Ice cream brands draw inspiration from dessert flavors.
Culver’s is expanding its frozen custard lineup this summer. The espresso toffee bar custard has an espresso flavor swirled with dulce de leche sauce, Heath Bar bits and gooey butter cake pieces. The peach crisp custard has peach flavor combined with peaches, dulce de leche sauce and a granola crumble. The new offerings will debut on July 10 and Aug. 10, respectively, as part of Culver’s Flavor of the Day rotation.
“Creating new Flavors of the Day is an opportunity not only to surprise and delight our guests, but also to explore new flavors and ingredients that complement our existing fresh frozen custard lineup,” said Quinn Adkins, director of menu development. “We’ve been crafting these flavors to perfection for a long time, and we’re excited for them to become two of our guests’ favorites for years to come.”
Dunkin’ has unveiled new iced beverages. The brown sugar cream cold brew has notes of molasses, brown sugar and cinnamon, topped with brown sugar cold foam and a dusting of cinnamon sugar. Other limited-time cold beverages include the mango pineapple refresher, a cake batter latte and a butter pecan iced coffee.
A salad menu is debuting at Zaxby’s. The house salad has vegetables and cheddar jack cheese on mixed greens, and the Cobb salad adds a hard-boiled egg. Each option may be topped with breaded or grilled chicken and is served with a light vinaigrette dressing.
“When it comes to healthy options, consumers are accustomed to compromising between great taste and generous portions,” said Patrick Schwing, chief marketing officer at Zaxby’s. “Our new Zensible Zalads are filling and full of flavor, all under 600 calories, including the dressing. It may sound too good to be true, but we set out to create a healthier option that doesn’t cut corners on taste. The result is a new Zalad that’s a satisfying meal for under 600 calories.”
On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina is releasing a new summertime menu featuring items like honey chipotle grilled chicken fajitas, Mexican grilled pizza, grilled queso panela, smokehouse burger, mesquite-smoked jalapeño sausage tacos, strawberry pineapple paleta and strawberry cheesecake chimichanga. A new Mexican surf and turf dish was named the winner in the restaurant company’s culinary competition and combines grilled steak and grilled shrimp skewers.
Soft pretzel concept Auntie Anne’s is rolling out three beverages for a limited time. The dragonfruit mango frost blends dragonfruit and mango puree with frozen lemonade, topped with whipped cream and pink sprinkles. The dragonfruit mango frozen lemonade combines dragonfruit and mango puree with frozen lemonade. The dragonfruit mango lemonade mixer pairs dragonfruit and mango puree with lemonade.
“Auntie Anne's is all about powering pick-me-ups for our on-the-go guests,” said Cynthia Liu, vice president of marketing at Auntie Anne’s. “We’re thrilled to be pouring new, tasty, and refreshing ways for our fans to enjoy the refreshing fruit flavors they crave alongside their favorite pretzel during the summer.”
Sandwich chain Blimpie is offering a new Cuban pulled pork sub, topped with pulled pork and ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and stone-ground mustard, and a returning spicy pork sub, topped with pulled pork, hot sauce and Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce, cheddar cheese and bacon ranch slaw.
“Blimpie is excited to introduce our brand new Cuban Pulled Pork sub and bring back a fan favorite, the Spicy Pork sub,” said Sam Carity, director of marketing for Kahala Brands, parent company of Blimpie. “We are thrilled to offer pulled pork two ways, each with its own unique and mouthwatering flavor combination that our guests are sure to love.”
Baskin-Robbins’ flavor of the month is Oreo s’mores, which has toasted marshmallow and graham flavored ice creams mixed with Oreo cookie pieces and chocolate cookie swirls.
Cinnabon has added Chocolate BonBites to its bakery menus nationwide. The bites feature the brand’s classic dough, layered with chocolate frosting and signature cream cheese frosting.
“We’re a bakery-inspired brand, and that gives us the permission to experiment and get creative with new and popular dessert flavors, such as chocolate, within our treats,” said Michael Alberici, vice president of marketing, Cinnabon. “We know chocolate is a classic, familiar flavor that Cinnabon fans love, and we are confident that guests nationwide will enjoy new Chocolate BonBites, too, no matter the occasion — whether it’s a summer gathering or an anytime chocolate craving.”
Carvel is introducing soft-serve ice cream inspired by the Brookie, a brownie-cookie combination, that swirls together flavors of brownie batter and chocolate chip cookie dough, which may be added to shakes, sundaes or sandwiches.
“Summer is a time for making fond memories, and the sweet taste of ice cream is often part of those memorable moments,” said Jessica Osborne, vice president of marketing, Carvel.
Fast-casual seafood chain Captain D’s is serving a spicy batter-dipped fish for a limited time. The item is featured in four options, including a spicy fish and butterfly shrimp meal, a two-piece spicy fish meal, a spicy giant fish sandwich and a seafood platter.
“For the first time ever, we have created an all-new flavor profile for our legendary Batter Dipped Fish; it’s our same famous batter, only spicier,” said Bindi Menon, chief marketing officer at Captain D’s. “This bold new flavor complements our flagship product perfectly for those guests looking for a spicy seafood option.”
Cold Stone Creamery has teamed with Nintendo on three video game-inspired creations. The Mighty Pink Puff has strawberry ice cream, strawberries, miniature marshmallows and caramel. Island Getaway has chocolate ice cream, strawberries, bananas and whipped topping. Superstar Sprinkle Blast includes cake batter ice cream, yellow cake, blue frosting and rainbow sprinkles.
“We are thrilled to announce that Cold Stone is joining together with Nintendo once again to celebrate ice cream season,” said Sara Schmillen, vice president of marketing for Kahala Brands, parent company of Cold Stone Creamery. “We knew we had to come up with something extra special for our third year, and what better than to feature three of Nintendo’s beloved game titles like Kirby and the Forgotten Land, Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Mario Party Superstars. Our guests are going to love collecting their beloved Nintendo characters on special edition cups while enjoying our super-premium ice cream this summer.”
Wingstop is introducing a hot honey rub that may be added to classic or boneless wings and crispy tenders for a limited time. The rub pairs honey with cayenne pepper and ancho chili.
Brands offer a helping hand to home cooks.
Chicken is featured in recent launches.