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2014 Trends on the Rise


As the year continues it is apparent that chefs, associations, and food professionals have done an excellent  job predicting the 2014 culinary trends. 

The National Restaurant Association (NRA) conducted a survey at the end of 2013 with what professional chefs considered 2014 food trends in numerous categories.  One of the top trends is focusing on child nutrition and concern for more health-conscious kid’s meals. Parents and professionals are seeking uses for whole grains and more fruit and vegetable sides.

Coming out on top was bold, ethnic-inspired breakfast dishes. Crepes and burritos are perking up breakfast menus across the United States. According to a Food Genius report, not-at-home-breakfast sales have increased 13 percent in the last nine months alone with quick-service as the leader in activity. Overall, Americans are demanding more breakfast.

Ethnic influence can be seen in all aspects of the food community. Peruvian, Korean, and Southeast Asian have captured the most attention. These international styles are set apart for their unique spices, alternative grains, and use of proteins. A Peruvian dish to capture this trend is causa, which features layers of mashed yellow potatoes, avocado, and mild vegetables. The way other countries prepare food, like pickling and fermentation, are countering the traditional grilling, baking, and frying Americans are accustom too.

A recently published report by Technomic highlighted foodservice mid-year trends. Sriracha is hot (try our newest product – Sriracha Sausage), and everyone is loving the heat. Be on the lookout for habanero and ghost pepper flavors, and spicier sauces. Complementing spicier sauces, barbeque sauce for pizzas, sandwiches, and wraps is smokin’ hot. Restaurant Business Online also noted that smoke-infusing foods other than meat, such as mushrooms or pickles, is a trend to watch.

Fast casual and quick service restaurant (QSR) experiences are evolving due to the technology boom. More common in casual dining chains, menus are shrinking in hopes of more user-friendly, efficient service. Consumers heightened interest in food ingredients are challenging restaurants on how to effectively communicate the information. One solution is to publish ingredients online and to create an app that includes product information. According to QSR Magazine, adding avenues for customers to pay online or with their mobile devices is becoming commonplace. Benefits to going mobile include keeping up with competitors (who are also considering it), simple implementation, easier tracking of restaurant activity, and the ability to offer more branded promotions. In addition to mobile apps, consumers would like to see more self-ordering terminals.  

Burke Corporation Fully Cooked Meats

Other trends Technomic predicted at the end of 2013 include local sourcing and transparency of ingredients. More than ever, consumers want to know what is in their food and if it is healthy. Alternative  grains used in pasta and flatbread items is one way more health-conscious items are coming into the market.  In the pizza industry this can be easily done by incorporating a whole grain crust into your menu, like in this Meaty Whole Wheat Pizza.


The food community is always evolving, and the 2014 culinary trends hold true to that statement. Foodservice and manufacturing leaders are here to satisfy American’s craving for bold, new innovations from spicy international dishes to using more ancient grains. The first half of 2014 may be in the books, but these trends are looking to make records. 


Download your copy of Burke’s 2014 Trends Report for creative menu inspiration today!

Creative New Menu Ideas for Manufactures Selling to Schools


It's a well-known fact that kids are among the pickiest eaters.  School meals are no exception.  School lunch items not only have to be nutritious, but they need to be delicious in order to be eaten.  Manufactures selling to schools have a difficult role, but with some creative menu new ideas school lunch items can be an area of profitability and success.

Pizza is known to be a favorite, but serving pizza over and over can become monotonous.  Instead, offer the same flavors in a fun calzone.  Substituting the typical meat fillings of pepperoni or sausage with beef is another great way to add some variation.  Beef is a great protein to use in calzones or on pizza because it goes with a wide variety of toppings.

One application of this concept is a Mini White Calzone, this features beef topping, ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese as well as roasted red peppers, arugula aMiniWhiteCalzones v1nd caramelized onions.  This calzone is then brushed with garlic butter and served with a spicy marinara sauce.  This idea works in a school lunch application for a variety of reasons.  The mini size makes the calzone more approachable for younger consumers and is easily dipped in the marinara sauce.  The caramelized onions add a greater depth of flavor without being overpowering.  This is important in a school lunch offering because not all consumers desire a strong onion flavor.  The combination of cheese also offers a twist on a typical calzone, especially the ricotta which gives a delicious creaminess to the dish.  Finally, the beef offers a great savory flavor and compliments all of the other ingredients.

Another BeefedUpMozzSticks v1way to appeal consumers is to enhance a favorite. Mozzarella sticks are liked by many and making them even better with the addition of beef will make them loved by all.  One alternative version of mozzarella sticks is called Beefed-up Mozzarella Sticks.  This includes mozzarella cheese sticks and seasoned beef crumbles wrapped in a wonton wrapper and baked. They are served with a spicy marinara sauce.

With a few simple substitutions mozzarella sticks can be elevated to a new level.  Instead of simply breading and frying cheese, this version reduces fat and calrories by using wonton wrappers.  This allows for baking instead of frying but still gives the desired crispy and crunchy exterior.  The wonton wrapper also allows for the addition of the seasoned beef crumbles.  The beef adds additional protein and makes this dish much more than just an appetizer.   


For more information about Burke's Beef Toppings and to request a sample visit our website.

Spice Up Your Products with Burke's NEW Sriracha Sausage


Sriracha sauce is heating up products across the industry. Here are a few ideas on how to spice up your products with Burke's NEW Sriracha Sausage



Southwest Stuffed Sweet Potato – A sweet potato with Sriracha Sausage and a delicate garden-fresh mix of black beans, corns, diced tomatoes, green onion, chopped bell peppers, cilantro and lime. Sprinkle a  blend of Colby and Monterey jack cheese on the top and broil until cheese is slightly melted.  






 Sriracha Sausage Fried Rice - Spice up your classic  fried rice recipe with Sriracha Sausage and a tangy  peanut curry sauce made with  coconut milk, peanut  butter, curry paste, and seasonings to see if your  taste buds can handle the heat.  




Request a sample or contact one of Burke's Industrial Sales Managers to tell you more about Sriracha Sausage

2014 Trends Seen at the IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo


From June 21-24, food professionals gathered in New Orleans, LA for the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting & Food Expo. IFT is an organization of over 16,000 members which connects the all aspects of the food community. At the expo, the latest innovations from ingredients to packaging and processing are featured. Seminars, student product development competition finals, and various award ceremonies are activities to attend while at the expo.  


Keynote Speaker discusses Food Waste, Hunger, and Obesity

Keynote speaker Doug Rauch, former president of Trader Joe’s, kicked off the seminars. He discussed the issues of hunger, obesity, and food waste in America. Rauch stated that the modern-day hunger is more than lacking calories, it’s lacking nutrients too. This is more apparent as you move down the economic scale. Low-income families are driven to buy unhealthier meals with higher calories, which can then contribute to obesity. In terms of food waste, an alarming number of consumers aren’t aware of the different between a “sell by” or “best by” date and end up throwing away consumable food. Rauch believes food scientists can play an imperative role in improving food labeling and packaging, extending shelf life stability, and developing nutritious food that is affordable and satisfying.


Hot Dialogue with GMOs

Hot Dialogue with GMOs discussed the various attitudes chefs, consumers, and industry professionals about genetically modified (GM) products. The first speaker, John Schonwald, has led numerous interview with chefs, and the general attitude towards genetically modified foods was fairly negative. Chefs prefer “local and handpicked” ingredients, contrasting from the “affordable, durable, and availability” of GM foods. The second speaker, John Ruff, stated that consumers attitudes are shifting to  believe GM products aren’t as bad as originally thought. When the floor opened up to audience members, educating chefs and citizens about GM products is essential for the future was the general consensus.


 Food Trends at the Expo

Innova Market Insights’ Taste the Trend celebrated its 10th anniversary at the expo. The number one trend was  titled “Waste Not, Want Not,” which complemented Doug Rauch’s presentation. Food manufactures are looking for ways to reduce food waste, such as single serving packing and publishing cookbooks that utilize leftovers. Another trend highlighted was the demand for protein, protein-derivatives and their applications. Alternative protein sources such as whey, nuts, seeds, and algae are gaining popularity as well. Savory flavors, ethnic food trucks, and Middle Eastern Cuisine also made the top 10 list.

A Mintel blog post reiterated the importance of the topics and trends discussed by the Rauch, Innova, and the numerous other companies represented. GMO-free and “clean” labels are on the radar of food companies, the FDA, and packaging designers. Other hot topics discussed were the use of pulse flours (dry, protein isolates) and using “whole food” flours in place of vegetable proteins. A blog posted by Food Dive also agreed that “clean labels” and protein derivatives were buzzing throughout the expo. The post also mentioned the innovations in packaging and the influence of social media on food companies and restaurants.


Final Thoughts

The food community is always evolving, and the IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo is a place for professionals to share their innovations or gain inspiration. As industry and food service providers it’s a great opportunity to network and find out what trends are taking off.

IFT will celebrate its 75th conference in Chicago, IL July 11-14, 2015.


Click here to check out Burke’s 2014 Trend Report

Menu Ideas for America's Birthday


Since the constitution was adopted on July 4th, 1776, remembering our nation’s birthday has included all types of celebrations. Parades and fireworks will fill the streets and sky as people all over the country honor America's birthday. The holiday wouldn’t be the same without traditional American foods such as hamburgers, hot dogs, kabobs, pasta salad, and patriotic desserts. Below are a few ideas including seasonal trends to inspire your 4th of July Menu!



‘Merican Meatballs – A skewer filled with Italian-Style Meatballs, fresh mozzarella cheese, and roasted cherry tomatoes then drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with basil.


Summertime Pasta Salad – Macaroni noodles, Diced Pepperoni, chopped green pepper, red onion, cubed Monterey Jack, sliced black olives, and pepperoncinos. Toss with a homemade dressing of olive oil, balsamic vinaigrette, black pepper, basil, cilantro, and oregano.


Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza  – An original Bacon Cheeseburger Sauce, a blend of cheddar and mozzarella cheese, and topped with classic burger toppings such as crispy dill pickle chips, red onion, fresh diced tomato, chopped lettuce, Beef Topping, and Bacon Pieces.Burke Corporation Star-Spangled Banner Pizza

Star-Spangled Banner Pizza – For an American flag pizza, start with a rectangular crust, covered with a thin layer of pizza sauce. To create the blue portion of the flag, arrange the spinach in a rectangle proportional to the original flag, then top with mozzarella star-cut outs. Alternate Sliced Pepperoni with mozzarella cheese along the entire length of the pizza to represent the stripes.



And if you offer Take-N-Bake Pizza, share grilling instructions with your consumers. The pizzas can be cooked on top of a heat-resistant surface. Cooking times may vary depending on the type of crust and temperature of the grill.


For more menu inspiration, visit Burke Corporation’s Recipe and Menu Idea page.


Capturing the Buzz about Brazilian Cuisine


The temperature is heating up and so is another 2014 culinary food trend. The host of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics, Brazil, is influencing food service providers, prepared food manufacturers, and individuals around the globe to explore the country's native dishes.  

Common Brazilian ingredients include coconut milk, grilled meats (beef, pork, seafood), and Chile peppers. Root vegetables, rice, beans, and tropical fruits such as papaya, acai berries, and mango score with the natives as well. These foods are found throughout Brazil, but each region has their own adaptations depending on the customs, traditions, and ingredient availability.


The following dishes have been winning the hearts of Brazilian natives for thousands of years.


Brazilian Cuisine
Image courtesy of

Acarajé – Deep fried black eyed peas and onion balls -- filled with Vatapa. (See picture, right.)

Pastel – Fried pastry stuffed with meat crumbles and a creamy cheese filling.  

Salpicão – Brazilian-style chicken salad featuring chicken, apples, raisins, and mayonnaise. 

Main Dishes

Churrasco – Skewered chucks of tender meat grilled over an open fire for an original smoky flavor.

Empadão—Similar to an American chicken pot pie, but with a flakier crust and a thicker filling of fully cooked meat crumbles, fresh vegetables, and spices.

Brazilian Cuisine
Image courtesy of http://flavorsof 

Farofa – Fried cassava flour flavored with various seasonings and spices and is consumed daily by most of Brazil. It is used as topping or side dish, especially over beans, meat, and rice. (See picture, left.)

Savory Crepes – A balanced mixture of fully cooked meat crumbles, flavorful sauce, and cheese rolled in a paper-thin pastry shell.Feijoada— Black bean stew including smoked pork or beef crumbles and other seasonings. This is considered one of Brazil’s national dishes, so it varies greatly depending on the region of Brazil where its being prepared. (see picture, left)

Vatapá—Coconut milk, peanuts,  palm oil, and shrimp are the basis of this rich, creamy paste served as a side or main dish.

Side Dishes

Farofa – Fried cassava flour flavored with various seasonings and spices and is consumed daily by most of Brazil. It is used as topping or side dish, especially over beans, meat, and rice. (See picture, above.)

Pão de Queijo – Light, miniature cheese-filled rolls, most enjoyable when served warm.


Beijinho de Coco – Truffle made with sweetened condensed milk, butter, and coconut,
 Brazilian Cuisine
Image courtesy of http://alimentacaosaudee
then smoothered in coconut flakes when cooled. (See picture, far right.)

Brigadeiro—Beijinho de Coco’s cousin, with cocoa powder and sprinkles in place of coconut flakes. (See picture, right.) 

Passion Fruit Mousse- A sweet, light and fluffy blend of passion fruit, sweetened condensed milk, and whipping cream.


Brazilian Pizza

Pizza is an international food, so it is no surprise Brazilians have put their own twist on this classic dish. However, it is vastly different from the pizza Americans consume. Here are is a brief overview:

Crust – very thin, similar to a flatbread pizza

Sauce – Thin layer to let other flavors steal the show

Cheese— Catupiry, a soft, tangy cheese, comparable to a combination of mascarpone and cream cheese

Toppings – Corn, curried chicken, eggs, hearts of palm, and potatoes.

Brazilians enjoy savory pizzas like the ones described above, but they indulge in dessert pizzas as well. Sweets such as  bananas, citrus fruits, chocolate, guava paste, and dolche de leche are featured.



Brazilian Steakhouses, or Churrascarias,  are a current restaurant trend in the United States. This isn’t your traditional steakhouse -it is more like a sophisticated buffet.  Waiters are circulating around the dining room, serving churrasco. When your plate is empty, waiters come back to your table and offer more meat until you decide you are satisfied.  


What are you going to do to capture this growing trend? 

From citrus fruits to skewered meat to savory pizzas, Brazilians have an exotic, unique food profile. The 2014 culinary trend of ethnic food is well established in the food community, and Brazilian influences are on the rise.  Whatever gold-metal idea you come up with, you can always trust it to the great people and products at Burke.


Request a sample of Burke fully cooked meats for your Brazilian-inspired menu idea today and join the 2014 Trends Team!


Wake up Your Menu with 2014 Culinary Trends


One of the most exciting aspects of the food and culinary industry is the constant evolution of popular flavors and ingredient combinations. Chefs, food editors, bloggers, and other industry professionals forecasted numerous ideas about the hot food trends of 2014, and the predictions will not disappoint your taste buds! 

Ethnic cuisine is taking 2014 by storm.  Peruvian flavors and dishes are making their way into American restaurants and homes. Peru offers complex flavors influenced by immigrants from around the world.  Top ingredients in the Peruvian culinary scene include potatoes, corn, yuca, and the yellow aji pepper. Middle Eastern flavors are also on the radar for 2014.  Spices from countries such as Turkey and Israel will become well known.  This includes sumac a tart spice and za'atar a combination of spices including sumac, thyme, oregano, and marjoram. 

Ethnic breakfast items are also trending.  The National Restaurant Association states that ethnic breakfast items are the top breakfast trend for 2014.  One simple way to incorporate this trend is to replace traditional breakfast sausage with chorizo in an omelet or scramble for a zesty variation on a breakfast favorite. 

One of the more interesting trends involves technology's impact on food.  Restaurants are making a connection between customer's mobile device habits and their eating habiChorizoGyroWithMintYogurtSaucets.  Instead of only offering fork and knife options on menus restaurants are including more handheld items like wraps, flatbreads and sandwiches.  These items free up diner's hands for their cell phones.  Sometimes culinary trends are not solely flavor and ingredient based but respond to a practicality.  

Everyday ingredients can also have their moment in the spotlight.  In 2014 lemon is predicted to be a trendy ingredient.  A squeeze of fresh lemon juice or adding lemon zest to a variety of recipes adds a pure, fresh, and light flavor. 

They way consumers are eating pizza is also changing in 2014.  Instead of the traditional sit down restaurant, fast casual pizza establishments are becoming the new way to satisfy the pizza craving.  The research firm Technomic says that the fast-casual pizza category is "driving the evolution of the pizza landscape".  By offering fast and high quality pizza, the fast casual pizza segment is expected to have staying power in the pizza industry. 

From ethnic to breakfast to pizza, 2014 has many innovative and delicious trends! For more information about culinary trends download Burke Corporation's 2014 Trend Report.

Burke Corporation: Formulating for Optimization


Burke Corporation is committed to helping you achieve your profit goals in 2014. Cost reduction is usually on the top of the list to increase profits, but methods to achieve the goal of spending less money and making more can vary. One method of improving cost is through process optimization.

Process optimization begins with functional ingredients. Such ingredients are able to introduce or improve certain quality characteristics. In the meat processing world functional ingredients include but are not limited to salts, phosphates, non-meat proteins, antioxidants, antimicrobials, and even water. Functional ingredients can aid in binding meat emulsions for improved yield and throughput speed resulting in lower cost. Sometimes even very small changes can make a difference. Formulating a product with optimal combinations of binding ingredients is a key factor in process optimization.

Other functional ingredients can serve to extend the shelf life of the product. In the meat industry, both antioxidants and antimicrobials will contribute to improved freshness and food safety of a product over a longer period of time. Combinations of functional ingredients optimize the final product for quality and cost.

In addition to functional ingredients, products can be optimized for cost saving by the use of extenders and/or flavor enhancers. The goal is to achieve similar texture and flavor by the use of ingredients that are less expensive or that you can use less quantity.

The bottom line is what matters in any industry. Maintaining and even increasing profits through cost reduction can be achieved by optimizing ingredients in combination and amount.

Burke Corporation is committed to formulating products for process optimization. Let the Research and Development team at Burke Corporation help you provide your customers with optimal products.


Editor’s note: Dr. Canon is a food scientist at Burke Corporation. She holds her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in food science and technology from Iowa State University, and has earned her Certified Culinary Scientist degree from the Research Chef’s Association. Rely on the Burke Research and Development team to formulate your product or help develop the perfect fully cooked meats that will delight your customers.

New Burke Sriracha Sausage taking cravings by firestorm.


It’s the distinctive flavor that is blazing through every daypart and menu part. Sriracha blends chili peppers, garlic, sugar, vinegar and salt into a complex, spicy flavor consumers crave.

Burke has captured sriracha’s zippy, tangy heat in a delicious NEW sausage topping. Operators can use this bold new Sriracha Sausage to create tempting pizzas, sandwiches, even breakfast offerings. Marketing and R&D departments can now develop products with the sought-after taste that has become a phenom everywhere.

Sriracha Sausage Avocado Breakfast Pizza

Sriracha, sometimes called the “Hipster’s Ketchup” because of its popularity and cool (hot) factor, is a current way to satisfy customers, while promising an adventure into flavor. Fifty-four percent of consumers prefer very spicy foods and sauces, compared to just 48 percent in 2011. Kalsec, Inc.’s U.S. HeatSync Index with Mintel International report a strong increase in pepper use, with an index up 38 percent over the previous six months.  

Pizzas are showing a trend toward bolder flavors. Operators are using and consumers are ordering spicy sauce 300 percent more often.

Asian flavors are among the top 20 “hot” food trends, according to, and Asian-inspired breakfast items are getting lots of attention. It’s no secret that sriracha contributes this Asian flavor deliciously to the first meal of the day.

Recently debuted and sampled at the International Pizza Expo and the Research Chefs Association Annual Conference and Culinology® Expo, Sriracha Sausage was met with excitement and acclaim.                   

 “Burke’s new Sriracha Sausage is giving our customers a mouthwatering  way to grab onto the consumer cravings for sriracha flavor from eye-opening breakfasts to late-night pizza,” said Scott Miller, Burke National Sales Manager.

“The response has been great, not only to the big idea of capturing a powerful trend in such a useable way,” said Mike Dougherty, Burke National Sales Manager, “but also to the exceptional flavor and appearance Burke has developed in this delicious Sriracha Sausage.”

There’s no denying the flavor is on trend. Burke’s new Sriracha Sausage is high-end quality as well. Burke’s HAND-PINCHED STYLE® gives this sausage a signature look. It’s available in Avg. 30/oz. size, perfect for prepared foods in the freezer case or from the back of house---pizza, sandwiches pasta dishes, casseroles and more.

Burke’s Sriracha Sausage is IQF so it’s easy to handle in the kitchen and runs smoothly through any manufacturing line. And, of course, as a Burke product, it’s always consistent for predictable performance and flavor.

We’d love to share more with you. If you’d like to find out if you qualify for a sample of our new Sriracha Sausage, please visit


McCormick Lists Top Flavors, 2014 Trends


McCormick & Co. Inc. has released its 2014 Trends Flavor Forecast 2014.

The 2014 trends report highlights five top food trends and more than a dozen emerging flavors predicted to impact the way we eat in the coming years. One such trend is the growing obsession with chilies. “Everywhere we looked, people have a growing fascination with the delicious range of flavors and heat chile peppers deliver,” said Kevan Vetter, McCormick’s Executive Chef.
McCormick Flavor Forecast 2014 offer a taste of what’s next on the global menu:

Five Top Flavors:

  • Aja Amarillo: A hot Peruvian yellow chile with bold, fruity flavor.

  • Kashmiri Masala: An often homemade blend of spices from northern India featuring cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, cloves, and ginger.

  • Tea: Not just for sipping anymore, this natural ingredient is making its way into rubs, broths, and marinades.

  • Chamoy Sauce: A unique Mexican condiment—made from apricot, lime, chilies, and spices—just beginning to gain a following in the United States.

  • Cassava Flour: Also known as manioc or tapioca flour, this gluten-free alternative is a Brazilian staple prized for its versatility.

5 Top Trends:

  • Chilies Obsession: Food lovers everywhere are seeking out their next big chile thrill.

  • Modern Masala: Indian food is finally having its moment, breaking free of its traditional confines with modern interpretations.

  • Clever Compact Cooking: Proving that big flavorsVaquero Beef Pizza can come from small spaces, cooks in urban kitchens are making the most of what’s available.

  • Mexican World Tour: Mexican flavors are making their way around the globe, with people everywhere discovering new aspects of this bright, casual cuisine.

  • Charmed by Brazil: The world’s attraction to Brazilian cuisine is heating up, thanks to its seductive mix of global and native influences.

Let Burke’s R&D Team develop a custom topping that fits your flavor goals for the new year!

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