Wholesome all-natural honey is as popular as ever, appearing on more than half of restaurant menus nationwide (and growing).* Honey’s popularity can be attributed to its “triple threat” of flavor, function, and versatility, not to mention its unique story.

Made by bees from the nectar of flowers, honey occurs naturally in a range of flavor profiles, based on the floral source. Honey varietals range in color from light to dark and from mild to bold in taste. Foodservice operators are increasingly highlighting honey varietals on menus, adding interest and regional flair.

In addition to its flavor and versatility, honey boasts impressive functional properties:

Humectant: Honey helps baked goods retain moisture, extending shelf life.

Emulsifier: Honey serves as a natural thickening agent for sauces and dressings.

Balance: Honey modifies a range of tastes, including spicy, salty, bitter, and sour.

With all that this golden ingredient offers, it’s no surprise that honey is at the sweet spot of a number of food and beverage trends.

*Dataessential Honey Menuing Report September 2016