Say Cheese for
your Menu Makeover
Cheese can take any menu from tired to terrific. For every daypart and every course, from apps to sides, from salads to sandwiches and from mains to desserts, cheese is the chameleon king of ingredients, taking different forms to suit every meal occasion.
That’s just what you’d expect of a food with a proud history in Canada of more than four centuries.1
Canadians don’t like missing their breakfasts. Increasingly, they’re reaching for breakfast sandwiches and bagels to satisfy their cravings.
Breakfast sandwiches are the top growing food, up 9% vs. the previous year, and bagels are up 3% over the year before.5
Cheese, in the form of cream cheese as well as cheese slices, is becoming a staple of Canadians’ away-from-home breakfasts.
Time-stressed Canadians love to grab their breakfasts away from home, with 81% sourcing breakfast from a restaurant at least once a month. The morning meal daypart (including snacking) is growing at +4%.6
Cheese can help you exercise more options by adding it on top, inside, or alongside other menu items, such as your apps, sides and salads, to increase your selling opportunities.
"Warm, cheese-based dips are wonderful for sharing,” says Kraft Corporate Chef Kira Smith, who says on-trend operators should consider the shareability factor on their menus.
"Philly cream cheese is an ideal canvas upon which to build flavour, while adding shredded cheese provides even more flavour, texture, and can provide the ‘gooey, stringy pull’ of natural cheese. Not to be forgotten, processed Cheez Whiz Cheese Spreads & Velveeta Processed Cheese Product can form the base of classics such as chile con queso and queso, and can be used as cost‑saving
— Chef Kira Smith
The first official grilled cheese recipe recorded was in 1902, using just a couple of pieces of stale bread, a slice of cheese and a sprinkle of salt and paprika.8 Grilled cheese has come a long way since then. It’s become a palette on which creative operators can design the ultimate sandwich.
This is a grilled cheese with cheddar, chicken, bacon and baby spinach on regular whole wheat bread, with Kraft Creamy Caesar Dressing on the outside, and then pressed in a waffle maker.
This colourful, piled-high grilled cheese features green and red peppers, onions, sliced ham, eggs and Kraft Extra Cheddar Old English Cheese Slices.
This classic processed cheese grilled cheese, says Chef Kira, is incredibly decadent—the herbed Philly takes it over the top with it’s unexpected flavour and creaminess.
“Decadent and craveable, a signature macaroni and cheese can entice guests. Call out the romance on your dish, be it a variety of cheeses, rich lobster, crispy pancetta, spicy habanero, or a buttery, herbed-panko crust…whatever makes it unique,” says Chef Kira.
“Enrich mashed or twice baked potatoes with cream cheese and shredded cheese—just one
example of how to create endless opportunity for introducing different flavours within a rich,creamy texture. Pizzas, pastas, burgers, sandwiches…the list is endless of where cheese can add a premium touch.”
Click here for great mashup inspiration
They are more likely to eat dessert when they want to treat or reward themselves (72%) or are feeling happy (52%). In addition, 36% are driven by a feeling of nostalgia for desserts. Dessert occasions are also influenced by the dining party, the report says: 42% of full-service restaurant desserts and 31% of limited-service restaurant desserts are shared.9 You won’t want to miss out on your share of the dessert pie!
Chocolate Stout “Cupcakes” with Philly Buttercream Frosting
There are the classics, of course—cheesecake, tiramisu with mascarpone, carrot cake with cream cheese icing, apple pie with a slice of cheddar.
“But you can certainly venture into other areas with cheese by incorporating a potentially unexpected flavour—like a touch of goat cheese in your cheesecake for its distinct tanginess, or, in an unexpected medium—like adding some shredded cheddar cheese to your apple crumble topping for a subtle hint of flavour.
Cheese can also help you make the most of seasonal dessert opportunities. How about an Oktoberfest menu, starting with a cheddar and beer dip with soft pretzels and ending with a Chocolate Stout Cupcake with Cream Cheese Icing? Now that’s sweet!