Musselman’s is Taking Apple Butter to the Next Level with its New Fusions Line

Consumer tastes are constantly evolving. Today, guests are craving flavors that are exciting yet approachable. But they are also more discerning in their expectations that their dishes be made with clean ingredients.

With that in mind, at Foodable Network, we are consistently surveying products that cater to the consumer demand for both delicious and clean label foods.  

Apple butter remains a consumer favorite and Musselman’s Apple Butter is a leader in the category.

But Musselman’s isn't complacent in its success, choosing to take its apple butter to the next level. The company is shaking up the marketplace with the launch of a foodservice line of Fusions featuring on-trend flavors that have been blended with apple butter by chefs for years.  

Musselman’s Apple Butter Fusions Line |   Foodable Network

Musselman’s Apple Butter Fusions Line | Foodable Network

Musselman’s is Turning Simple to Signature 

“We wanted to make sure we were pairing apple butter with not only things that work well with it, but also with flavors that are on an upswing,” said Bob Fisher, vice president of marketing, Knouse Foods, the parent company of Musselman’s. “These items have a tremendous amount of flexibility and a wide range of uses. Far more than I think we anticipated when we first developed the idea for the product line.” 

Musselman’s launched the line to offer a solution for operators who are looking to pique the palate of millennial diners in the QSR/fast casual and family dining sectors. 

“What we love about the Fusions brand is it brings apple butter to the masses. It's making apple butter a younger, more vibrant, more exciting, and unique category than before. It’s our way of expanding apple butter into a segment that is far more engaging,” said Allie Canterbury, marketing manager of food service, Knouse Foods.

Not to mention, the Fusions’ squeezable bottles make them easy to use and cook with.

Like Fisher said Musselman’s selected its six Fusion flavors because they are flavors that consumer can’t seem to get enough of. 

In the video above, Foodable Host Layla Harrison is joined by Culinarian Andy Tilis where they discuss Musselman’s iconic Apple Butter and two of the new Fusion flavors.

One of Musselman’s new Fusions flavor they taste test is the Mango Habanero.

Musselman's Apple Butter Dijon Mustard and Mango Habanero Fusions |   Foodable Network

Musselman's Apple Butter Dijon Mustard and Mango Habanero Fusions | Foodable Network

In a recent Foodable Labs report on flavor trends, habanero ascended jalapeño as the most used pepper by chefs over the last year. As far as mango is concerned, it is one of the top two fruit infusions on chef’s menus today, according to recent Foodable Labs data.  

The Mango Habanero is vegan, gluten-free, and fat-free. It’s a triple threat of flavor with the tastes of apple, mango, and habanero all in one. It’s sweet yet spicy profile makes it perfect to pair with fish, especially salmon or cod. 

In the video above, Andi uses the Mango Habanero to glaze a cod to give the fish an extra burst of flavor. But she also demonstrates how the Fusion can be used as a dipping sauce for sides like sweet potatoes.   

It’s also popular as a savory sauce added to wings, sliders, chicken strips, nuggets and much more. See what other proteins and sides this Fusion pairs well with in the video above.

The other flavor highlighted above in the tasting video is the Musselman’s Dijon Mustard Apple Butter Fusion. This flavor, which is also vegan and gluten-free, offers a sweet base saturated with the spicy and tangy taste of Dijon mustard. 

“It takes an ordinary sandwich and makes it so much more,” said Fisher.

This Fusion isn’t only a great spread for sandwiches, but can also create an elevated taste experience for classics such as burgers, paninis, sliders, and of course, on soft pretzels. 

Stay tuned for our part-two video coming soon that showcases other new exciting Musselman’s Apple Butter Fusion Flavors that turn the ordinary to “oh wow.”

Editor’s Note: This is a sponsored post.

Video Produced by:

Vanessa Rodriguez

Vanessa Rodriguez

Writer & Producer


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The Top 20 Plant-Based Chefs and Foodies

The consumer demand for plant-based menu items is at an all-time high. 

According to recent Foodable Labs data, there was a 129 percent spike in whole vegetable dishes on chef menus year over year.

The plant-based movement only continues to gain more momentum and this is thanks to chefs and foodie cooks presenting veggie-centric dishes that aren't only appealing to vegans and vegetarians. 

Not to mention, more and more meat-eaters have become flexitarians, where their diet is primarily plant-based but they occasionally eat meat.

Smoothie bowl with raw foods  |  Shutterstock

Smoothie bowl with raw foods | Shutterstock

So what chefs and foodies are getting the most social attention for their plant-based dishes? 

We pulled from Foodable Labs data to curate a list of the Top 20 Plant-based Chefs and Foodies based on their combined social Sentiment and Engagement score. 

Let's take a closer look at the top five vegan chefs and foodies dazzling taste buds with their plant-based dishes. 

No. 1 Matthew Kenney

This east coast celebrity chef and author has been a trailblazer in the industry with his vegan cuisine and opened his 15th vegan restaurant this last summer. 

After attending the French Culinary Institute (which is now known as the International Culinary Center,) he worked at multiple upscale restaurants in New York City where he rose through the ranks. 

He opened his first restaurant Matthew's in 1993 and it quickly received multiple accolades. Then in 2004, he opened his first vegan concept Pure Food and Wine. He later founded the PlantLab, (formerly known as The Matthew Kenney Academy) a raw vegan and plant-based focused culinary school.

Today Kenney continues to build his culinary empire. He now has 15 restaurants around the world with nine more in the works.

Kanu, his newest restaurant in Canada, serves plant-based dishes all day including the Butternut Squash Nachos with guacamole, salsa verde, lime crema, radish over blue corn chips and Heirloom Tomato & Zucchini Lasagna with sun-dried tomato marinara, macadamia ricotta, and pistachio pesto. 

No. 2 Angela Liddon

This blogger turned award-winning writer has built a plant-based recipe empire. 

She started her blog Oh She Glows back in 2008 when she was recovering from an eating disorder and wanted to share her journey of finding a healthy lifestyle.  

The blog and its unique recipes quickly garnered millions of online readers and this home chef has built the Oh She Glows blog into a vegan lifestyle brand. 

In 2014, Liddon published her first book "The Oh She Glows Cookbook," which was a "New York Times" Bestseller. 

Fast forward to today and the blog now has 1 million unique readers a month and features over 550 healthy plant-based recipes like the Instant Pt Cauliflower and Butternut Thai Curry and vegan 3-Ingredient Chia and Quinoa Flatbread.

No. 3 Chloe Coscarelli

This vegan chef started her own vegan lifestyle in 2004. This is when she realized that the options for vegan eaters were scarce, so she started on a mission to bring more plant-based dishes to the masses. 

She studied at the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City and went on to focus on plant-based nutrition with a certification from Cornell University's online program. 

But it was eight years ago when Coscarelli's culinary career blew up. This is when she appeared on the wildly popular baking competition TV show "Cupcake Wars" and was the first vegan to win a competition on television. 

After that, she published her first cookbook "Chloe's Kitchen" in 2012, then another cookbook "Chloe's Vegan Desserts in 2013" and "Chloe's Vegan Italian Kitchen" in 2014. 

She went on to open the fast-casual chain By Chloe, which there are five stores of now and she is no longer affiliated. In March of this year, she published another plant-based cookbook "Chloe Flavor: Saucy, Crispy, Spicy, Vegan" which features recipes like the No-Huevos Rancheros, and Banaba Doughnuts with Maple Glaze. 

Want to see what other chefs and foodies made this list? Check out the video above and the full top 20 list below. 

  1. Matthew Kenney | Instagram | 192.15

  2. Angela Liddon | Instagram | 192.08

  3. Chloe Coscarelli | Instagram | 190.85

  4. Timothy Pakron | Instagram | 191.27

  5. David Lee | Instagram | 189.67

  6. Dana Shultz | Instagram | 189.37

  7. Ayindé Howell | Instagram | 189.02

  8. Horacio Rivadero | Instagram | 188.27

  9. Josef Centeno | Instagram | 186.08

  10. Chef Babette | Instagram | 186.07

  11. Todd Erickson | Website | 186.06

  12. Laura Oates | Instagram | 185.34

  13. Eddie Garza | Instagram | 185.27

  14. Gaz Oakley | Instagram | 185.02

  15. Maya Sozer | Instagram | 184.99

  16. Charlie Grippo| Instagram | 183.08

  17. Isa Chandra Moskowitz | Instagram | 181.49

  18. Doug McNish | Instagram | 180.91

  19. Tal Ronnen | Instagram | 180.55

  20. Richa Hingle | Instagram | 180.18

Restaurant Traffic is Down by Almost 30 Percent

2018 has not been kind to the restaurant industry.

You may have noticed multiple headlines announcing the closure of stores of restaurant brands you thought were doing well in today's market.

We recently reported that even honeygrow is closing three stores in Chicago and then Taco Bueno filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Both these announcements were somewhat of a surprise considering both chains have grown wildly popular.

These restaurants aren't alone.

According to Foodable labs data, the number of restaurant closures is a record high. Social Restaurant Visits (SRVs) are down significantly, meaning restaurant traffic is slow.

With fewer customers visiting restaurants, fewer restaurant reservations are being made. The space is becoming even more competitive for not only restaurants but also for third-party services like restaurant reservation apps.

Resy is making a major play to compete with OpenTable.

The restaurant reservation service announced last week that it is acquiring another reservation company Reserve. OpenTable is being used by 50,000 restaurants currently. While Resy will soon be serving 14,000 restaurants after the acquisition. Resy has aggressive growth plans in the works too.

But will the recent restaurant slump take a bite out of Resy's business?

Customers aren't only visiting restaurants less but they are ordering pizza-less.

According to Foodable labs data, Pizza delivery is down by 18.5 percent year over year.

This is partly because the quality of the pizza being delivered most of the time isn't up to customers' standard.

However, there is a company that has come up with a solution to this problem– Zume Pizza.

Zume has transformed how pizza is being delivered. Zume is store-less and has a team of six different robots that assist in making the pizzas. The concept's delivery vehicles are also equipped with pizza ovens, so pizzas are ready for fast delivery. The company's innovative technology ensures that the pizza is always warm and fresh.

Last week, the automated pizza delivery company announced that it has raised an additional $375 million from SoftBank. It looks like the tech-focused pizza brand is about to take off with this massive investment.

Watch out UberEats, Zume could change the food delivery space forever.

Listen to The Barron Report above to learn more.

The Restaurant Reservations War Has Started

The restaurant reservation service Resy announced that it has acquired another reservation company Reserve.

This means Resy is making a big play to take OpenTable's customers.

OpenTable was the first to dominate the market. The online reservation service company, based in California which was formerly partnered with Yelp, was purchased by the Priceline Group in 2014 for $2.6 billion.

About 50,000 restaurants use OpenTable currently. Resy, on the other hand, serves about 10,000 restaurants but after the acquisition of Reserve, the company will be serving 14,000 restaurants.

Although this is still significantly less than OpenTable, these companies have yet to expand into most markets.

Not to mention, the pricing model of OpenTable has been criticized for being expensive.

"OpenTable, founded in 1998, charges restaurants based on the number of reservations it makes for them, in addition to a flat rate, but says it is experimenting with a new pricing model it will roll out in the next quarter. Reserve and Resy, which both started in 2014, charge restaurants only a flat rate for use of their software," writes the NY Times.

Resy has been on an acquiring spree and bought ClubKviar, a reservation service in Madrid and Barcelona, Spain in April and the company also acquired Servy, a market research service a year ago.

Resy's revenue has doubled every year for the last four years.

“We’re attacking and dismantling some very stale, inadequate, overpriced products,” said Ben Leventhal, Resy’s co-founders and chief executive in an interview last week.

According to Foodable Labs data, Resy has the highest Operator Sentiment score out of all the reservation services. This means operators are much happier with this service.

So should OpenTable be nervous? Yes.

But there is another challenge in the industry right now that could impact the growth of these reservation services.

Social Restaurant Visits are down, meaning restaurant traffic is down and fewer customers are making reservations.

Read more about Resy’s acquisition of Reserve at “The New York Times.”

Watch The Barron Report above to learn more.

Have Amazon Go and UberEats Become a Threat to Restaurant Operators?

Operators have always had to compete in the market with other concepts, but in today's market, there are a new set of power players ready to steal your customers.

Enter Amazon.

Amazon, like the fast casual segment, is catering to the on-the-go consumer with its cashier-less Amazon Go stores, many of which offer grab-and-go food options. These stores have become the most popular during the workweek, especially at lunchtime.

We recently analyzed the aggressive move Amazon is making in the foodservice industry. Listen to this episode of The Barron Report for more insights on if fast casual restaurants can survive this threat.

But there is one advantage that restaurants, namely fast casual restaurants, have over the Amazon Go stores– many have embraced the plant-based movement. According to Foodable Labs data, today's foodies can't get enough of these plant-based menu items.

Don’t miss our video breaking down this data about the plant-based movement below.

Amazon isn't the only threat operators need to be worried about. There is another shark circling to take a bite out of your business.

Third-party delivery services emerged as a solution that many operators desperately needed.

Since offering delivery has quickly become a guests' expectation, an operator has two options. One is to invest in significant funding to build a delivery program. However, this is easier said than done. It entails creating a system, investing in a platform to process these orders, hiring more staff to handle take-out and delivery orders, and then hiring reliable drivers to deliver these orders.

Or an operator can simply partner with a third-party delivery service, which eliminates most of the headaches. When you consider the operational and logistical challenges of offering delivery, its no wonder that operators across the country have decided to go the route of partnering with a third-party delivery service.

But now this has created a new problem.

One of the most popular delivery services out there is now UberEats. This company has quickly conquered the market. UberEats is currently offering food delivery for 50 percent of the U.S. population and has the lofty goal of serving 70 percent of the U.S. population by the end of this year.

As UberEats becomes more popular, the more the fees increase for the participating restaurants. Could this be correlated to the increase in restaurant closings?

Listen to the podcast above as The Barron Report host Paul Barron explains the data showing that third-party delivery growth may be tied to restaurant failures.