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Haloumi: The Cheese Taking Over Major Fast Food Chains

 

In the restaurant industry, staying ahead of the curve often means catching onto food trends before they peak. Haloumi, a cheese beloved across Europe, is one such culinary sensation that's not just a fad—it's a phenomenon. Over in Europe, major fast-food chains have enthusiastically embraced this cheese. McDonald's (UK) tempts with their Haloumi fries, Burger King (UK) proudly offers the Haloumi King Burger, and Taco Bell (Cyprus) has woven it into their menu with new iterations of their signature Crunchwrap, making veggie, chicken and bacon Haloumi Crunchwrap versions. These aren't mere additions; they're enticing Limited-Time Offers (LTOs) that spotlight the cheese's popularity.

The Haloumi Appeal: More Than Just Taste

While the rich, savoury taste of Haloumi is undeniably one of its key attractions, its appeal goes beyond flavour. Haloumi packs a punch in the nutrition department, being notably high in protein. This makes it a brilliant option for those looking to supplement, or even replace, meat in their diets. Furthermore, in an era where dietary habits are rapidly evolving, Haloumi emerges as a favourite among flexitarians- those who primarily eat a vegetarian diet but occasionally consume meat. With its meaty texture and ability to hold its own on a grill, Haloumi offers a satisfying alternative that resonates with both vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.

Why LTO's Are a Revenue Rocket-Booster

LTOs are a tried-and-true tactic to reignite interest in a brand and increase footfall in restaurants. They create a sense of urgency among consumers and provide them with a chance to experience something novel. When a food trend like Haloumi becomes an LTO, it's not just a promotional tactic; it's a promise of a unique dining experience.

The Haloumi-Centered Recipe Hype: What's the Catch?

Studies suggest that consumers are on the hunt for innovative and distinctive choices when dining out. A whopping 60% of those who opt for Haloumi see it as a unique choice compared to other products.1 This cheese isn't just making waves due to its distinctive taste and texture; it's offering something fresh to a somewhat predictable fast-food menu.

 

Loumi BurgerHaloumi Burger

 

With thousands of user-generated social media posts and hundreds of enthusiastic likes, it's evident that Haloumi has taken the internet by storm.

Visual Treat: Just one look at these Haloumi dishes and it's clear why they're crowd-pleasers. The golden-brown sear, the rich texture – it's a photo-ready dish that appeals as much to the eyes as it does to the palate.

Haloumi's Hearty Hold on North America

It's no secret that Haloumi's popularity is skyrocketing in North America. But what's intriguing is the profile of the average Haloumi enthusiast. They're young, and they're affluent. With millennials and the subsequent generations like Gen Z leaning into this cheese trend, the growth trajectory seems promising.2

Restaurant Trends Aren’t Just for the Big Players

Sure, household names in fast food are having their Haloumi moment, but the cheese's appeal isn't exclusive to them. Independent restaurants can capitalize on its rising fame, integrating it into diverse dishes, from salads and wraps to gourmet burgers, souvlaki pitas and pizzas.

As haloumi takes center stage, Saputo steps up with kitchen-friendly formats, enhancing your culinary endeavours.

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1-2 Technomic, Haloumi Sales Strategy Insights Support, Canada, June 2022

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