January food trends: Celebrations can be Indulgent or Healthy

January food trends: Celebrations can be Indulgent or Healthy

February 4, 2014
3 min read

Consumers were still in a celebratory mood in December, and January 2014 LTO (Limited Time Only) Tracker from Mintel shows that beverages rose up to the occasion, with indulgent and festive presentations.

  • Fuddruckers offered a Peppermint Shake: A lusciously creamy vanilla shake, mixed with crushed peppermints, then finished with whipped topping and peppermint pieces.
  • P.F. Chang’s China Grill featured a Vanilla Bean Bourbon Milkshake: Woodford bourbon blended with vanilla bean ice cream, graham crackers and honey, served with a honey graham cracker lollipop.
  • Dairy Queen offered a Candy Cane Chill Blizzard Treat: Peppermint candy cane pieces and choco chunks blended with creamy vanilla soft serve.
  • On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina featured a Chocolate Truffle Martini: Chilled Patron XO Café liqueur and RumChata cinnamon cream liqueur shaken and finished with a dusting of powdered cocoa.
  • Krystal launched a Nutter Butter MilkQuake: A Shake so thick with peanut butter and rich ice cream, blended to perfection.
  • Even Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurants WinterBock Beer screamed indulgence: A dark, full-bodied lager with caramel and toffee notes.

However, consumers still like the option of eating healthy when they are celebrating. But despite the healthy positioning, the dishes still must resonate with flavor, in order to be attractive.
To this effect:

  • Camille’s Sidewalk Café featured a Breakfast Parfait Wrap: Served warm, the wrap is made with a whole wheat tortilla, vanilla yogurt, golden raisins, honey and granola.
  • El Pollo Loco offered a Mango Grilled Tostada: Features avocado, seasoned black beans, lettuce blend, citrus marinated, fire-grilled chicken breast, and sweet mango salsa.
  • Longhorn Steakhouse presented a Spinach Feta Chicken dish: Tender grilled chicken breast with fresh spinach and house-roasted red peppers in a garlic jus, topped with feta cheese.
  • Tim Hortons featured a Turkey Sausage Breakfast Sandwich, and gives detailed nutritional information: Made fresh to order, served hot and can be made with an egg-white omelet option at 290 calories, 10 grams of fat and 20 grams of protein. The sandwich also can be ordered with regular egg and cheese on a toasted English muffin.
  • Jack in the Box launched an Egg White & Turkey Breakfast Sandwich, which became a permanent part of the menu: Prepared with fluffy egg whites, grilled turkey, fresh sliced tomato and American cheese served on a classic bun.

Related Mintel Insights:

  • Beverages are a great dessert vehicle: Make ordinary drinks festive and surprise consumers with unexpected combinations, such as adding alcohol to a milkshake, or adding chocolate, ice cream or other sweet flavors to alcoholic drinks.
  • Continue to offer healthy foods: While consumers like to splurge when they eat out, they also like the option of having healthier foods – so offer them. Present ideas of how to make a meal healthier, by offering easy substitutions, such as using only egg whites or offering fish or chicken instead of beef.
  • Offer choices: Conversely, present traditional meals and treats so that consumers who are not as concerned about health and portions also have this option.
Julia Gallo-Torres
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