US-based chains are accelerating menu launches in other parts of the world

Pizza Huts in Japan has introduced crusts made from Japanese rice to hedge against high wheat prices./Photo courtesy of Pizza Hut Japan

American travelers who stop at a McDonald’s or Papa Johns in another country are often surprised to see dishes that are never on the menu at home.

Each quarter, Technomic’s Navigator program tracks these stories to reveal emerging food and beverage trends in American chains around the world. Here is new Highlights from the Fall 2022 Global Menu Innovation Report.

Argentina: Philadelphia

Wendy’s in Argentina turns a classic Philly cheesesteak into a burger by layering beef patties with feta and melted cheddar cheese, topped with sautéed vegetables on a brioche bun. Philadelphia cheesesteak ingredients are increasingly found in burgers and pizzas.

Brazil: Calabresa Burrito

An LTO burrito at Taco Bell in Brazil is filled with a local sausage: Linguica Calabresa. The mix also features more classic burrito ingredients, including rice, jalapeno, onion, and cheese, all rolled up in a flour tortilla. The trend: locate a mainstream menu item with a protein identified with the country’s cuisine.

Burrito Taco Bell

Photo courtesy of Taco Bell Brazil

Chili: vegetables with cheese

There is no mention of pizza in the name of this menu item. Daddy Johns in Chile. But these cheesy bread sticks, often served as a side dish in pizza concepts in the United States, are enhanced with premium ingredients. Customers can customize them with vegetables and sauces to add a chef-inspired touch, choosing from corn, onions, jalapenos, mushrooms, pineapple, and black olives as well as pesto and barbecue sauces.

France: Chicken Harimous

Subway is accelerating menu innovation in the United States, as evidenced by the launch this summer of 12 chef-created sandwiches in the Subway series. But the French Chicken Harimous has not yet crossed the Atlantic. This sub combines harissa-spiced chicken and creamy hummus, taking diners on a taste adventure through North Africa and the Middle East.

India: Popcorn Nachos

The menu at KFC in India offers tortilla chips topped with popcorn chicken to create a multicultural snack or a loaded side dish. Doritos chips are topped with crispy fried chicken bites and served with two sauces: salsa masala and cheesy jalapeno. Technomic predicts that inventive snacks and sides will grow as a menu category.

Nachos KFC

Photo courtesy of KFC India

Japan: Rice Pizza

pizza hut in Japan is avoiding rising wheat prices by adding a rice pizza crust to its basic menu. The dough is made from 100% domestic rice and comes in three global variations – Japanese, European and American – each including filling ingredients inspired by that country or region.

The Philippines: Plant Based Breakfast Sandwich

Fake breakfast meats and vegan egg alternatives are popular components of plant-based breakfast sandwiches in the United States. Starbucks in the Philippines gets more creative, layering sautéed mushrooms and scrambled tofu instead of eggs, also adding a plant-based breakfast meat. It comes on an egg and dairy-free brioche bun for a completely vegan breakfast.

Singapore: Laksa Wraps

For a version of the fish sandwich that reflects Singaporean cuisine, Long John Silver’s wraps spicy fried fish with butter lettuce, sliced ​​tomato and boiled eggs, imparting local flavor with coconut-accented laksa mayonnaise. It is also available in a chicken version. Both reinterpret the flavors of laksa, Singapore’s iconic noodle dish.

Shake Shack flavors three crisp chilli dishes in the UK

United Kingdom: Chili Crisp menu inspired by Sichuan

Chili crisp, the spicy Chinese condiment that has flourished on American menus, is still relatively unknown in the UK. Shake Shack has teamed up with an LA brand, Fly by Jing, to launch three new items. The menu includes crispy chili chicken with pickles, shredded lettuce and spring onion mayo; Crispy Chili Chicken Bites with Spring Onion Mayonnaise Sauce; and Chili Crisp Cheese Fries with Cheese Sauce from Shake Shack.

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