KANSAS CITY — Summer is bringing warmer weather and a deluge of seasonal-inspired limited-time offerings (LTOs) to retail and foodservice locations.

Tapping into the sweet-and-spicy, or “swicy,” trend that accelerated in popularity among consumers last year is 7-Eleven, which launched a mangonada donut. The swicy donut is inspired by the Mexican drink of the same name, and features a honeymooner donut, filled with a mixture of mango and chamoy and topped with Tajin.

At the National Restaurant Association Show, which took place May 18-21 in Chicago, Lizzy Freier, director of menu research and insights for Chicago-based Technomic, identified “creating controversy” as an opportunity to fuel menu innovation.

During her presentation on guest-winning menu trends, she named three ways to introduce controversy to menus, including through flavor mashups. One example she names is KFC’s Chizza, pronounced “cheet-za.”

The mashup features two white meat extra crispy fried chicken filets, topped with marinara sauces, melted mozzarella and pepperoni. Chizza first debuted on KFC menus in the Philippines in 2015, and has moved to menus in South Korea, Taiwan, India, Thailand, Germany, Spain and Mexico, among others, and it’s debuting in the United States for the first time.

Also looking toward flavor mashups are Taco Bell and Kellanova, who are partnering to launch new menu items that feature a Big Cheez-It cracker. The limited-edition menu items include a Big Cheez-It Crunchwrap Supreme and a Big Cheez-It tostada.

"Cheez-It has always been about more than just snacking – it's about elevating cheese to new heights for salty snack lovers with an obsession for cheese and an appetite for excitement," said Jessica Waller, general manager, away from home at Kellanova.

Click to view limited-edition menu items.