• Cheese Upgrades Menu Offerings

    By Angelique Hollister September 16, 2016

    Pizza_Foodservice-lr.jpgFoodservice trends feature upgraded menu offerings thanks to an increased desire for bold-flavor cheeses and superior dining experiences. This expanded consumer appreciation of cheese is being addressed with inspiring new culinary creations and U.S. cheeses has more to offer than ever before with outstanding quality and variety.

    What better place to find cheese than in the popular pizza category. In the United States, leading cheeses include mozzarella, ricotta, parmesan, feta, cheddar, provolone, romano and blue cheese, according to Technomic Menu Monitor while the fastest growing are Pecorino, parmesan, colby, asiago and pepper jack.1

    In all, the global foodservice industry grew 4.7% from 2009 to 2014 and is forecasted to grow another 2.5% until 2019.2 In the U.S., which is expected to grow 2.4% until 2019, this trend is often attributed to millennials, consumers ages 18 to 34, who are driving food innovation. Their willingness to spend more on higher-quality experiences has caught the attention of the foodservice industry. In order to grasp the interest of this adventurous and curious group, fine dining and quick service restaurants are revisiting their menus to ensure offerings correlate to new-age expectations.

    As a result, more menus today are featuring traditional items with a gourmet makeover, such as pizza, hamburgers, sandwich wraps, Mexican dishes and even macaroni and cheese. These items are contributing to the foodservice growth and are using cheese for globally-inspired flavors with a high-end feel. The abundance and variety of U.S. cheese offers foodservice providers a way to give customers authentic ingredients featuring traditional-with-a-twist cuisine.

    The primary functional property of cheese is flavor, but it also can increase viscosity, add mouth-feel, improve color or bind other added ingredients. Advanced technologies have enabled U.S. cheese manufacturers to tailor cheese with specific functional properties, such as controlled browning, restricted melt and sharper flavor profiles. American cheesemakers continue to create new forms and flavors of cheese to keep the category growing and the foodservice industry innovating, including:

    • Blue cheeses: The crumbling texture of blue cheese is ideal for salads and over hot or cold applications. Specifically, gorgonzola can be used in burgers, sauces, dressings and salads to add unique flavor intensity.
    • Semi-soft cheeses: These cheeses include fontina, havarti, monterey jack and pepper jack. They are good flavor carriers due to their mild taste (good for blending) and can be served in hot or cold applications. Their melting ability makes them ideal for sauces, soups, pizza, casseroles and roulades.
    • Hard cheeses: Theses cheeses include asiago, parmesan, romano and pepato. They have bold cheese flavors and are great for grating in soups, sauces and fillings. Their low moisture makes them excellent in baked goods.
    • Soft fresh cheeses: Ricotta and mascarpone have a mild creamy flavor. They are often the base of many snack spreads and dips, and are used as a filling for pasta, casseroles, appetizers and baked goods. Feta has a stronger flavor profile and can be used in salads, soups and a variety of hot entrees and pizzas.
    • Soft-ripened cheeses: The distinctive appearance and flavor of brie and camembert make them perfect for cheese plates and cold appetizers. They also can be used in melted applications, including gourmet pizza and soups.

    These U.S. cheeses can be used to enhance the quality and appearance of most menu items to attract those in search of greater dining experiences. To explore the entire U.S. cheese portfolio and to learn more about application possibilities to offerings, visit ThinkUSAdairy.org.

    1Technomic Menu Monitor. Q3 2015.
    2Euromonitor International. 2015.

    Dairy Ingredients Market Insights Consumer Insights Cheese Foodservice Global
Subscribe to get email updates

Most Popular Posts

Find by Date, Geography and Dairy Product


Follow us on Twitter