Food Concepts & Ideas

In addition to providing concession equipment and supplies, Gold Medal is committed to sharing expert food ideas that will keep you feeling creative. Fresh twists on old favorites, new food trends, and other menu suggestions offer inspiration for you to build on to surprise and delight your customers. Use these concepts to spark ideas of your own and add new energy to your concession business.


Forecasting the 2021 Flavor Trends

Trends to Watch for in the New Year

With a new year comes a new batch of food trend predictions! We’ve compiled some of the top flavor research and will share the potential trends and flavor ideas to inspire you for 2021.


Comfort Foods collected the insights of chefs from across the country to reveal their perspectives into the trends we can anticipate. One that stands out is comfort food. “For 2021 the trends will go towards comfort and simplicity. This is due to the pandemic, and everyone looking for a sense of comfort and normalcy,” shared Michael Schulson, chef and founder of Schulson Collective. What’s one of the most popular comfort foods? It is classic pizza. Keep yours hot and ready by using a Gold Medal Warming Cabinet. Another favorite is fried foods. For everything from donuts to corn dogs, funnel cakes, and more you can find the right fryers and supplies you’ll need to cook up the best in fried foods. Keep in mind because many fairs and festivals were canceled, people have looked to new venues to find the fried fair foods they know and love. 

2021 Flavor Trends - Lemon Pound Cake


Home Baker

As consumers have spent more time in the kitchen, flavors associated with cooking and baking are anticipated to grow in popularity. (Source: Comax Flavors Reveals Its 2021 Flavor Trends) Flavors that coincide with this trend can include both sweet and savory variations. For example, Lemon Pound Cake is a sweet shake-on popcorn flavor that is a lighter option than baked goods. For the savory side, one might incorporate into recipes the Mediterranean Herb flavor with its blend of garlic, basil, rosemary, and other seasonings. Not only can you try it on popcorn, but it also works well on burgers, seafood, or other dishes too.


Hot & Spicy

“Bland is banned” according to Pinterest Predicts. From Cajun to jalapeño, the spiciest of flavors have been making a surge appearing in searches across Pinterest. This is good news because spicy flavorings on popcorn can be a big hit with customers. Gold Medal offers Cajun, Hot Jalapeño, and Buffalo Breath as some our most popular hot selections. What you may not realize is that spicy can even be paired with traditionally sweet items, as in our Spicy Aztec Chocolate Fudge recipe. The secret ingredient is Ghost Pepper Flavacol, which gives it a kick. It is also used to make Chili Cinnamon Hot Chocolate. So, the only limit on the flavor possibilities is your imagination.


2021 Flavor Trends - Wasabi

Go Global

Based on McCormick’s Annual Flavor Forecast, one of the trends to be aware of is flavors from global dishes. With travel limited, many are finding ethnic cuisine to be a welcomed event. This trend truly reaches around the globe with tastes from Mexico, India, Japan, the Mediterranean and more. Gold Medal’s line includes flavors like Wasabi, a Japanese horseradish and Mediterranean Herb. These can be used to flavor popcorn, wings, fries, and more. The global influence will likely continue to grow in appeal and bring inspiration to menus.


It’s a Big Dill

One flavor trend that emerged on the 2021 Flavors of the Year list from Beck Flavors is dill. The flavor that makes pickles so popular is now beginning to attract more attention. Adam Berge from the Beck Flavors lab team explains how versatile it is, “It can be used in a wide range of applications including cocktails, beer, chocolate, coffee, candy, ice cream, chips, popcorn, and more.” Its distinct flavor profile is increasing in popularity. Gold Medal’s Dill flavor is a shake-on seasoning. Beyond popcorn, it tastes great on potatoes, in dressings, or with seafood.


These flavor trends give you a great starting point. However, it’s also great to create your own too. Gold Medal is here to help with the equipment, supplies, and consultation to help you be a success. Reach out to your nearest Gold Medal Dealer to get started.