With the holiday season quickly approaching, many people will take advantage of school and company breaks to pack up their suitcases, buy plane tickets, and prepare to take a trip. Whether international or just across the state, the winter presents the perfect opportunity to take a vacation and escape the cold or visit family. This is demonstrated by the over 1/3rd of Americans who traveled during last year’s holiday season with even more expected this year1. Regardless of the journey’s destination for the over 112.5 million1 travelers taking to the roadways and runways, one thing that remains constant with all the packing, booking, and money involved is that travel can be stressful.
This already stressful situation paired with the cold & flu season that comes with winter is enough to derail any trip. To combat these stressors, lodging establishments have a wonderful opportunity to help travelers decompress after a long day. This is particularly important given that 46% of travelers identified finding appropriate accommodations is their biggest travel concern.2 While you may not be able to help them pack, the hotel can provide a sanctuary for guests to relax and replenish after flying or driving for hours. Fresh blankets, a warm shower, and a hot meal are all simple services that hotels can offer to make the bustle of holiday travel begin to fade away. Food is increasingly becoming a staple of creating a great lodging experience for guests. A staggering 81% of guests have ordered a food or beverage item at a lodging venue3 within the last year, and with this, it is important for hotels to keep menus fresh and exciting.
The dreariness that winter brings opens the door for hotels to build menus with comfort food options to help keep guests cozy with a familiar dish. These dishes are often rich in calories, served hot, and help provide guests with a sense of nostalgia to ease their minds. Ranging from traditional American plates like Mac & Cheese or Mashed Potatoes to trendier modern or ethnic inspired takes, comfort foods are meant to inspire a sense of warmth and relaxation.
Leveraging Kraft Heinz’s robust portfolio of soups, frozen entrees, hot beverages, and sauces can help lodging operators easily integrate new comfort food options into existing menus, even if only for the winter LTOs. Below is a snapshot of the Kraft Heinz Foodservice categories and products that fit the comfort food occasion along with some unique menu builds for inspiration.
Why it works: With 61% of consumers stating that they are they’re more likely to order soup in cold weather5, it is undeniable that winter is soup season. The savory warmth that soups offer help guests escape from the elements and relax. With over 150 soup varieties, Kraft Heinz is a one-stop-shop for all your lodging soup needs. Utilizing premade soups helps your chefs to save time while keeping consistent quality, not to mention that many of our soups can also be utilized as dips or sauces for pasta dishes. We offer a large range of flavors from classics like Tomato and Chicken Noodle to innovative and trending flavor profiles like our brand new Southwest Sweet Potato. Use our Soup Sell Sheet to pick the perfect flavor for your lodging establishment, available here.
Why it works: With simple boil-in-bag preparation, Kraft Heinz’s frozen entrée line provides lodging chefs with consistent quality every time. Offerings span from sweet ingredients like cinnamon baked apples, to traditional comfort food like chicken pot pie, mac & cheese, or stuffing. These entrees are great alone but can also be easily integrated or pivoted into menu builds. Kraft Heinz also offers incredibly versatile frozen products like BOCA Crumbles which are a great meat substitute conducive to trending vegetarian or vegan diets. Check out the Frozen Entrées line here.
Why it works: While customers love the classics, 65% of consumers state that they like trying new flavors from time to time.4 Traditional comfort foods provide the perfect host to experiment with new flavors and the Kraft Heinz condiments & sauces portfolio makes it easy. By simply adding HEINZ Buffalo Sauce and chicken to KRAFT Mac & Cheese, you can create an exciting Zesty Buffalo Mac & Cheese. With so many ways to customize, the build potential is endless! For some inspiration, check out the Recipes section of our site for chef inspired dishes. View our condiment and sauce selections. Check out our huge variety of Condiments & Sauces options here.
Why it works: There is nothing more comforting than a hot cup of cocoa after spending time outside in the blustering winter winds. In addition to hot chocolate, the Kraft Heinz hot beverage portfolio offers a wide range of brands and drinks to satisfy any craving. From Tea to Cappuccinos to a great hot cup of coffee, we offer highly recognized brands like Maxwell House and Gevalia. So, whether it’s for calming down after long day or energizing guests as they continue their trips, Kraft Heinz is a great starting point for providing the best possible cup. To check out the whole portfolio click here.
Make your winter menu stands out! Below are several comfort food dishes perfect for weary travelers that incorporate the Kraft Heinz portfolio and add a unique twist for differentiation.
BOCA Vegetarian Chile: https://www.kraftheinz-foodservice.com/recipe/220370/boca-vegetarian-chili
Cheesy Pot Pie Smothered Chicken Biscuits: https://www.kraftheinz-foodservice.com/recipe/220671/cheesy-pot-pie-smothered-chicken-biscuits
White Cheddar Mac & Cheese With BBQ Pulled Pork And Crispy Onions: https://www.kraftheinz-foodservice.com/recipe/220383/white-cheddar-mac-cheese-with-bbq-pulled-pork-and-crispy-onions