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Winning Menu Innovations to Know from the U.K. and Canada

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We preach the importance of consistent innovation a lot here at Datassential, but there’s perhaps no better way to find inspiration than those menu items and limited-time offers (LTOs) that have already had success. 

Below, we’re giving you a peek at some menu items from Canada and the United Kingdom and suggesting how and why they could translate with American consumers.

Non-Alcoholic Beverages

There’s plenty of demand for non-alcoholic drinks in the U.S., including everything from juices and coffees to those that cater to a sober or sober-curious crowd. That’s a segment that’s growing as consumers, particularly younger ones, opt for non-alcoholic versions of traditional cocktails, or complex beverages that are crave-worthy all on their own. 

There are several examples from the U.K. that lean into dessert inspiration in both of those categories. 

Consider this example from the U.K, where chain Beefeater has released a Cherry Bakewell drink with a base of cranberry mixed with cherry and amaretto syrups, evoking the classic British Bakewell tart. Or the Panettone Latte from Caffe Nero, with a Panettone-inspired syrup with espresso and steamed oat milk. 


If those drink examples had you dreaming of dessert, there are plenty of ways to take inspiration from the U.K. While honeycomb is an underused ingredient in the U.S., it’s used in some exciting ways in the U.K., including in the Brownie & Honeycomb Pizzette from the U.K.-based Italian chain Zizzi, which features a sweet dough topped with chocolate brownie, vanilla gelato, caramel, chocolate and  honeycomb sauces and white chocolate curls.

Or from British Asian food chain Wagamama – the  Kuromitsu Black Honey Chouxnut- that incorporates a Japanese treacle (sugar syrup) custard filling inside a soft donut.


Plant-based options abroad are focused less on meat replacements as have grown so much on U.S. menus in recent years – instead operators are focused on sustainable options that stand on their own and have complexity and flavor that rivals traditional meat dishes. 

Take, for example, a Veggie Deli Rye Roll from Pret A Manger, which takes mature cheddar, tangy mustard mayo, pickles, pickled cabbage & carrot and finished with peppery arugula and serves it a barley & rye roll.

Or from the U.K.’s Chef & Brewer, a butternut squash dish that a vegetarian can love as a hearty holiday main, with lentil and vegetable stuffing, topped with brie, cranberry sauce and mixed seeds served with maple-glazed roast roots, sprouts and Romesco sauce.


Indian food in the U.K. is much beloved, and while it is still a small segment in the U.S., it’s been showing some growth in recent years with innovative and modern concepts creating dishes that spark excitement and make consumers take the leap to try something new. 

For inspiration, how about an Indian spin on a lunch-favorite vessel, the bowl? The Samosa bowl LTO at Extreme Pita Canada includes veggie samosas, brown rice, chana masala, veggies and a side of yogurt and chutney.


Mexican is the third-most popular cuisine in the U.S. behind only American and Pizza/Italian, so why not lean into consumers’ love and integrate seafood, which some Americans tend to consume less of than in other parts of the world? 

The Soft Shell Crab Bowl from Joey’s Seafood Restaurant in Canada starts with rice and fresh spinach, cilantro-lime coleslaw, spicy “volcano” sauce and house-made pico de gallo and tops it all off with a battered and fried soft shell crab.

Mediterranean + Italian

Italian is U.S. consumers’ favorite cuisine, and there is no shortage of high performing menu items to take inspiration from overseas. Take this example of a sausage roll gone rogue: The Nduya and Garlic Bomb from Zizzi is dough loaded with spicy n’duya and garlic sauce, with a drizzle of honey. 

Or to take advantage of Americans’ love of Mediterranean food, and put some Halloumi Fries on the menu, as Pizza Hut UK did – and upgrade that traditional mozzarella-filled cheese stick.