BURGER TRENDS 2017

The ever-popular burger continues to be rethought and re-evaluated into something new, creative, and different—bringing diners back for more. For consumers looking to get out of the daily grind, there are a growing number of non-commodity ground beef and hamburger products in today’s market.  These new menu items whet the appetite for the perennially popular burger, while spiking interest in up and coming flavor profiles and attributes.

FOCUS ON LTOs

Burgers of the month are a good move to shake up the menu and win new fans.

PLAY UP UNIQUE FLAVORS AND TEXTURES 

Layering flavors and textures amps up the personality and craveability of a burger.

BRING ON BREAKFAST

Trending on menus across segments, breakfast flavors are a natural fit for burgers any time of day. Operators can experiment with carriers, such as a Maple Pancake Bacon Cheeseburger, which features pancakes instead of the traditional bun.

(Photography courtesy of the Restaurant Business Online.)

Six Millennial Flavor to Watch

Young consumers raised in an era when global connectivity is the norm are seeking out bold and exotic flavors from the myriad cuisines of Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas.

As a generation that takes snacking very seriously, millennials are finding that handheld treats provide a perfect vehicle for sampling these regional flavors and sharing them with friends and family.

SPECIFIC PEPPER FLAVORS

  • The millennial snacker has a sophisticated palate and will distinguish among the flavors imbued through each of the different chili peppers, such as ancho, habanero, and serrano.

SOUTHEAST ASIAN SPICES

  • These include the now ubiquitous sriracha, which can be found as a flavoring for potato chips and other snacks, as well as gochujang, the Korean hot pepper paste.

SWEET AND SAVORY MASHUPS

  • Sweet treats are being infused with salty ingredients such as bacon or with spicy flavorings such as hot peppers. Think bacon donuts or jalapeño breakfast bars.

FLAVORS OF INDIA

  • From naan crisps to chutney bombs, myriad Indian-style snacks and their associated seasonings are making their way into the mainstream millennial diet.

SOUR AND FERMENTED FLAVORS

  • Drinking vinegar and kombucha, and eating pickled beet chips and kimchee, are among the sour and fermented flavors making their way into snack food form.

HARISSA

  • Is this Tunisian spice blend “the next sriracha,” as some observers predict? It’s showing up in an increasing variety of applications, including as a popcorn flavoring.

 

Eight Consumer Trends Taking Flight in 2017

  1. Good FoodEating with their eyes. The majority of Americans (60%) browse food photos on social media, and of those patrons, 75% have chosen a restaurant based on those photos they’ve seen.
  2. Carbs. Cholesterol. While the definition of better-for-you continues to shift, consumers are seeking out food low in these three attributes more than ever. Baby boomers are especially citing low-cholesterol foods as healthy more often—though they are the least likely to pay more for low-cholesterol claims.
  3. Boost in off-hour traffic. Brunch patronage has increased at both casual dining and upscale restaurants compared to two years ago, driven largely by younger consumers. These diners are also more likely to visit casual-dining spots for late-night meals after 10 p.m., often eating out with adult friends during these visits.
  4. Cool on cash-only. A cash-only policy is the No. 1 thing that would stop consumers from dining in a restaurant. Communal tables and no-substitution policies tied for second, with a third of patrons considering them deal breakers.
  5. Discounts could drive catering. Two-fifths of consumers say they would order catered meals more often if restaurants offered specials and other discounts. In particular, 43% of both women and consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 say discount initiatives would boost their catering order habits.
  6. Lunchtime slowdown. Contrary to service time guarantees like Buffalo Wild Wings’ promise of lunch in 15 minutes, the importance diners place on the speed of weekday lunch service has decreased since 2014, slipping 7%. Today’s customers may be OK with waiting longer if that means fresher, higher-quality food on the other end.
  7. Add the snacks. Rising snack consumption will likely reshape how consumers view midday meals, as diners are replacing lunch with snacks about two days a week. In addition, 30% of consumers say they expect restaurants to provide lunch in small snack like sizes such as mini or half portions
  8. Ladies Love Loyalty. More women than men currently participate in restaurant loyalty programs, and slightly more women also say that loyalty programs are very likely to influence them to visit a certain restaurant. They value exclusive offers, too, like first tastes and private events.

Written by Sima Patel–Market Insights Analysist Butterball Farms, Inc.

20 Flavors Poised to Pop

butter desserts What will be the breakout flavors and ingredients of 2017—the ones that can help power an LTO to the top of the sales charts and assist operators shape craveable menus?

What’s healthy now?

The majority of consumers aim to balance health with indulgence, according to Technomic’s Healthy Consumer Trend Report. So menus are calling out healthful ingredients in heavier items, such as mentioning kale on burgers and apple on pizza.

Burgers:

Customers are more receptive to new flavors or unique pairings when they are introduced on familiar platforms, such as a burger. Taking a cue from the South, operators are pickling and frying green tomatoes as an alternative to run-of-the-mill red tomato slices. Green tomato chutneys and jams are also showing up as sweet-savory burger condiments.

The better-burger movement is fueling demand for higher-quality ingredients. As a result, operators are upscaling burger blends to include brisket in the grind. Barbecue brisket is also a trending topping, says Tristano, as more protein-on-protein burgers are emerging as alternates to bacon. “It’s a way to increase price points and enhance the quality positioning,” he says.

Desserts:

Diners are seeking out less sugary treats, according to Technomic’s Dessert Consumer Trend Report. Savory herbs, floral flavors and Asian ingredients are giving classic desserts a twist that mellows sweetness.

Consumers have become familiar with hibiscus on beverage menus, where it’s been trending in teas and cocktails. Now, the flower is crossing over to the dessert side. Operators source it as dried flowers or tea, then steep it in sugar syrup or another liquid to use as an ingredient in desserts—especially in combination with fruit and berries.

Written by Sima Patel–Market Insights Analysist Butterball Farms, Inc.

Super Loaded Bacon Pepper Jack Fries

Burger ButtersHere in the #ButterLab, we are all about testing new products and inventing new ways of applying the old. We have several amazing butters that we’ve wanted to test, showcasing the diversity beyond the label. Last week, we took our Bacon Pepper Jack Burger Butters™ dollops from Creekside Creamery™, and created some of the best comfort food ever… This recipe was so simple and quick, and the beauty of it is that you can adjust it yourself to make it as involved or as easy as you want! 

We made our fries the “cheat way” (frozen potatoes, pre-cooked bacon, and shredded cheese), but you can use fresh everything, making it even more delicious. After all, a recipe is just a guideline, right? Feel free to use your imagination on this one: think baked potatoes, potato wedges, and even sweet potatoes. 

(PS… these fries were a total hit in the office, but just a warning, you’ll certainly want something cool to drink with it. The general consensus was, “Oh, these would be so good with an ice cold bottle of [insert your favorite beer here],” which reminds us to pull out this recipe again for the Super Bowl!)

Super Loaded Bacon Pepper Jack Fries
  • One bag of frozen french fries (we would recommend a 28 to 32 ounce bag)

Cook according to directions.

Remove from oven and top with:

  • 3 dollops Creekside Creamery™ Bacon Pepper Jack Butter (melted and distribute evenly)
  • 1 pound Applewood bacon bits
  • 2 cups pepper jack cheese
  • chopped green onion

Place back in oven until cheese is melted, approximately 3 minutes.

Serve with side of sour cream. Enjoy!

Did Someone Say Peach Pie?

Peach PieHave we got a Peach Pie for you!  Churn84™ Unsalted Butter makes the best Peach Pie you’ll ever taste.  From the flaky, buttery crust, to Summer’s bounty of ripe peaches baked to juicy perfection, this Peach Pie is a party for the palate.

Because of the high butter fat content in European-style Churn84™ (84% compared to 80% in most North American butters), the dough holds together for easy rolling.  In addition, it offers the attributes of superior flavor and a flakier crust. 

Give this recipe a try!  You’ll be delighted with the results. 

Peach Pie (Serves 10)

Pie Crust:

  • 2-1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1-1/4 Cups Unsalted Churn84™ Butter, cubed
  • 1/3 Cup Ice Water

Directions for Crust:

  • Pulse flour, sugar and salt in a food processor until blended.
  • Add cubed butter, pulse until butter is the size of peas.
  • While processing, add just enough ice water to form moist crumbs.
  • Divide dough in half.  Shape each half into a disk; wrap in plastic.
  • Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

Pie Filling:

  • 4 Cups Peaches, peeled and sliced  (7 – 8 medium peaches)
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • ¼ Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • ¼ Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1  Teaspoon Lemon Juice
  • 2  Tablespoons Butter

Directions for Filling:

  • In large bowl, mix sugar, flour, and cinnamon. 
  • Stir in peaches and lemon juice.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F.

Directions to Complete Pie for Baking:

  • On a lightly floured surface, roll half of dough to 1-1/8” thick circle; transfer to a deep dish 9” pie plate.  Trim pastry to edge of plate.
  • Add filling.  Dot filling with slices of remaining butter. 
  • Roll remaining dough to  a 1-1/8” thick circle.
  • Place dough over filling (or create lattice top or other design).
  • Trim and seal the edges; flute if desired.
  • For simple top crust, cut 3 slits to vent.
  • Cover edge of crust with pie shield or foil strips.
  • Bake on lowest rack in oven for 45 – 50 minutes, or until pie crust is golden brown and juice is thick and bubbly.
  • Cool on wire rack.

Lemon Dill Tuna Melt

Lemon Dill Tuna Melt

When you work for the best butter company in America, what do you do on a Friday afternoon during late Summer? Why, experiment with compound butter in the #butterlab, of course!

Our goal:  to create a delicious dish with our Creekside Creamery™ Lemon Dill Chef’s Roll that is simple to prepare and tantalizes the taste buds. We think we’ve found it with our Lemon Dill Tuna Melt. What could be a better than English Muffin Bread, covered with Lemon Dill compound butter and toasted crisp, topped with tuna salad and placed under the broiler, then finished with a slice of Swiss Cheese and a slice of fresh tomato from the garden? The mild, warm flavor of dill pairs perfectly with the fresh, clean taste of lemon, complementing the tuna salad for a light, open-faced sandwich that’s easy to make and delicious.

 Lemon Dill Tuna Melt  (Serves Four)

Tuna Salad:

  • 12 oz. can Chunk White Albacore Tuna (in Water)
  • 1/2 Onion, Finely Chopped
  • Stalk Celery, Chopped
  • Fresh Dill, Cut to Taste
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/8  Teaspoon Pepper
  • 1/4 Cup Mayonnaise (more, if you like it creamier)

Ingredients:

  •        4     Pieces of English Muffin Bread
  •        2     Tablespoons Creekside Creamery™ Lemon Dill Butter, Softened
  •        4     Slices Swiss or Baby Swiss Cheese
  •        4     Thinly Sliced Fresh Tomatoes
  •                Tuna Salad 

Directions:

  1. Set oven to Broil.
  2. Prepare Tuna Salad (above), or use any tuna salad recipe that you think will work.
  3. Butter both sides of each piece of English Muffin Bread with Creekside Creamery™ Lemon Dill Butter, and griddle to golden brown on each side.
  4. Top each piece of bread with tuna salad.  Cover bread with salad evenly.
  5. Broil 3 – 4 minutes, until tuna looks crispy.
  6. Top with slices of Swiss Cheese.  Broil 1 – 2 minutes.
  7. Top with slices of Tomato.  Broil 1 minute.  Serve!

Creekside Creamery Burger Butters™ Horseradish and Blue Grits Style!

Creekside Creamery Burger Butters™Here’s a question we’ve heard lately that we’d like to answer…. “Are your Creekside Creamery Burger Butters™ limited to burgers? I mean, do they have other applications besides burgers?” Our answer: There are no limitations to our butters – only your own imagination! We label our products, allowing for ease of use, and well, we think they are PERFECT for burgers. BUT they are also an exceptional addition to other dishes, too!

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out what Chef Mark Kingshott, AKA, The All-in-One Chef, has to say about Creekside Creamery’s Horseradish and Blue Butter.

“[Grits] needs butter. Not just on top after you put it on your plate. They need good butter at the end of cooking mixed thoroughly into them. With one of the wonderful contacts I have made in my life, I was able to get some Creekside Creamery Burger Butters. Rich with flavor and a higher fat content. The perfect combination for incredible Grits. I can say it is worth the time to order…..I for one was blown away.  The final product was SOOOO good, my Son asked for the leftovers as a snack. That was my drop the mic moment.”

His recipe for Velvety Grits can be found here, along with many more!

Mojito Cupcakes

mint leaves

butter

Using a lime cake base, we added a mint buttercream, topped with demerara sugar, candied limes, and lime zest. Here’s what you’ll need to make this one for yourself: (more…)

Founder’s Day 2016

FJuly 19 marks 21 years since our company’s founder, Leo Peters, passed away. Mr. Peters was an inventor and innovator, and he showed that persistence and hard work was the key to success. Since his passing, we honor him as well as the entire Butterball Farms family of employees for their dedication, hard work, and continued diligent pursuit of excellence.

Since the early 70’s, our tagline has been “Because Butter Should Be Beautiful,” and we can proudly say that we have made more beautiful butter than anyone on earth. When Leo started the company, what he did was innovative, new, and imaginative. Last year, we changed our tagline to: “Imagine Butter Differently.” Our new tagline continually reminds us to try new and different things. At Butterball Farms, we pride ourselves with having an incredible ability to make designs anyway our customers can imagine them. 

Founder’s Day is not only a day to say thank you and to honor those who have made long and substantial investments of time and energy to our company. It is also a day to look back and reflect on what has been accomplished and changed and to look forward together and dream of a great future. We keep dreaming and imagining what we can do different, unique, and interesting… In the past 21 years, many of the dreams for our business have come true. We have built a great culture, we are an exceptional supplier, and we are a community thought leader. We are enriching lives daily. We are making beautiful butter, and we are imagining and dreaming. We have more opportunities than ever to continue to build this company, our brands, our influence, and our people!

Happy Founder’s Day to the Butterball Farms Family!