Trending: Sweet Is Half of the Healthy Eating See-Saw

You may have heard that Americans are more health conscious than ever. For most, eating healthy is a balancing act and it’s perfectly acceptable to incorporate a touch of the sweet stuff. If these dessert trends are any indication, Americans’ collective sweet tooth is tingling with happiness. Join us for a bite or two of what’s new in the land of sweet and you’ll see that there are many ways Americans can get their sweet on.

Shake it Up – Most likely you’ve run across images of Black Tap’s (NYC) over the top cake shakes on your Instagram feed. Works of art in their own right, extreme cake shakes are perfect for sharing. If you’re more centrally located, run to Public House for their cake shakes. We highly recommend the Vanilla Stout featuring JP Casper white stout, vanilla ice cream, topped with a huge piece of confetti buttercream cake. Bring a spoon-carrying friend.

Mighty Minis –  A great meal could always do with a finish of something sweet and a little bite is usually enough to take the edge off. Restaurants have found that offering an assortment of minis in the form of a dessert flight has big appeal and 42% of consumers agree that the dessert flight is just right.[1] Chefs love dessert flights or minis because it gives them more opportunity for experimentation with a variety of flavors and textures and also because it enhances the dining experience for patrons who can share amongst themselves. Whether it’s a mini, trio or flight, these sweet treats are seen on 11% of all dining menus and 16% of fast-casuals are now sporting minis on their menus.[2] Healthy dining concept, Seasons 52 is famous for its mini dessert rack that changes every six weeks.

Veggies Get Sweet –

To prove that veggies are transcendent, U.K. blogger and freelance writer Kate Hackworthy has a whole blog dedicated to the category and is obsessed with showing their versatility in everything from pizza to sweets. Her tribute to the extreme shake (dubbed a “freakshake”) featured beet root and bananas topped with sprinkles, whipped coconut cream and lots of other kid-pleasing toppings. And the Original Cakerie (Canada) has dreamt up new sweet offerings that take the guilt out of dessert. Their Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake & Veggie Parfaits showcase a cream cheese beet icing and a chocolate avocado mousse layered with cake that makes indulging feel healthy and decadent at the same time.

Mood Food

Goth themed dessert? Unicorns inspired sweets? Whatever the mood, there’s a sweet for it. Unicorn sweets first came on to the scene in food stylist, Adeline Waugh’s website, and very beautiful and colorful Instagram. Waugh was playing around with cream cheese, spirulina, blueberry powder, beet juice, chlorophyll and more and created a multi-colored schmeared toast that went viral. This fanciful creation inspired a unicorn food trend that is everywhere from toast to ice cream and recently Starbucks announced their unicorn Frappuccino’s move from the secret menu to a limited one in April 2017. And for the darker days, there’s always goth ice cream which is black charcoal ice cream in a charcoal gray tinted cone. Either way, there’s a food for the mood.

Waffles, Ice Cream, and Coachella

Food festivals have a way of cultivating food trends and the sweet category isn’t excluded here. At the 2017 Coachella, consumers indulged in everything from chocolate dipped, cereal coated Belgian liege waffles on a stick to California-based After’s Ice Cream scooped into their famous Milky Buns covered in more cereal. And L.A. based Donut Farm’s donuts made the vegan crowd happy with their coconut whiteout or blueberry donuts. Our favorite? Mallow Mallow’s Bourbon Bacon S’more.

Cereal Goes Beyond the Bowl– Speaking of cereal—whether Christina Tosi started it at Milk Bar with her cereal milk creations or not— it’s everywhere. Kelloggs’ has a whole restaurant dedicated to it. Jeni’s Ice-Cream recently announced new flavor, Gennmaicha & Marshmallows, conjures up a Rice Krispie taste thanks to gennmaicha, a green tea toasted with rice. And the vanilla bean marshmallows don’t hurt one bit. Let’s face it, cereal isn’t just for breakfast anymore.

Feeling the taste for something sweet? Contact us today to learn how our real food ingredients add can help solve real formulation challenges.


[2] Ibid