US Foods introduced menu items that are on track with what diners want and expect – simple ingredient foods that are full of flavor and even a little fun.

“Scoop is all about bringing chefs on trend products that can inspire their menus, attract more diners and optimize their operations throughout the year,” said Stacie Sopinka, Vice President, Product Development and Innovation at US Foods. “With 82% of operators looking for products with clean ingredients, we are excited to introduce these 20 items that are bold in flavor and simple in ingredients so they can create buzzworthy dishes that will keep their diners coming back for more.”

In 2016 vegetables are taking center stage at US Foods, moving from a side dish to center of the plate. One of the fastest rising stars many consider “the new kale” is riced cauliflower, which has become a favorite alternative for those trying to avoid high-carb, starchy foods. This spring Scoop is featuring several items to inspire easy, vegetable-centric dishes:

· Rykoff Sexton® Slow Roasted Tomatoes: These tomatoes strike a balance between the sweetness of a fresh tomato and the tartness of a sun-dried one. Vine-ripened tomatoes are roasted for 12 hours with oil, garlic, herbs and spices to create a meaty texture.

· Cross Valley Farms® Riced Cauliflower: This freshly pre-minced cauliflower, loaded with vitamins and minerals, transforms the traditional florets into a versatile ingredient in everything from pizza crust to no-rice pilaf to fritters.

· Cross Valley Farms® Fingerling Sweet Potatoes: Whether they’re fried, grilled or baked, these miniature spuds are packed with big, hearty flavor and go effortlessly in salads, soups or as a memorable side.

A Growing Appetite for Appetizers. More and more restaurant patrons are opting for an array of starters in lieu of entrees as they look to explore and try new tastes, flavors and cultures without ‘committing’ to a larger, pricier meal. Here are a few of the hot items coming out this spring:

· Molly’s Kitchen® Beer Cheese Dip: The demand for beer cheese is clear as the item has grown 145% on menus in the past four years. Molly’s Kitchen Beer Cheese Dip takes it to a whole new level by combining craft beer, sharp cheddar and Romano cheese to create a velvety goodness that makes a dip, sauce or cheesy topping.

· Chef’s Line® Bavarian Soft Pretzel: Comfort and tradition meet with these soft pretzels created from a 200-year-old Bavarian recipe, and are crafted into a hand-twisted shape to add a level of authenticity.

· Glenview Farms® Spreadable Brie: For those who love to put cheese on everything, this rich, buttery brie is a choice to spread on anything from carrots to crackers. Beverage trends lead to the bar in 2016 as experts predict more customers will be seeking “spirited” cocktails that can also serve as social currency. From Bloody Marys to ice-pop cocktails, people are ordering drinks that lend themselves to Instagram images and quick videos. A few items that can help restaurants spice up their drink offerings:

· Rykoff Sexton® Bloody Mary Mix: This mix puts a twist on the classic with a fresh tomato flavor with a hint of spice that allow bartenders to make it their own – and onto social media channels – with creative types of vodka or ingredients.

· Rykoff Sexton® Watermelon Limeade: Gourmet lemonade is the new cool kid on the menu. This refreshing combination of fresh watermelon and Persian limes create a tang that can stand alone or be mixed into craft cocktails and sorbets.