Authentic Asian Sauces

Newsletter - Q3 2021


Q3 2021

Exploring how to satisfy consumers’ desires for global flavors through takeout and delivery with insights, chef tips and delicious recipes.

Lee Kum Kee Newsletter  Q3 2021
the flavor is kee
Unlocking Menu Potential
Staying In, But Craving Adventure

For restaurants, 2021 saw dine-in service return, but only in fits and starts. Hampered by the pandemic, inflation, and even unpredictable weather around the country, operators have had an interesting set of challenges. With the ever-increasing trend of delivery and takeout, as well as customers’ desires for adventure through global flavors on menus, it may seem an impossible task to tackle both with a simplified menu and fewer SKUs. In this newsletter, we’ll highlight some surefire ways to thrill off-premises customers with novel flavors while keeping SKUs to a minimum.

By now, most people are accustomed to eating restaurant food in the safety of their own homes. In fact, 53% of adults say purchasing takeout or delivery food is “essential to the way they live,” according to data from the National Restaurant Association’s State of the Industry report released in January.
According to Datassential, “31% of consumers are looking forward to trying new global foods and flavors,” and the pace is expected to intensify throughout 2021 as the effects of the pandemic linger. For operators, that also means they’ll be ordering cuisines that they feel less comfortable recreating at home.
In order to survive during uncertain times, operators are searching for ways to keep their costs down and minimize inventory. A recent insight report published by Kinetic12 indicates that 51% of operators’ top areas of simplification is the menu. How can operators streamline their offerings and reduce SKUs, but still meet consumer demand? Lee Kum Kee is here to help with a versatile line of ready-to-use sauces.
of consumers are willing to pay more for authentic dishes when dining out2
of consumers like to explore regional varieties of mainstream ethnic cuisines so they can try new foods and flavors.1,3
Consumers spent $769 billion ordering food last year, and
63% of that was for food eaten at home. A vast majority of takeout orders were placed online, and 61% of the orders were from restaurants that only offered sit-down service before the pandemic.4

What are the most popular foods that consumers are getting delivered, and how can the global flavors trend be worked into your menu? As of June 2021, many on the list are comfort food favorites, which may be attributed to continued uncertainty about the pandemic. But what they all have in common is how easy it is to incorporate authentic global flavor into each one, using any of Lee Kum Kee’s versatile sauces.

Chicken fingers and fries

Fried chicken is a blank canvas for any flavor profile. Offer ready-to-use Black Pepper Sauce (mixed with mayo as a black pepper aioli), Teriyaki Sauce, or Sauce for Orange Chicken as sweet-savory-spicy dips.

Chicken fingers and fries
Chicken sandwich

An indisputable favorite, but make it global with the sauce of your choice, such as Teriyaki Sauce or Sriracha Mayo, tried-and-true global favorites.

Chicken sandwich

Our  Chiu Chow Style Chili Oil makes a mean mac and cheese.

Veggie burger

Meatless burger sales are up a whopping 291% this year, and there’s no better way to jazz up the flavor than by adding Black Pepper Sauce  to the mix or brushing it over the patty as a glaze.

Tacos and burritos

Your menu has endless fusion-style options using Char Siu Sauce  (Chinese BBQ Sauce) as a glaze for pulled pork stuffed inside a burrito, or  Hoisin Sauce  as a sweet meets umami sauce for duck tacos.

Chef Teresa Oncel
Corporate Chef, Lee Kum Kee
Chef Talk
Most, if not all of us, love a good story, and the story behind how your food came to be is no exception. Diners (whether off- or on-premises) continue to crave global flavors; we think it’s because of their ability to mentally transport you to another place and time, despite being at the comfort of your own home or city. At Lee Kum Kee, we understand the need for consistent, versatile and on-trend products, which is why we create our ready-to-use sauces to provide maximum flavor with minimal operator effort. These sauces are great as they are, but they also allow chefs room for innovation and exploration to diversify the menu while utilizing these adaptable SKUs.
Chef Oncel’s Tips for Using Products on Your Menu
  • Seek out pantry heroes. With no end to carryout in sight and consumers still longing for something to tantalize their tastebuds, look for products that reach across several platforms and deliver authentic global flavor to your menu. For example, multi-taskers like Teriyaki Sauce which triples as a dip, marinade, or a sauce for bowls delights customers and add value for operators.
  • Story matters, down to the last detail. Not only are customers craving different taste experiences, but they want the stories behind them, as well. All of Lee Kum Kee’s versatile products, from  Soy Sauce  to Chiu Chow Chili Oil, are deeply rooted in the farm-to-fork movement. A company that carefully controls and manages all its chili and oyster farms and fermentation processes to ensure the highest-quality product possible definitely should be part of that story.
  • Don’t just stick with Asian recipes.  Lee Kum Kee’s ready-to-use sauces let chefs get innovative with fusion-style dishes that customers are craving. Try Black Pepper Sauce  as a deeply flavorful steak marinade, and also as an umami-forward ingredient in a plant-based pasta.
On-Trend Applications
Mushroom Stroganoff
Mushroom Stroganoff  - Black Pepper Sauce kicks up the earthy flavor of mushrooms and adds some piquant flavor to this creamy, ultra-savory vegetarian meal that tastes equally indulgent over noodles or rice.  Get the Recipe
Citrus Chicken Couscous
Citrus Chicken Couscous - Grilled chicken, cucumbers, tomatoes, and tiny pasta are tossed in an easy, yet deliciously vibrant vinaigrette made with Sauce for Orange Chicken. A handful of fresh mint takes it over-the-top amazing.   Get the Recipe
Hawaiian Teriyaki Pizza
Hawaiian Teriyaki Pizza  - A salty-tangy-sweet mashup of chicken, bacon, and pineapple using Teriyaki Glaze, a versatile back-of-house favorite, brushed over the crust as a sauce. Thinly sliced red onions balance out every cheesy, luscious bite. Get the Recipe
Featured Lee Kum Kee Products
Black Pepper Sauce
Black Pepper Sauce  - Made with selected black peppercorns and soy sauce, this convenient sauce is great for marinades, as a topping, or as a dip for wings.   View Product
Teriyaki Glaze
Teriyaki Glaze - This quintessential Japanese-style sauce is sweetened with pineapple juice and is simply phenomenal brushed over proteins and vegetables alike.   View Product
Sauce for Orange Chicken
Sauce for Orange Chicken  - The perfect balance of sweet, citrusy and savory, this classic sauce is key for recreating orange chicken, but its magic doesn’t end there. Wings, crispy cauliflower, everything it touches adds sublime citrus flavor.   View Product
Whether it’s delivery, takeout, curbside or third-party, dine-out service remains a growing trend for the foreseeable future. Lee Kum Kee offers a wide range of to-go sauces and condiments that support exciting, globally-inspired menu offerings. View Product
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1Technomic’s 2020 Flavors to Watch.

2Technomic’s 2020 Ethnic Food & Beverage Consumer Trend Report.

3Mintel Foodservice Trends 2018.

4Restaurant Business, Takeout Ruled in 2020, and It’s Likely to Continue, 2021.

Additional Sources:

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