Citrus juices make their way into every aspect of a menu, even culinary applications. Citrus provides a natural, guilt-free burst of flavor to every dish it touches. From salad dressings and marinades to sauces and desserts, citrus juices are a staple in every kitchen.
One citrus juice that’s on everyone’s flavor radar for 2014 is lemon. According to brand development company Sterling Rice Group, lemon tops the list of 2014 menu trend predictions.
“As a brightener of dressings and sauces, lemon will move to a main ingredient in its purest, freshest juice or preserved form. Lemon is pure. Lemon is versatile. Lemon is nostalgic. For those reasons, it — and not other citruses — will be the flavor of next year. It ties into the cuisines of the Mediterranean, which are growing in popularity. Plus, it brings back memories of lemonade afternoons, Grandma’s lemon bars, and summer desserts with lemon meringue pie,” -Kazia Jankowski, Associate Culinary Director at Sterling Rice Group.
As consumers increasingly look to experiment with ethnic cuisines and more unique flavors, citrus juices provide a familiar flavor that can both entice and comfort those looking to try something new. Whether it’s Korean kimchee, Mexican guacamole, Caribbean mojo, or Mediterranean hummus, citrus juices are a common denominator that frequently resonate with consumers. Lemon juices are the rage this year, but lime, orange and grapefruit juices are here to stay too.
With more and more people avoiding salt, sugar and other additives, citrus juices provide that extra burst of flavor without unnecessary fat or calories. Calling out “pure lime juice” or “pure lemon juice” on menus showcases a chef’s flavor fusion skills and supports the “healthy halo” concerns that consumers have when dining out.