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US Foods' Top Ten Holiday Dessert Trends

ROSEMONT, IL (December 7, 2011)—US Foods unveiled their top 10 dessert trends for the holiday season.

The trends, based on US Foods sales data and Technomics menu tracking, include:

  • Mini desserts: small bites of something sweet that doesn't cost diners much in dollars or calories. US Foods' Chef's Line Chocolate Melting Cake Batter allows chefs to create signature holiday treats, like mini chocolate caramel potato chip brownies.
  • Dessert samplers and trios: small portions of a variety of desserts for sharing and sampling.
  • Combo meals with a bite of dessert - mini desserts that enhance the appeal of three-course combo meals and provide a bite of sweetness without being too heavy.
  • Healthy desserts: calorie-controlled items for those who want to have their cake and diet too. Items like fresh fruit skewers with chocolate dipping sauce fit perfectly into this category.
  • Local sourcing: this dessert menu is the place where fruits from the region can shine, either as a central ingredient or as a sauce or garnish. The holiday season is the time to look at stone fruits as an option to the summer's fresh berries.
  • Creative cakes: the cupcake and cake-pop trends are still going strong, but now we're seeing more creativity in standard-format cakes, as well as a return to cakes beloved by past generations. US Foods' Devonshire carrot cake and red velvet cakes are two top "comfort" dessert choices.
  • Cheesecake rethought: rich, dense cheesecake is perfect for the mini trend, such as cheesecake pops and bites in new, unique flavors like dulce de leche and pomegranate.
  • Fancy puddings: restaurants are adding modern flair to old-school offerings like bread pudding and creme brulee. For the season, try pumpkin white chocolate banana bread or banana brulee bread pudding.
  • Complex chocolate: warm, cold, malted or spiced with chipotle, new desserts are using chocolate in many forms and formats. Mexican chocolate with a little heat and a touch of cinnamon is finding its way onto menus everywhere.
  • Ethnic desserts: from Italian cannoli and tiramisu to Mexican-style churros, flan, sopapillas and dessert flautas, authentic flavors drive these items.

"Keeping your dessert menu exciting has never been easier with US Foods as your partner," said Bill Brooks, executive chef, US Foods. "Whether you want ready-to-serve desserts for a holiday party or need the ingredients to create your own signature dessert, US Foods can provide the high quality ingredients and recipes to help any chef build their perfect dessert menu."