Delicious dips make the world go round. Some dips work as sidekicks, accompanying main courses to boost a meal. Others are the powerhouses that act as the main entrée for a shareable or quick meal. The latest dip trends show that some dips and dipping sauces have remained time-tested favorites, while others are rising stars. Let's see what the dip trends show for 2023 and beyond.
Top Dip Flavors
Looking at dip flavor trends, we see broad interest in these foods. Dips overall appear in 29.1% of menu items, with hummus the leading individual dip at 19.9% and guacamole at 19.5%. Clearly, consumers find much to love in nutty, zesty hummus and creamy, grassy guacamole.
Other top trends show that the most common accompaniments to dips are fresh tortillas at 17.0%, tortilla chips at 15.2%, and pita bread at 15.1%.
Queso and salsa, both beloved Mexican favorites, are top dips featuring other ingredients. Queso is full of velvety cheese, rich cream, and spicy chili peppers. Salsa, on the other hand, runs the gamut from mild to spicy, and it can come in various shades — although red and green are the most common. Menus might also show salsa de aguacate, which features avocado as the base but differs from guacamole in its texture and accompanying ingredients. This trending dip appears on 14.6% of menus, while queso sits at a close 14.1%.
Finally, what about extra ingredients that enhance a delicious dipping sauce? Some of the top trending ingredients are shredded cheese at 16.5%, garlic at 12.1%, and spinach at 10.3%. Whether sprinkled on top of dip or blended into the mixture, these items give the top dips their rich and crowd-pleasing tastes.
All-time top flavors and the fastest-growing flavors often go hand in hand. Sometimes, though, the fastest-growing dips follow their own path. Checking the numbers, we find that mozzarella earns the top spot at 23.5%, with salt at 16.7%, bell peppers at 15.0%, pickles at 12.5%, and black beans and cream both at 10.7%. These ingredients appear in some of the quickly rising menu items, showing that consumers crave innovation and new flavors. Other ingredients and dip blends, such as fiery chorizo sausage and potatoes, queso blanco, and tzatziki sauce, also capture consumers' interest.
We see these rising stars across dining establishment menus, from the loaded queso con carne dip full of spicy heat and creamy cheese to the spicy harissa hummus dip blending red chili heat and a nutty base.
In terms of innovation, dipping sauces are much like any other menu item. We see a growing presence of intriguing blends like roasted cauliflower buffalo sauce dip, with its tangy spice and creamy texture, and squash hummus, with its roasted, pureed squash; za'atar spice; and creamy chickpeas.
Who's featuring dips on the menu? Plenty of operators across many industries. While we see commercial establishments showing strong interest in versatile dips, we also see the same interest from non-commercial businesses.
In the commercial sector, 41.8% of upscale casual dining restaurants incorporate dips and dipping sauces into their menus. These restaurants blend the polished ambience of fine dining with the inviting choices of family casual, so the dips tend to be innovative but with a familiar flair. Fine dining follows at 25%, and here, the dips on the menu are unique to each establishment.
Fast casual and traditional casual dining come in at 23.9% and 23.1%, respectively, with the laid-back or family atmosphere inviting familiar favorites and refreshing twists on the classics. We see less demand from quick service at 12% and food trucks at 11.3%, showing that these food services prefer to keep things simple and traditional when incorporating dip into their menu.
When you look at the non-commercial sector, you see an intriguing difference. Roughly 69.2% of hospitals feature dips on their cafeteria menus. This high presence shows a lot of employee demand for quick but delicious dips. Next, dips and dipping sauces appear at 45% of colleges and universities, whether at a food court, cafeteria, or other restaurant. As with hospitals, we see high interest in shareable, grab-and-go, or quick-service foods that still offer good taste and versatility.
Supermarkets and other food services are next on the list, with about 30% offering dips in their deli or packaged food sections. Just behind at 29.6% is the lodging sector. We see consumer guest demand driving these numbers, with dips on the menu of in-house restaurants and other cafeteria settings.
Recreation services, whether at parks, community centers, or other local establishments, also show a lot of interest in dips. Roughly 29% feature several dip flavors on their menus, serving up quick but flavorful foods to visitors and community members. Much farther down at 12.5% are convenience stores. Rather than custom creations, convenience stores focus on popular brand-name packaged foods, often salsa, queso, or hummus.
Top Dishes Featuring Dips
What do the numbers show when we look at the top dip dishes? Plenty. Hummus takes the top spot, with nearly stable growth. Guacamole appetizers are second, with a 2.5% increase since 2022. So, while hummus remains a popular dish, guacamole is gaining ground quickly. We also see vegetable dips and chips and salsa with a steady 2% growth. While these dishes are popular with groups, spinach and artichoke dips have seen a slight drop in demand since 2022.
Now, what dish has seen the most change? Cheese dip. Consumers love the velvety consistency and strong taste of soft, creamy cheese, whether spread on crunchy tortilla chips, dipped with sliced raw vegetables, or used with hot chicken nuggets. Cheese dips have seen a 6.3% growth since 2022, with chili con queso specifically seeing a 3.7% increase. Rounding out the top dishes, we find that mousse and combo dips have seen steady growth, while seafood and bean dips have had more modest growth.
Are you searching for more insights into the innovations and flavor trends in the world of dips and top dipping sauces? Reach out to Symrise today to learn more.