Factions still debate whether or not Americans are as busy as a lot of think they are, although statistics show that the US worker put in the most hours on nights and weekends on average. Gallup suggests a standard 40 hour work week in the US now lasts 47 hours. But whether the American worker works too many hours or not, the trend for portable, eat-on-the-go food still maintains an upward climb, and that’s not all. American consumers clearly still desire flavorful and healthy options, along with the portability that allows them to eat whenever and wherever they want, and while in transit. Enter the burrito.
Native Americans (both north and central) have wrapped their foods in tortillas for centuries, but the burrito as we know it is something exclusive to the United States. Today’s burritos come in many shapes, sizes, styles, configurations and with an infinite number of different ingredients. Burritos make the perfect on-the-go option. Depending on what retailers want to offer the consumer, burritos give producers many options and are adaptable to almost any culinary trend.
Producers can put together traditional and breakfast burritos fairly easily, but in certain situations customers might want something a little more upscale and different.
A retailer’s region will be the deciding factor in which flavors or ethnicities they want to incorporate into their burrito offerings. Producers should ask retailers if they think a fusion offering might work at one or more of their stores. The most likely candidates to carry fusion burritos will be supermarket foodservice and convenience stores in more densely populated cities with a cosmopolitan feel.
Taking different cuisines and putting them together creates a fusion dish or offering. It can be ethnic offerings fused together like Asian and Mexican or it can be ingredients that don’t traditionally go into a specific dish, i.e. a burrito. Some popular fusion burritos include:
- Spicy Korean Pork Kimchi
- Smoked Salmon Breakfast
- Thai Chicken
- Filipino Pork Sisig
Consciously healthy eating in America has become commonplace. According to Technomic, as of June 2014, 31 percent of American diners usually looked for healthy options at fast-casual restaurants and 24 percent usually looked for healthy options at fast-food restaurants. Not only do Americans want to eat healthier, but they demand food producers and foodservice to offer it.
The burrito possesses the attributes of a food canvas that food producers can paint healthy options on. Any ingredients combinations can be wrapped up and served burrito style. One of the staples of the traditional burrito, beans, are coming on strong as one of the front running ingredients consumers look for to provide healthy protein. Popular ingredients for burritos considered to be healthy are:
- Shredded turkey/chicken
- Scrambled eggs
- Fresh vegetables
Another way to create a healthier burrito is to pay close attention to the tortillas. Whole-grain tortillas matched with healthy ingredients make a healthy burrito fast and easy. Also available are tortillas that contain that contain vegetable purees. Spinach and tomato are popular varieties of vegetable puree tortillas. The more vegetable puree a tortilla contains, the healthier it is. On the ingredient label, the vegetables should be high up on the ingredient list.