1. Classic French Pastries

Ultra classic French pastries are on the rise. (No complaints here!)  Many are traditional culinary school staples, such as:

  • Seasonal Fruit Tarts 

  • Crème au Caramel

  • Gateau Breton Butter Cake

  • Choux Pastry

  • Chantilly

  • Millefeuille


2. Use of Cultured Dairy

We've had our eye on this "cultured dairy" trend for a couple years now — it has gained serious momentum! Here's how some restaurants are executing this trend:

  • Use of Crème Fraîche
  • Sour Cream Cakes
  • Buttermilk Ice Cream

Click here to see our list of 8 Funky Ice Cream Flavors in 2017.


3. Aerated Texture

  • Aerated Nut Butters
  • Pavolvas
  • "Fluffs" and "Clouds"
  • Mousses
  • Meringues
  • Whipped Creams

4. Gettin' Daring with Savory

Pairing familiar sweet flavors + daring is a difficult balancing act. A successful example that hit the market last year was the Starbucks® "Smoked Butterscotch" latte. Here are some of the daring, unfamiliar savory components chefs are playing with:

  • Blue Cheese - Seen especially in cheesecakes.
  • Smoke



  • Shiitake Mushrooms  - Often paired with oh-so-approachable milk chocolate.
  • Foie Gras  - *Extremely popular, being paired with: peanut butter, white chocolate, berries, and cinnamon toast.
  • Black Charcoal Ice Creams [insert eye roll] - "Charcoal" is considered a savory component because char cues meat flavor experiences.

5. Chinese Teas

Chinese teas have an extraordinary range of nuances — from earthy and pronounced — to gentle, herbaceous and floral. Imaginative pastry chefs are taking full advantage of the dynamic aromatic and flavor contribution of teas, and especially teas of Chinese origin. 

  • Keemun Black Tea
  • Xiaguan Tuo Tea
  • Jasmine Tea
  • Smoked Tie Guan Yin Tea
  • Lapsang Souchong
  • Chinese Oolong Tea
  • Long Jing Tea
  • Silver Needle White Tea


A lovely menu example: Molasses / Lapsang Souchong / Earl Grey / Banana & Vanilla | GreenRiver, Chicago


6. A Different Kind of Nutty

We were all there for the hazelnut craze several years ago, not to mention the retail push for healthy high-protein nut snacks. We're seeing an influx of chestnuts, sesame, coconut now. Here are a few especially creative menu examples:


  • Pineapple-Wasabi Sorbet / Fresh Avocado / Miso Sponge Cake / Sesame Tuille | Bouley, NYC, NY

  • Chestnut Financier / Smoked Cream / Clementine | Hanbun, Westmont, IL

  • Macerated Blackberries / Coconut-Lemongrass Pudding with Lavender | 610 Magnolia, Louisville, KY


7. Japanese Ingredient Influence

General Japanese influence is a massive overarching, holistic culinary trend right now. Some popular Japanese fruits: Yuzu, Lychee, Satsuma, Sudachi, Buddha’s Hand.

Here are some dessert menu examples that we believe are particularly excellent demonstrations of subtle use of Japanese influence: 


  • Matcha / Whipped Cheesecake / Grapefruit / Almonds / Rice Crisp / Yuzu Ice | Gramercy Tavern, NYC
  • Japanese Cheesecake / Caramelized White Chocolate / Malted Meringue / Grapefruit Mint Sorbet | Blackbird, Chicago
  • Wasabi Marshmallow | In Situ, California

8. Fruits That Cue "Foraged"

Obviously from a food safety and GFSI perspective, industrial food supply chain will never be able to truly execute this "foraged" trend. Fine dining restaurants, such as French Laundry and Chez Panisse, have more flexibility when it comes to working with mushroom and wild fruit foragers.

There are certain fruits that cue "foraged" and a larger holistic trend that we refer to as "a virtual return to nature":


  • Wild berries
  • Huckleberries

9. Floral

Many historical European pastries have used gentle floral flavors for hundreds of years — rose water tea cakes and lavender ice cream are some of our favs. Some modern floral ingredients: 


  • Orange blossom
  • Hibiscus

Craving more culinary trend insights? 

Interested in our food insights or clean label ingredients? We'd love to chat!
Call us at (773) 492-1085 or click here to send us a message.