22 Must-Have Restaurant Products for 2018

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Emmi Roth
Let’s celebrate

The winter holidays are time for friends to gather, and restaurants can amp up the celebratory season with the rich, complex flavors of Emmi Roth Alpine Holiday Cheeses. The varieties—Roth Grand Cru Reserve, Roth’s Private Reserve, and Emmi Der Scharfe Maxx—are made using classic Swiss techniques and hand-crafted copper vats. 

Priced to order 


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McCain Foodservice
More than fair

Hostess Deep Fried Twinkies are a state-fair staple, and now the golden, cream-filled snack cake is available to operators in a ready-to-deep-fry format, thanks to a partnership with McCain Foodservice. Coated in a light batter, they can be served by themselves or as a base for creative signature snacks or desserts.

$0.78 for one


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Comforting thoughts

Few foods provide more comfort than macaroni and cheese, and Stouffer’s White Cheddar Mac & Cheese adds simplicity. Made with cavatappi and aged New York Sharp Cheddar sauce—no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives—the pouch product delivers on-trend flavors, allowing chefs to create signature dishes by adding seasonal ingredients.

$42.07–$44.82 per case


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Tyson Foodservice
Prime numbers

There’s pork, and then there’s great pork. Chairman’s Reserve Prime Pork from Tyson Fresh Meats provides chefs with the highest quality pork by elevating already strict criteria and selecting meat with the highest marks for marbling, coloring, and pH. Cuts of the natural pork are verified by specialists to confirm quality.

Priced to order


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PreGel America
Cool coatings

Creating scratch coatings for frozen desserts takes time, effort, and money, but busy chefs can cut that with PreGel’s Crunchy Coatings. The new line, which evenly coats items from terrines to semifreddo, includes flavors such as gianduia and pistachio with bits of nuts, wafers, and other ingredients adding texture and visual appeal.

Priced to order


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Waking up breakfast

Breakfast is the day’s most habitual meal, but it doesn’t need to be boring. Give it flair with flavorful and artisanal-style Apple & Maple Chicken Breakfast Sausage from Sausages by Amylu. Using simple, clean ingredients and offering a high protein-to-fat ratio, the sausage meets consumer demands for variety and a healthier product.

Priced to order


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Jones Dairy Farm
No cure needed

While bacon is a consumer favorite, some don’t like the artificial preservatives from curing. No such issue exists with Jones Dairy Farm’s Dry Aged Naturally Smoked Uncured Bacon. Smoked with Cherrywood and dry-aged to provide rich flavor, the bacon works well as a breakfast side, sandwich addition, or in chef-inspired items.

Price changes weekly based on market


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Hillshire Farm
Missing links

Chefs can add an extra dimension to their menu with four new trending flavors of Hillshire Farm Premium Chicken Smoked Sausage Links. The mango habanero, chicken apple, bacon gouda, and sriracha jack links can be served alone or as an ingredient in any healthy dish. 

Priced to order


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Making very good mornings

The art of making and baking croissants is time-consuming, but Schulstad has accelerated that with its new line of Good Morning Croissants, featuring multigrain, oat and honey, and pain au chocolat varieties. The pastries are crafted using traditional Parisian methodology but go straight from the freezer to the guest in minutes.

Priced to order


10 of 22
Church Brothers
Looks good, too

Food today needs to have not just great taste and texture, but should also be healthful and look great. All of that is in Kale Color Crunch from Church Brothers. The blend of kale varieties, carrots, radicchio, and spices is loaded with flavor and crunch, has numerous heathy attributes, and offers a color rainbow.

Priced to order


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Burke Corp
Making it simple

Diners are interested in visiting restaurants that feature food with clean labels, and Burke Corp. can help operators meet those demands with its Made Simple fully cooked meat toppings. The all-natural and minimally processed frozen items, which contain no artificial ingredients, are fully cooked, avoiding raw meat food-safety concerns.

Priced to order


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Monterey Mushrooms
Meat alternatives mushroom

Chefs looking to meet some diners’ demands for meatless ingredients can turn to Monterey Mushrooms’ GrillaBella mushroom-based vegetarian burgers, meatballs, and breakfast and sausage patties. The protein- and fiber-packed products, which are fully cooked and ready to heat, can be served as is or crumbled into or onto other dishes.

Priced to order


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Bush’s Best Foodservice
Cleanly classic

Consumers are seeking healthful foods, clean labels, and global flavors, and these attributes come together in Bush’s Best Classic Hummus Made Easy. Blend the pouch’s contents with Bush’s Best garbanzo beans, and voila: fresh hummus in seconds—ready to be served by itself or augmented with a chef’s signature flavor notes.

Priced to order


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Right on ’cue

Korean barbecue has seen huge growth in recent few years, and operators can tap into this with Minor’s Ready-To-Use Korean-Style BBQ Sauce. Using authentic ingredients, including gochugaru peppers for the right amount of heat, the bottled sauce can add in-demand Korean flavor as a condiment, glaze, finishing sauce, or foundation.

Priced to order


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Crave Brothers
Curds’ the word

A longtime Wisconsin favorite as a snack and appetizer, curds have been successfully migrating to other parts of the country. Crave Brothers Farmstead Classics Fresh Curds, made by cheesemaker George Crave with milk from the family’s sustainable dairy farm, offer chefs award-winning fresh varieties like yellow cheddar and jalapeño cheddar.

Priced to order


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McCain Foodservice
Tart tang

Add two food trends—spicy foods and fried pickles—with the shape of french fries and you get Anchor Spicy Pickle Fries from McCain Foodservice. The thin-cut dill pickle “fries” are lightly coated in cornmeal and spicy mustard batter to provide operators with an attractive item and a unique flavor experience.

Priced to order


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Tyson Foodservice
Loading up

Eating should be fun, and Tyson Chicken Boat Loaders provide a unique culinary canvas for operators to create fun, exciting, and imaginative flavor combinations. Shaped like potato skins, these white-meat chicken snacks come ready to heat and to be infused with any fillings or toppings for a versatile and shareable treat.

$3.14 per pound


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McCain Foodservice
Balance of power

Great french fries have fluffy interiors and crispy exteriors, and McCain Extra Crispy Shoestring Fries provide both along with dependable flavor and visual appeal. The consistent premium fries, now available in a shoestring cut, offer the hearty crunch and crispness guests want and feature 30-minute hold times under a heat lamp.

$0.07 per ounce


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Red Diamond Coffee & Tea
Everything old is new again

Tea may be one of our oldest beverages, but experts are finding various new ways to employ the drink to attract today’s customers. Red Diamond Fruzen Frozen Teas—available in citrus green tea and peach tea—provide a healthy option for operators to innovate, whether for cocktails or other recipes.

Priced to order


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S&D Coffee & Tea
What’s brewing

Cold-brew coffee is hot, growing sharply in menu penetration, and S&D Coffee & Tea is using its proprietary commercial brewing process to provide superior cold-brew coffee in a shelf-stable, easy-to-use concentrate. Instead of taking hours, cold brew can be prepared in minutes, ready to be served in batches or by the glass.

Priced to order


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Cool fresh waters

Aguas frescas have become trendy by melding ethnic and fruit flavors in a subtly sweet, non-carbonated beverage. Coca-Cola’s Barrilitos line of seven flavors are available in bag-in-box format or as a frozen concentrate made with fruit juices, purees, and/or sugar or spices.

Priced to order by channel


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Libbey and VIVA Scandinavia
Elegantly infused

The VIVA Scandinavia high-trend teapot collection features innovative filters; double-walled glass for easier brewing; drip-free lids and spouts for clean pours; notched rims that hold tea bags securely; and cool-to-the-touch grips. It employs premium materials including porcelain, ceramic, stainless steel, and high-end borosilicate glass. 

$99–$786 per dozen