Top Ten Dessert Trends for The Holiday Season

US Foods has unveiled its top 10 dessert trends for the holiday season.  The trends, based on US Foods sales data and Technomics menu tracking, include:

Mini desserts – small bites of something sweet that doesn’t cost diners much in dollars or calories. US Foods’ Chef’s Line Chocolate Melting Cake Batter allows chefs to create signature holiday treats, like mini chocolate caramel potato chip brownies.

Dessert samplers and trios small portions of a variety of desserts for sharing and sampling.

Combo meals with a bite of dessert – mini desserts that enhance the appeal of three-course combo meals and provide a bite of sweetness without being too heavy.

Healthy desserts – calorie-controlled items for those who want to have their cake and diet too. Items like fresh fruit skewers with chocolate dipping sauce fit perfectly into this category.

Local sourcing – this dessert menu is the place where fruits from the region can shine, either as a central ingredient or as a sauce or garnish. The holiday season is the time to look at stone fruits as an option to the summer’s fresh berries.

Creative cakes – the cupcake and cake-pop trends are still going strong, but now we’re seeing more creativity in standard-format cakes, as well as a return to cakes beloved by past generations. US Foods’ Devonshire carrot cake and red velvet cakes are two top “comfort” dessert choices.

Cheesecake rethought – rich, dense cheesecake is perfect for the mini trend, such as cheesecake pops and bites in new, unique flavors like dulce de leche and pomegranate.

Fancy puddings – restaurants are adding modern flair to old-school offerings like bread pudding and crème brulee. For the season, try pumpkin white chocolate banana bread or banana brulee bread pudding.

Complex chocolate – warm, cold, malted or spiced with chipotle, new desserts are using chocolate in many forms and formats. Mexican chocolate with a little heat and a touch of cinnamon is finding its way onto menus everywhere.

Ethnic desserts from Italian cannoli and tiramisu to Mexican-style churros, flan, sopapillas and dessert flautas, authentic flavors drive these items.

“Keeping your dessert menu exciting has never been easier with US Foods as your partner,” said Bill Brooks, executive chef, US Foods. “Whether you want ready-to-serve desserts for a holiday party or need the ingredients to create your own signature dessert, US Foods can provide the high quality ingredients and recipes to help any chef build their perfect dessert menu.”

For more information on food trends and how US Foods is transforming holiday menus, visit

About US Foods

With nearly $19 billion in annual revenue, US Foods is the 10th largest private company in America, and a leading foodservice distributor. Many of the entities that make up US Foods were founded in the 19th century, including one that sold provisions to travelers heading west during the 1850s gold rush. US Foods offers more than 350,000 national brand products and its own high-quality “exclusive brand” items, ranging from fresh meats and produce to prepared and frozen foods. The company proudly employs approximately 25,000 people in more than 60 locations nationwide, and provides the finest quality food and related products to more than 250,000 customers, including independent and multi-unit restaurants, healthcare and hospitality entities, government and educational institutions. The company is headquartered in Rosemont, Ill., and jointly owned by funds managed by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice Inc. and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. Discover more at