Chicken Wings Offer Easy, Safe Way to Explore Global Flavors
Looking to showcase some new global flavors? There’s not better vehicle than chicken wings.
Fried chicken continues its reign in 2021 and with a rise in global flavor interest, it’s a match made in heaven. It offers a familiar way for consumers to try new flavors without a large investment. This style of safe exploration is exactly what’s needed to bring new flavors to market.
Plus, for back-of-house all it means is a new sauce, making it safe for bottom lines as well. Whether as an LTO or a new lineup launch, global sauces provide excellent opportunities to extend menus into popular trends with minimal investment.
Here are some of the popular wing flavors for 2021.
Global Flavors Give Chicken Wings Lift
Mediterranean flavors from places like Lebanon, Greece, and Morocco continue to grow in interest. Not only because of their bright, vivid flavors and colors, but also because of their perceived health benefits.
Luckily, these flavors are also perfect for chicken wings. Capitalize on the flavor and Med. diet trends with unique flavors like spicy harissa, aromatic shawarma, and Greek ladolemono (aromatic lemon sauce).
On chicken wings alone these flavors break through the norm and create buzzworthy items customers are sure to line up for. Top them with a specialty garnish like chives, basil, or mint and you can easily elevate them to a whole new scale of interest.
Consumers are starting to recognize the difference between Mexican American and traditional Mexican cuisine. This is great for flavorists, as it offers an opportunity to explore new ingredients and sauces.
Particular among these is adobo sauce. Made with ancho and guajillo peppers, it balances a tangy base with smoke and a medium warmth that’s safe for all types of diners. Brighten it up with a spritz of fresh lime juice or chopped cilantro for an aromatic balance.
Other authentic Mexican flavors coming up include various moles (rich, aromatic blends of fruits, chilies, and spices) and Veracruz sauce, a briny combination of tomatoes, garlic, and capers.
Asian American Influence
Finally, we must talk about Asian sauces. 2019 and 2020 saw the rise of gochujang in the form of Korean BBQ sauce. This opened up a whole new level of interesting, umami packed sauces piquing consumer’s interest. Flavors like Szechuan Chili Crisp and XO Sauce are finding their way onto menus nationally, but these are still at the very beginning of recognition.
The comfort food trend has, however, reinvigorated interest in classic Asian American flavors like General Tso’s, Kung Pao, and Sesame chicken. These rich, flavorful sauces are absolutely perfect for chicken wings and guaranteed crowd pleasures.
Each can be easily tweaked to add a touch of heat or burst of aromatics without needing to add extra ingredients or drop steps. They’re the restaurants best friends and the consumer’s new favorite.
These Wing Trends Are Hot!
But not all of them are spicy. So, no matter your audience, use global flavors to excite existing consumers and bring in new ones. Trends change fast, so act now to get on top of things.