Local food trend experts test out latest craze for annual report

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Darby Hughes, the brand strategy director for the marketing company, Quench, likes food. But don’t call him a foodie.

“I despise the term,” Hughes said.

In fact, everyone at Quench in Harrisburg enjoys good food. Dessert for lunch might not fly if you’re a kid, but these foodies are doing it all in the name of research.

“We are experiencing one of the growing food trends that we’ve had our eye on, and that’s grilled desserts,” Hughes said.

Grilled banana boats, to be exact.

“What you’re going to want to do is grab a banana, put it on a piece of foil and a plate, take a knife, and cut down through,” said Hughes.

Then, add any and all the toppings you want — chocolate, peanut butter, marshmallows, strawberries — wrap it up, throw in on the grill for about 10 minutes, and enjoy.

“Technomic reports that in the last five years, searches for grilled desserts have increased 13.9 percent, so definitely on the rise,” said Hughes.

“It’s really a shift from these really kind of hyper-indulgent sweet things,” Quench brand strategist Marie Gorman said.

All the research, talks with industry experts, and taste testing, then culminates in Quench’s annual food and beverage trends report that comes out in January.

The company says it’s probably a good bet that you’ll see grilled banana boats in there.

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