Flavor Insight: Cauliflower Power

June 6, 2016
Trends Vegetables
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Low in both price and calories, this vegetable is versatile and being used in lots of innovative ways. We’re seeing the flavor of cauliflower in everything from rice and pizza crust to chocolate cake (baked with cauliflower flour.)

“Everyone is having fun with cauliflower,” says Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants executive Alex Taylor. For the past few years, San Francisco–based Kimpton has conducted a poll of the chefs, sommeliers and bartenders at its nearly 70 locations to provide a timely snapshot of food and beverage trends across some 30 cities nationwide. The latest report suggests a significant coup in the cruciferous department: “Kimpton chefs agree that cauliflower is the new kale.”

Cauliflower is Everywhere

PINTEREST: The options for cauliflower appear endless when perusing pins on Pinterest. If you are looking to go low-carb, there are recipes for pizza crusts, breadsticks, twice-baked ‘flowers and even alfredo sauce made from cauliflower. Pins for cauliflower as a side dish and center-of-the-plate are also popular with cauliflower cheddar soup, cauliflower quinoa meatballs and crispy coconut lime baked cauliflower tacos.

FOOD.COM: More than 3,700 recipes for cauliflower appear on food.com. The majority of the recipes include roasting, soups and mashed with unique flavors like curry, Dijon, buffalo and with herbs like cilantro and thyme.

FOOD NETWORK MAGAZINE SPOTLIGHT: In the March 2016 issue of Food Network Magazine, they featured an article called “Cauliflower Undercover” with smart (and somewhat sneaky!) ways to serve cauliflower.

Recipes include:

• Pizza with Cauliflower Crust

• Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

• Cauliflower Melt

• Cauliflower Chorizo Burritos


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Growing Globally

Europe is leading the way in cauliflower new product introductions with almost an 189% increase from 2014-2015. Taking a look on a global scale, there has been a 213% increase in new products. Baby food is the leading category with more than 24% of all new products launched followed by wet soup and dry soup with 20% and 18% share respectively.

North America accounts for only 10% of all new cauliflower flavored product introductions. In 2014, there were no new cauliflower products launched and there were six new products in 2015. These products include salad kits, mashed potato and cauliflower blends, veggie cups and snacks.

Products of Note

• Fersk Cauliflower Pasta: Norway

• Cauliflower, Kale & Leek Melt: Ireland

• Evol Truffle Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower Cup: US

• Absolutely Gluten-Free Cauliflower Crust Pizza: US


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Cauliflower on the Menu

We're seeing 1,149 mentions of Cauliflower on restaurant menus, with casual dining as the top restaurant segment. 

• Pickled scallops with cauliflower mousse, Gunshow

• Roasted cauliflower, pickled peppers, pine nuts and mint, Girl and the Goat

• Seared cauliflower with duck fat and a garlic tahini sauce, Byblos

• ToTo Pizza: gluten-free cauliflower crust topped with fresh mozzarella and diced tomatoes, ribbons of basil and a balsamic vinaigrette, Prufock Pizzeria


Byblos cauliflower. Photo Credit: Toronto Star



Let FONA’s market insight and research experts translate these trends into product category ideas for your brand. They can help you with concept and flavor pipeline development, ideation, consumer studies and white space analysis to pinpoint opportunities in the market.

Our flavor and product development experts are also at your service to help meet the labeling and flavor profile needs for your products to capitalize on this consumer trend. We understand how to mesh the complexities of flavor with your brand development, technical requirements and regulatory needs to deliver a complete taste solution. From concept to manufacturing, we’re here every step of the way.

Contact our Sales Service Department at 630.578.8600 to request a flavor sample or visit fona.com.


Sources: Mintel GNPD, Mintel Menu Insights, ElleUK.com, Food Republic, Food Network Magazine, Pinterest, Twitter, Food.com