Chefs across the country have a chance to create America’s hottest new food trend in the “Next Top Product” contest launched by US Foods, one of the country’s most innovative food companies and leading distributors.

The contest is open to more than 250,000 chefs who are customers of US Foods. Each can submit their favorite recipe for a chance to win $20,000 in cash and prizes and have their recipe developed into a new US Foods Chef’s Line product for national distribution.

Beginning today through Aug. 3, US Foods customers can enter at The top 30 qualifying recipes will then be posted on US Foods’ Facebook page for public voting in early August.

The three chefs who receive the highest number of votes will prepare their dishes at the US Foods Fall Food Lovers Forum in Chicago this September. The winning recipe will debut as a Chef's Line product in March 2013.

The contest launch coincides with the introduction of 28 new and exclusive US Foods products designed to help operators meet customer demand for new and trending food items and flavors.

“Our customers are the inspiration for the new products we launched,” says Pietro Satriano, chief merchandising officer, US Foods. “This contest rewards our customers for their ingenuity and gives them a chance to make their best recipe available to diners across America.”

Product Innovation

The new products US Foods introduced today are examples of the kinds of products that the “Next Top Product” contest will generate. Trending and full of flavor, the summer product launch contains new additions to the Chef’s Line including, Piquillo Pepper & Artichoke Tapenade, Hummus, Buffalo Mozzarella Girasole, Pumpkin Ravioli, Mushroom Risotto, Cappuccino Panna Cotta, and more.

“We know from our research and what we hear from our customers that Mediterranean food with fresh, natural flavors is in high demand among chefs and diners alike,” Satriano says.  “That’s why our culinary team traveled the globe to find authentic, quality products that we can offer to operators that truly capture the taste of the Mediterranean and can easily be incorporated into their menus.”

According to a Technomic survey, six in 10 consumers indicated they would likely order a menu item featuring flavors and ingredients typically associated with Mediterranean cuisine.  Staples of Mediterranean cuisine include salads, yogurt, fish and olive oil–all items and ingredients that attract consumers seeking better-for-you fare.

The Chef’s Line products are complemented by new Hilltop Hearth Greek-style pocketless pita bread and Moroccan olive dinner rolls, as well as new, all-natural deli meats such as Genoa salami and pepperoni from the popular Metro Deli line. 

The new summer line-up also includes Rykoff Sexton authentic Italian extra virgin olive oils, Harbor Banks fresh crumb calamari rings, and Glenview Farms Greek yogurt and feta cheese with sundried tomatoes and basil.

Industry News, NextGen Casual