Earn Brownie Points With Brownie Inclusions

Seize the nostalgia trend with new baked inclusions

 Think of your childhood. Think of childhood treats. Now recall the experience of freeing a fudgy brownie from layers upon layers of clingy cellophane. This exercise taught us that persistency pays—in this case with an ooey-gooey and oh-so-worth-it reward.

Not too much has changed. That age-old ritual is still practiced in lunchrooms and on playgrounds across America. Why have brownies become part of our daily ritual when so many other treats have faded?


There’s a reason realtors make houses smell like baked goods. Remembering the joy of coming home from school to a warm plate of brownies is more affecting and often more persuasive than granite countertops or a walk-in closet.

If just the smell of brownies can help sell a house, imagine what real, chewy chunks of brownie could do for milkshakes and concretes.

Memories of Yesterday Take Over Today’s Market

The nostalgia, or homestyle, trend takes inspiration from familiar flavors and ingredients consumers love and gives them an upgraded spin.

Just take a look at Steak ‘n Shake’s new Cereal Shakes, featuring childhood favorites like Cocoa Krispies®, Froot Loops®, and Frosted Flakes®.

The National Restaurant Association’s 2018 What’s Hot Culinary Forecast lists comfort foods as a top 5 perennial favorite among professional chefs. And with brownies showing the most menu-item growth (at 11%, according to Mintel) among the top 10 desserts, what better way to satisfy and capitalize on comfort-seekers than with brownie inclusions?

Pair nostalgia with any of these other hot trends for a winning dessert combination. The results are unique menu items that appeal to the masses and are nearly impossible to resist.

Boozy Brownies

 This combination of innocence and mischief is at the heart of the nostalgia trend’s allure.

Who could turn down the temptation of a childhood favorite with a grown-up twist, like whiskey sweet ice cream with chunks of thick brownie and a fudgy swirl?

With restaurants in San Francisco, Nashville, Louisville, and more introducing or featuring spiked milkshakes on their menus this summer, it’s clear that audiences are demanding these decadent drinks.

Try taking a page from your bartenders’ handbook when creating some intriguing recipes that will draw new consumers in for a special summertime happy hour indulgence, or get them to up the ante when the dessert menu comes around.

Upgrade that after-dinner cocktail to an after-dinner milkshake with Irish cream ice cream and a shot of Irish whiskey topped with espresso crunch and chewy brownie pieces.

Or for an extra sweet twist on the classic grasshopper, add crème de cacao to a mint ice cream milkshake and top with brownie chunks and a chocolate crumble. As a bonus, the bright green color looks exciting in pictures, an essential feature of a trend-worthy treat.

 Unexpected Heat in a Cool Treat

 Transport nostalgia to a surprising place by spicing up a traditional dessert.

As audiences turn away from overloaded sugar following health concerns, spicy flavors continue making their way into the dessert category, according to Nutritional Outlook. The 2018 Sweets & Snacks Expo even saw the launch of a blackberry-habanero pairing.

The added complexity of heat is a simple way to elevate any offering. And the reduced sweetness pulls in new consumers that may usually steer clear of the dessert menu, expanding your market.

Get inspired by the Mexican brownie to craft a simple yet unexpected treat: mix chocolatey chunks of brownie into cinnamon ice cream or concrete and top with whipped cream and a spicy cinnamon chocolate sprinkle. A finishing dash of cayenne powder—an ingredient poised for growth—gives it an extra kick, plus the pop of bright red adds to the shareable factor. For a surprising crunch, walnuts can contribute intriguing texture that people crave.

Blondes Have More Fun

 Already a spin on the traditional brownie, blondies—or blonde brownies—replace cocoa with vanilla and feature brown sugar. Including blondie bits can make any offering more indulgent.

Get away to the tropics by adding chunks of banana and chewy blondie pieces to vanilla ice cream. Top with whipped cream and praline coconut to upgrade the dessert from good to special. As a limited time offer, it will draw return visits all summer long.

Or take advantage of the gourmet salted caramel trend that’s still going strong.

Try adding blondie chunks to sea salt caramel ice cream. Mix in praline pecans and a swirl of salted caramel, and dust with sea salt caramel sprinkles. To truly make it an explosion of salty goodness, top with sea salt caramel pretzels.

Ready to experiment with the whimsical trend that sends consumers clamoring?

The neutral coloring of blondies makes them a perfect complement to any confectionery treat.

A bright pink cotton candy milkshake topped with a blue cotton candy crunch, rice crisps, and blondie pieces is pleasing to eyes and iPhones.

Delight in Each Bite

 Parker Products’ new baked brownie and blondie inclusions add layers of intrigue to any milkshake, ice cream, or concrete.

If any of these flavor concepts intrigues you, or if you’d like to work with one our developers to create something new, drop us a line at