10 Innovative Foodservice Products From the NACS Show

The foodservice section of this year’s NACS Show was a bustling center of activity, as foodservice leaders held court with new prepared-food products and innovative dispensed beverage flavors and equipment.

With the competition heating up in the convenience-store foodservice category, retailers recognize the crucial need for menus to stand out and food and drink that is truly distinctive. To help retailers differentiate, a number of companies rolled out products that hit on today’s key trends: big, bold and spicy flavor profiles; clean-label dessert offerings; customizable beverages; and more options for breakfast—just to name a few.

Click through to uncover 10 attention-grabbing food and beverage products from the NACS Show floor this year.

1. Hunt Brothers Big Meaty Pizza

A spicy, savory, limited-time specialty, Hunt Brothers’ new Big Meaty Pizza appeals to the heartier appetites of the younger, core c-store consumer. Sold by the slice, the Big Meaty is topped with generous portions of salami, spicy ham, pepperoni and sausage.

2. Icee’s Twisted Chill flavors

With customizable flavors like Nitro Cold Brew Coffee, Blueberry Mint and Strawberry Basil, Icee introduced a new customer-facing touchscreen machine with a range of new and innovative flavor profiles for c-store guests to create their own frozen beverage.

3. Van’s Kitchen’s Crispy Stix

Van’s Kitchen is offering five bold Crispy Stix flavors: Cheeseburger, Buffalo Chicken, Korean BBQ Pork, Chicken Taco and Orange Chicken. Crispy Stix are a competitively priced handheld snack that also deliver profitability to operators, the company says. The brand can be merchandised in a hot case in the supplier’s branded sleeves.

4. Tyson’s State Fair Crispitos

In addition to its full-flavored Chili Chicken Crispitos handhelds, Tyson flaunted even bolder flavors for its stuffed crispy tortilla snacks, with varieties such as Korean BBQ Chicken and Sriracha Chicken.

5. McCain’s spicy fried snacks

At the McCain Foodservice booth, a tech-centric, millennial/Gen Z-themed backdrop played up the increasing consumer preference for hot and spicy fried snacks. New products promoted by McCain this year at NACS included Spicy Battered Pickle Fries, made with thin-sliced dill pickles coated with a cornmeal and spicy-mustard batter, Buffalo Seasoned Tater Tots, Battered Honey Sriracha Cheese Sticks and Poppers Cream Cheese & Bacon Breaded Stuffed Jalapenos.

6. Johnsonville’s Signature Smoked Bourbon BBQ Sausage

In addition to the company’s other flavor-forward sausage offerings, including a new premium breakfast wrap filled with Cajun-inspired andouille sausage, a standout product at this year’s show was Johnsonville’s new Signature Smoked Bourbon BBQ Sausage.

7. Rich’s Foodservice’s Churro Donut

Rich’s Foodservice rolled out several new dessert offerings this year, including a range of new Cookie Parfaits in chocolate, vanilla and cookies and cream; fully finished, upscale-positioned Tres Leches Cakes; new filled shortbreads; and clean-label thin, crispy cookies from Jacqueline’s Gourmet Cookies. But arguably its highlight this year was the new Churro Donut, a ready-to-finish, fried yeast doughnut spiral with a crisp exterior and soft, tender interior, dusted with cinnamon and sugar.

8. Red Diamond’s Tropical Temptations Tea

Red Diamond boasted a colorful selection of hot, iced and frozen tea products, from its Fruzen tea line in Citrus Green Tea and Peach varieties, to tropical-tinged tea flavors, including its slushy Mango Green Tea. The beverages feature tropically accented flavor profiles, yet keep the distinctive taste of tea in the forefront.

9. Three Bold Brothers’ burritos

Three Bold Brothers’ premium burritos were a new entrant at the NACS Show. The big-flavored burritos are marked by restaurant-quality ingredients such as grilled steak or chicken, Monterey Jack cheese, black beans and cilantro lime rice—all packed into a pressed tortilla. The burritos are wrapped in authentic butcher paper for consumers who want a fresh, high-quality burrito without sacrificing speed and convenience, according to the company.

10. El Monterey Breakfast Empanadas

El Monterey Breakfast Empanadas are made with a light and flaky crust and are available in the Egg, Sausage, Cheese & Potato flavor, as well as the new Egg, Bacon, Cheese & Potato flavor. Also available is Tornados Grande, a premium seasoned beef sausage link and cheesy sauce wrapped in a bold-flavored tortilla and served hot from the roller grill or hot case. The 4.5-ounce product is available in Cheesy Beef & Bacon and Spicy Italian Beef & Cheese.