KANSAS CITY — Summer traditions and flavors are inspiring innovation in new seasonal menu items.

Two classic summer treats, cherry pie and strawberry shortcake, have been developed into donuts at Krispy Kreme. The chain’s new Cherry Pie Donut consists of a yeast shell filled with cherry filling topped with pie pieces, a dollop of cherry filling and an icing drizzle. The Strawberry Shortcake Donut features a strawberry shortcake filling and is topped with strawberry drizzle, white Kreme topping and pie pieces.

Tony Thompson, Krispy Kreme
Tony Thompson, president and c.e.o. of Krispy Kreme

“These summertime offerings are inspired by the very things that make this season so special in America,” said Tony Thompson, president and chief executive officer of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. “Summertime is a time for spending time with family and friends, and we know our sweet treats are the perfect pairing for outdoor fun all summer long.”

Panera Bread is harnessing a favorite fruit of summer in its new salad offering: the Watermelon Feta Salad. Featuring an arugula and mint base, the salad offers cubed watermelon, ancient grains, feta cheese and roasted almonds topped with a champagne Dijon vinegar and extra virgin olive oil dressing.

Starbucks tapped into memories of summer camp and bonfires to offer its take on a classic summer treat. The chain’s new S’mores Bar features a crunchy graham crust and a layer of milk chocolate topped with lightly-toasted marshmallows.

Backyard barbecues inspired Johnny Rockets’ new summer menu, featuring a new burger and appetizer boasting barbecue brisket. The chain’s new BBQ Brisket Burger features a 100% farm-raised burger topped with cheddar cheese, BBQ beef brisket, lettuce, tomato, and dill pickle chips served on a brioche bun. The BBQ Brisket Loaded Street Tots appetizer consists of a plateful of potato tots topped with shredded cheddar cheese, BBQ beef brisket strips, barbecue sauce, scallions and chopped brisket on top.

“Summer and barbecuing were the inspiration for our limited time menu,” said Joel Bulger, chief marketing officer for Johnny Rockets. “We’ve taken two American Barbecue classics and put them together in one sandwich — our fresh, hand-crafted burger topped with tender, juicy BBQ beef brisket.” 

Click for a slideshow of new menu items.