Cater to Your Customers's Cold-weather Cravings
Some of the seasonal changes in our cravings are simple habit or tradition, but it turns out there’s also a physiological aspect in play. As the days get shorter (and the sun becomes scarcer), we often turn toward those foods and beverages that make us feel good—that compensate for what we’re not getting from the sun. Savory spices, dark chocolate, dark berries, nuts and dark beers all contain micronutrients known as polyphenols, which give us a nice serotonin boost in our brains. In short, they make us feel good!
This desire to lift our spirits is just one factor in our behavior, as John O’Neill explains in Vail Daily:
“All these things — calorie intake versus energy consumption, cravings for carbohydrates, availability and even attempts to comfort ourselves — have an impact on the types of food and drink we reach for in fall.”
Match Your Menu to the Season
Certain seasonal trends are easy to explain, of course. The percentage of consumers who buy hot coffee dips from 95 percent in the cooler-weather months of fall to 75 percent in the heat of summer. And other research published in Medical Daily points out that cravings often come as a result of simple summer smells or even just past associations:
“The summer brings about the desire to eat seasonal things like watermelon, peaches and berries … We breathe better, feel more connected to nature and enjoy its aromas, which help trigger memories. In turn, memories often trigger cravings, which is why a summer BBQ might cause us to want a burger … Plus, just seeing the food could stimulate a craving, kind of like when someone brings donuts into work and you need one even though you weren’t thinking about them.”
The power of memory is definitely in play as the holiday season approaches. For many of us, the turkey stuffing and sugar cookies of years past make us crave more of the same when the weather gets cold. Our brain is flooded with fond memories, and then associates them with many of those rich and sweet treats we know so well this time of year.
Heartland Waffles Signature and Seasonal Flavors
Heartland offers a variety of signature recipes that allow our hotel and restaurant partners to customize and expand the menus just in time for the winter season. Try our cinnamon or pumpkin spice mixes in your commercial waffle maker as we wrap up the fall, and then try our decadent chocolate chip cookie or rich blueberry flavor waffle mixes as we all start yearning for sweeter treats during the holidays.
While it’s hard to know exactly why we crave what we crave, it’s easy to ensure you have what your customers want—no matter what time of year it is.
Heartland Waffles is committed to helping those in the food industry treat their guests to superior-quality waffles every day. Share your favorite fall and winter cravings on our Facebook page or on Twitter @HeartlandWaffle.