No Rules Experience

In all aspects of life, we’re demanding bigger, better, more vibrant experiences that we won’t forget – and why should the food we eat be any different?

We’re in an era of sensory overload, and it’s time to lean into that. Diners are keen to see chefs tear up the rulebook and experiment more, using authentic Mexican sauces like salsa poblana to create modern burgers, for example. They want wild fusion, chaos cooking and a no-holds-barred approach to the dishes they see on the menu.

The future of dining is about seeing food as a form of escapism, a vision that is achieved through the need to surprise and challenge diners with sensorial dishes that are designed to delight.



Chef Joanne Limoanco-Gendrano

We find ourselves in an era that is starting to be shaped by Gen-Z diners. Their directness stems from their meticulous online research. Its members are swift in sizing up their experiences, making them quick to decide if something resonates with them, or otherwise pivot to the next enticing offer.

“Next level condiments”  is the fastest growing topic in Google searches for this trend

With their remarkable proficiency in tech, Gen-Z demands the same level of flexibility when it comes to their dining experiences. Convenience is paramount, which prompted the surge in restaurants’ expansion to provide takeout options. As a result, innovative food packaging strategies continue to emerge.

Food brands featured on delivery apps have also taken cues from their online behaviour, as they continuously expand their reach even to the point of making niche brands from abroad available locally through ghost kitchen operations or pop ups. 

This generation seeks not only the restaurant’s brand name but also the individuals behind these unique food experiences. Similar to millennials, Gen-Z diners want to know the story behind the food, but with a twist: chefs now aren’t expected to reach celebrity status for guaranteed patronage but rather they must attain an influencer-level presence which allows them to be perceived as more approachable, adding more credibility to their affiliated restaurants.

Despite the wealth of available technology and services, the rising cost of goods and operations are challenging future investments. While adapting to this generation’s needs is crucial, maintaining a robust social media presence and upholding food quality still remain the most cost effective and compelling means to continuously attract and retain customers from any generation.

Salsa verde

The key ingredients of this green
sauce are garlic, onion, Serrano
peppers, and coriander.


Similar to a mole, the main ingredients
in this recipe are peanut and pumpkin
seeds, with some added spice from
Guajillo and Chipotle chillies.

Salsa poblana

Mild green poblano chillies, originally grown in the
Mexican state of Puebla, are roasted or fried to make
this sauce, which is delicious with chicken or pasta.

Salsa roja

This red sauce forms part of
Chilaquiles, a popular breakfast dish of
fried corn tortillas, but you can also use
it for tacos.

Mole rosa

Dried chipotle, rose petals and spices
including cloves, cumin and cinnamon
are used in this sauce, which
accompanies pork, chicken, fish, and


Chef Carlos Venegas – Mexico

Written by
Ryan Cahill

For Mexican recipe ideas, visit

Kushi Plate

The concept of multiple kushi or skewers provides a perfect canvas for this trend, as it weaves together an array of textures and tastes in a single dish. This plant-forward recipe intertwines an assortment of flavors from the Middle East, crafting a delightfully unexpected combination that serves as an ideal appetizer.

Chef Joanne Limoanco-Gendrano, Arabia

For casual Independent Restaurants
Cost (€) per portion: 3-4



  • 2250ml water
  • 18g xanthan gum
  • 15g Knorr Aromat
  • 450g rice flour
  • 450g tapioca flour


  • 1000g eggplant, peeled and sliced into 3” segments (1cm thick)
  • 1000g king oyster mushrooms, sliced into 1” segments horizontally, scored
  • 50g Knorr Aromat
  • 30g coriander powder

Miso Date Glaze

  • 100g white miso paste
  • 200ml date syrup
  • water, as needed

Chili Hollandaise

  • 250g Knorr Hollandaise Sauce
  • 90g Knorr Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
  • 30g Gochujang water, as needed

Tahini Dressing

  • 200g Hellmann’s Vegan Mayo
  • 100g tahini
  • 10g garlic cloves
  • 2g ground pepper
  • 1g salt
  • 15g lemon juice
  • 30ml cold water

For more information on these ingredients, click here.

“Operators aim to differentiate their menus with unique flavor combinations and interactive dining experiences. This is especially challenging when creating or a market that predominantly prefers meat.”
Chef Joanne Limoanco-Gendrano



  • To make the batter, place the water in a deep bowl. Use a hand blender to blend the water and add the xanthan gum while the equipment is running.
  • Whisk in the Knorr Aromat, rice, and tapioca flour. Batter can be stored in the chiller until ready to use.

King Mushroom “Scallops”

  • Skewer the scored and marinated mushrooms using bamboo sticks.
  • Grill over medium heat.
  • Take off the fire and brush with the miso date glaze.
  • To serve, sprinkle each mushroom skewer with fried quinoa and bonito flakes.

Chili Hollandaise

  • Combine the ingredients together in a blender.
  • Add a small amount of water if necessary.
  • Place in a squeeze bottle or piping bag, chill until ready to use.

Black Eggplant Kushiage with Tahini

  • Preheat the oil to 180°C. Whisk together the charcoal powder and the batter.
  • Coat each eggplant with batter. Deep-fry for 3-4 mins until the eggplant is crispy.
  • Place over a rack to drain off excess oil.
  • Pipe the tahini dressing on the surface of the fried eggplant. Garnish with tobiko and chives.

Corn Bomb

  • Preheat oil to 170°C.
  • Combine the flour, cornstarch, and tapioca flour in a bowl. Dry whisk to combine.
  • Combine the corn, Knorr Aromat, pepper, dried mango in a bowl. Start by adding half of the flour mix and 30ml of water. Mix with your hands to combine. If the mixture does not feel sticky enough, gradually add more water.
  • Heat oil to 175°C. Form the corn mixture into balls and insert a cube of the cheese in the middle. You can set the corn bombs in the chiller before frying.
  • Fry the corn bombs. Set them over a rack. Drizzle with Hellmann’s Vegan Mayo and dust with the kaffir spice dust before serving.

Kaffir Chili Dust

  • Place all ingredients in a bowl. Dry whisk to evenly combine.
  • Place in an airtight container.

Tahini Dressing

  • Combine the ingredients together in a blender.
  • Place in a squeeze bottle or piping bag, chill until ready to use.

Tofu kunafa

  • Preheat the oil to 180°C. Season the diced tofu with Knorr Aromat, pepper, and coriander powder.
  • Dip each seasoned, diced tofu with batter and coat with the kataifi strands.
  • Deep-fry for 3-4 mins until golden brown and crispy.
  • Place over a rack to drain off excess oil.
  • Drizzle with miso date. Sprinkle with pistachio powder before serving.

Miso Date Glaze

  • Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Heat to dissolve the miso.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning. Add water to thin out as needed.


  • Place the eggplant and mushrooms on separate trays.
  • Season with Knorr Aromat, coriander powder, and pepper. Set aside until ready to use.

Kushi Plate

Black Eggplant Kushiage with Tahini

  • 600ml original batter
  • 15g black charcoal powder
  • 600g marinated eggplant
  • 120ml tahini dressing
  • 20g tobiko
  • 30g chives, finely sliced

Tofu Kunafa

  • 600g firm tofu, pressed overnight, sliced into 1.5-cm cubes

10g Knorr Aromat

  • 3g crushed black pepper
  • 3g coriander powder
  • 600ml original batter
  • 300g kataifi or kunafa dough
  • 150ml miso date glaze
  • 30g pistacio powder

Corn-Flaked Eggplant Kushiage with Chili Hollandaise

  • 500g marinated eggplant
  • 600ml original batter
  • 300g corn flakes, crushed
  • 250ml chili hollandaise
  • 30g white sesame seeds, toasted
  • 50g microgreens

Kaffir Chili Dust

  • 5g kaffir lime leaves, dehydrated and grinded to powder

15k Knorr Lime Powder

  • 7g chili powder
  • 3g salt
  • 10g white sugar

Corn Bomb

  • 10g baking powder
  • 50g cornstarch
  • 50g tapioca flour
  • 360g corn kernel (from fresh corn)

5g Knorr Aromat

  • 2g black pepper
  • 70g smoked cheese (cheddar, gouda – frico), grated
  • 60g dried mango, finely chopped
  • water, as needed

120g Hellman’s Vegan Mayo

  • 10g kaffir lime dust


Flavor Shock
1. Google Keyword Planner, Mar 2018-Feb 2022

Local Abundance
2. Q4443 Trendsetter March 2022, UFS e-panel plus d-hoc, 19 countries, Base n=1,303

Low-Waste Menus
3. 4. Q4443 Trendsetter March 2022, UFS e-panel plus ad-hoc, 19 countries, Base n=1,303

Modernized Comfort Food
5. Q4443 Trendsetter March 2022, UFS e-panel plus ad-hoc, 19 countries, Base n=1,303
6. What’s new on your menu?. April 2023. Kantar for Global UFS e-panel.

Plant-Powered Protein
7. Nielsen IQ Panelview, 2022

Irresistible Vegetables
9. Unilever Regenerati


Created by TCO London

Photography: Remko Kraaijeveld (food), Charmaine Wu (chefs) Recipes: Unilever Food Solutions Chefs 

Food Styling: Chef Maurits van Vroenhoven 

Recipe Editing: Chef Thais Gimenez, Chef Michael Yamashita

Research Studies: Daniel Quinn, Elspeth Edwards, and Charlotte McDonald of The Forge London, Unilever Food Solutions Consumer Marketing Insights, Kantar 

Expert Insights: Chef Sam Kass, Patrick Chan, Sana Minhas, Christian Weij, Unilever Food Solution Chefs 

Special thanks to: Chef Eric Chua, Unilever Food Solutions Singapore


The Future Menus 2024 Trend Report by Unilever Food Solutions was compiled from robust global data and extensive chef inputs, including industry reports of leading third-party sources (Kantar, Firmenich, Symrise, IFF, The Forge, CMJ-PDC), social media analytics using 77,000 keywords representing 69 million searches across more than 21 countries, perspectives from UFS’ 250 professional chefs and in-depth feedback of more than 1,600 chef professionals located in 21 markets worldwide via UFS e-panels. These insights have been translated into practical, action-driven solutions for foodservice operators globally, including recipe ideas, techniques, and ingredient solutions that operators can use on their menus.