taste like traditional kiwi

31. Kokum
Indian souring agent, often used as a tamarind alternative

32. Lepinja
Serbian pita-like flatbread

33. Lokum
Turkish confections based on a gel of starch and sugar

34. Macadamia Milk
Beverage made from the nut

35. Malagousia
Greek white wine grape

Image Source: Shutterstock

36. Marie Rose Sauce
British condiment blending tomatoes, mayo, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and black pepper

Image Source: Shutterstock

37. Matelote Sauce
French seafood sauce made with wine and butter

38. Morita Chiles
Smoked, dried versions of red jalapeno peppers

39. Non-Chicken Parmesan
Traditional cheese and tomato dish swapping the poultry for other meats or seafood

40. Non-Chicken Vesuvio
Traditional Italian dish swapping the poultry for other meats or seafood

41. Raki
Turkish alcohol made of twice-distilled grapes and anise

42. Red Chimichurri
Riff on the traditionally green Argentinian garlicky, parsley sauce with roasted red peppers

43. Rompope
Mexican eggnog-like drink

44. Rose Milk
Indian drink of milk, rose essence and sugar

45. Salt Water Cocktails
Specialty drinks featuring salt water

46. Socca
Crispy chickpea flour-based flatbread popular in Provence, France

47. Sunflower Seed Dairy Milk and Butter
Made from the seed

Image Source: Shutterstock

48. Sweet Drop Peppers
Peruvian chiles with small teardrop shape

49. Trahana
Eastern Mediterranean pebble-shaped grain product

50. Xtabentun
Yucatan-produced anise liqueur made with anise seed and fermented honey

Source: Technomic Emerging Eats Q4 2021


The Labor Department released new data October 11th reporting that in August some 4.3 million people quit their jobs – about 2.96% of the workforce. About 892,000 of those workers who quit represent workers in restaurants, bars and hotels.

The high level of people quitting their jobs was probably due in large part to people leaving jobs to take other positions, although the data does not specify why people are quitting and where they are ending up.

Almost 2 in 5 workers (38%) who quit in August worked in retail or in restaurants and hotels. Quitting in manufacturing is not as high as in the low-pay service sectors, at 2.5%, but it has accelerated every bit as quickly as factories race to poach one another’s workers and increase production as supply-chain issues reshuffle the global manufacturing landscape.

Nick Bunker, economist at the jobs site Indeed, said the numbers were a reflection of the options workers have in the current economic market, with job openings outnumbering unemployed workers and people re-evaluating what they want to do.

Excerpts from Washington Post Article: A record number of workers are quitting their jobs, empowered by new leverage By Eli Rosenberg, Abha Bhattarai and Andrew Van Dam Link to original post.


By Joe Guszkowski

We have written quite a bit lately about the fragmented state of restaurant technology. There are lots of providers that do lots of different things, and it is largely on restaurants to cobble them together into a system that works.

That environment has given rise to a host of so-called all-in-one platforms that promise to streamline the process.

The most prominent of these, Toast, went public last week in an offering that valued it at around $30 billion. Meanwhile, two other providers unveiled their own all-in-one systems. Here’s a look:

Presto Flex: The company’s new front-of-house ordering tablet can be used to enable pay-at-the-table or as a server handheld, ordering kiosk or drive-thru line buster. It is also voice-enabled, allowing guests or servers to place their order by simply saying it out loud. It integrates with Presto’s QR code and payment products. Presto works with large chains.

GoTab POS: The cloud-based system allows servers or guests to initiate the ordering process and guests to pay at the table using their phones. It also integrates with GoTab’s other products such as online ordering and delivery software. By capturing orders digitally, it eliminates some manual work for servers and gives the restaurant more data, which can then be used to power loyalty programs and promotions. GoTab works with large and medium-sized restaurants.

Grubhub is powering food ordering for D.C. football fans. The delivery provider is bringing its technology to the Washington Football Team’s FedExField, allowing fans to order concessions through the Grubhub app or by scanning a QR code at their seat. The company has similar partnerships with more than 250 universities as well as at the new Resorts World Las Vegas complex.

Uber Eats made it easier for users to find nearby food. Customers for the first time can use the app’s map function to search for restaurants. They can type in what they’re looking for or use food emojis, and the map will show what’s nearby and how far away each option is.

Philadelphia is considering a permanent cap on delivery fees. Council member Cherelle Parker has introduced legislation that would remove the end date from the city’s 15% limit on what delivery companies can charge restaurants (10% for delivery and 5% for any other fees). If passed, Philly would join San Francisco and New York as the only U.S. cities to make their pandemic-era fee caps permanent. Delivery providers have sued both cities over those laws.

Deliverect, a company that connects restaurants to third-party delivery providers, released a bunch of new features. They are:

  • An updated data dashboard with new insights such as the performance of individual menu items and locations.
  • An enhanced pickup system that allows guests and delivery drivers to see the status of their order on a screen inside the restaurant.
  • Dispatch software that gives restaurants more control over the delivery process for orders that come through their own channels.
  • A 24/7 chat line that restaurants can use to communicate with Deliverect support staff.
  • The Belgian company earlier this year raised $65 million in a Series C funding round. It works with more than 13,000 restaurants in 30 markets worldwide.

Hungry, a marketplace for curated group food experiences, raised $21 million. The company was founded in 2017 and offers chef-driven virtual and on-site catering programs and other events for businesses. The Series C round featured a host of celebrity backers including actress, writer and producer Issa Rae; “America’s Got Talent” host Terry Crews; NFL wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins; NBA star Lonzo Ball; and heavyweight boxing champion Deontay Wilder. Hungry is based in Washington, D.C., and currently operates in six cities.

Need help translating these trends to your menu? Contact a Kagome Sales Rep today!