NielsenIQ BASES, a leader in helping companies build brands through innovation, announced the 2022 North America Menu Innovation Award winners. This year, 120 new menu items were evaluated in a consumer survey by thousands of restaurant guests; the NielsenIQ BASES Restaurant Team then evaluated each item’s relative performance on relevance—items which guests indicated they need or want—and innovation—items guests indicated they found new and exciting to identify 20 winners in North America.

The awards were created to showcase standout menu innovations in the restaurant industry, according to restaurant guest feedback. These innovations were impactful successes which kept guests engaged during a transitional year after the brunt of the pandemic. With this, this year’s overarching theme is reaching consumers where they are. Whether consumers were ready to come back to a brick-and-mortar location or if they wanted to stay home, these award winners went the extra mile to deliver what guests needed, where they needed it.

“These brands went above and beyond to reach their guests but also give them new and exciting products during a challenging time for restaurants and consumers alike,” said Ramon Melgarejo, global managing director of NielsenIQ BASES. “In our second year of the Menu Innovation Awards, we’re excited to include Canada in this year’s North America awards and recognize the hard work of so many great brands.”

The 2022 North America Menu Innovation Award winners are:


Baskin Robbins, Hidden Treasure Ice Cream
BJs Brewhouse, Smokehouse Burger
Chipotle, Hand Crafted Quesadilla
Cracker Barrel, Cinnamon Roll Pie
Firehouse Subs, Everything Hook & Ladder Sub
IHOP, Hand Crafted Melts
KFC, Chicken Sandwich
Marcos Pizza, Build Your Own Pizza Bowls
Outback Steakhouse, Bloomin' Fried Shrimp
Panda Express, Beyond Original Orange Chicken
Red Lobster, Create Your Own SeaCuterie Board
Red Robin, Blue Bunny Super Fudge Brownie Load'd Bar
Ruby Tuesday, Big Philly Burger
Smashburger, The Chorizo Burger by Chef Rick Bayless
TGI Fridays, Top Shelf Pairing


Burger King, Peppercorn King
Dairy Queen, Sea Salt Toffee Fudge Blizzard
Freshii, Tacos
New York Fries, At Home Poutine Kits
Subway, Great Canadian Club

“It means a great deal for our brand to receive this prestigious recognition from such trusted and well-respected innovation experts,” said Alex Tokatlian, brand marketing director at Marco’s Pizza. “At Marco's, adapting to consumer trends is part of our DNA and this carb-cutting alternative proved to be a bold and refreshing move in our category. Our goal is to delight our guests, and we are honored to be acknowledged for achieving this goal.”

BASES Menu Innovation Awards winners are wonderful examples of how restaurants can truly connect with their guests and create disruptive and innovative menu items. 

Learn more.

Check out a webinar with the winners.