By Kamila Gierut, Digital Marketing Associate

We recently published the Symrise Top 12 Trends from the 2017 Summer Fancy Food Show right here on in-sight. The Symrise Marketing team attended the show in NYC and analyzed all of the product offerings, eventually synthesizing them down into twelve trends that permeated the show. One of the trends we highlighted this year was waffles.

CLICK HERE to see the Top 12 Trends from the 2017 Summer Fancy Food Show

We can’t seem to remember seeing too many waffle based products in past years. However, this year it was waffle mania. It seemed like we couldn’t walk through one aisle without seeing something pertaining to waffles. We saw them spread across both sweet and savory products, every product different than the next. They did have one certain thing in common – waffles were going gourmet.

Some of the waffle products spotted at this year’s show include:

- Waffle Waffle – Taking a unique spin on the traditional Liege-style Belgian waffle. We saw flavors like Red Velvet, Double Chocolate and Maple Bacon. There newest launch was a line of frozen gourmet waffle sandwiches and bowls, which included the Sweet-n-Savory Meat Lovers Breakfast Bowl. -

- Julian’s Recipe – In addition to offering classic Brussels waffles, they also had a line of unique waffle thins. They were perfectly thin, crispy and bursting with flavor. Some flavors included Aged Cheddar & Parmesan, Asiago Rosemary & Olive Oil and Meyer Lemon with Quinoa.

- WaffleShot – These small waffle shots are hand dipped in Belgian chocolate and the perfect vessel for the beverage of your choice – coffee, espresso, hot chocolate and beyond! Some of the flavors we saw: Speculoos, Dulce de Leche, Salted Caramel and S’mores.

Since we saw a ton of waffle based products at the Summer Fancy Food Show, we decided to dive deeper into this new food trend within the food service industry. Perhaps it’s partly due to the Millennial brunch craze, but waffles have grown on menus by 3% in the past couple years. Some of the top waffle flavors include butter, strawberry, banana – all which are expected. When we start to look at trending waffle flavors from 2016-2017, we start seeing flavors like S’mores coming in at the top, followed by berry, caramel and cinnamon.

CLICK HERE to see the Best of 2016-17 Fancy Food Show Trends

Not only are sweet waffles relevant for the breakfast space, we are seeing popularity rise in the dessert space, as well. According to Technomic, when consumers were asked what they would most likely order as a dessert, “dessert waffle” came out on top.

So you’ve probably heard of chicken and waffles, right? This may be one of the most famous dishes using waffles outside of the breakfast realm. But really, who cares what time of day you eat waffles. Recently, we’ve been seeing chefs using our beloved childhood breakfast treat for inventive recipes and dishes.

Many chefs love the idea of playing with nostalgia, which makes waffles a great base for creativity. Chef Simon Lusky of pop up restaurant, The Waffle Nut, makes a waffle called the Fluffer Nutter, featuring housemade marshmallow fluff and peanut butter. His best seller, The Roscoe (an homage to LA’s famous Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles) includes buttermilk and cornflake crusted fried chicken with a creamy maple-Sriracha slaw. Chef Sam Donnell of The Waffle Iron is known for his creative, elevated takes on waffles like his cookie butter banana brûlée waffle, which features Speculoos, fresh ginger, torched bananas and brown-butter whipped cream.

Other chefs believe that the golden waffle is destined for a filling. Meet something called the “wafflewich.” Who needs bread when you can have your sandwich fillings stuffed between two crispy waffles? Judy Vandoorne, owner of San Jose’s Waffle Amore, uses waffles for her pulled pork and slaw sandwiches. Bruxie, an LA based restaurant, stuffs burgers, lox or pastrami and swiss between their waffles. Check out the Downey Farmers Market outside of LA and you’ll find “stuffles” – waffles stuffed with hot dogs, grilled chicken or mozzarella.

Some of the other hot food trends using waffles include the Hong Kong style bubble waffles and ice cream. This popular Asian street snack is making its way across the country. Never seen it? Just look on Instagram! If you’re curious, check out Eggloo in NYC, but be prepared to wait in line! Maybe you’re not in the mood for a waffle based meal and you need a quick pick me up. See Dominique Ansel’s Waffagato creation, a waffle-espresso hybrid. Since coffee and waffles go together so well, LA’s Alfred Coffee & Kitchen decided to start selling a chocolate-dipped waffle cone coffee cup. You can order any beverage on the menu and for an extra $5, they’ll pour it into a waffle cone.

CLICK HERE to explore another top Fancy Food Show Trend: Ginger & Turmeric

As you can see, waffles are everywhere! You can find them within sweet, savory and beverage categories, making the possibilities endless with such a blank canvas. Need more waffle inspiration? Check out hashtag #wafflewednesday on Instagram.

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