Innovate Blog
Food On-The-Go Trend 2017 – Muffles join hybrid sweet treats

Thursday August 24, 2017

The Muffle is a hybrid food – two foods grafted-together to make a new one, for example a croissant and a doughnut – to make a Cronut, or a pizza and a waffle – to make a Piffle, or in this instance a muffin and a waffle – to make a Muffle.

In a new series of blogs for 2017 we’re bringing food operators the latest trends for the on-the-go food market. From Acai bowls and Poke, to Bao burgers and rolled ice-cream – we’ll be taking a close look at the must-have dishes essential for any 2017 take-out menu; and we’ll be exploring why these dishes have risen to popularity so quickly.

Traditionally served with either sweet or savoury fillings at breakfast, or brunch, waffles presented creative chefs a great platform for innovation. Following hot-on-the-heels of the infamous Cronut – the Muffle was created by mixing together standard waffle batter with muffin mix.

When cooked, the results are Muffles, which are crispy on the outside with a soft, tender centre.  Like all things sweet and decadent, Muffles do well when topped with all sorts of yummy extras; from strawberries and syrups, to chocolate sauce and ice cream.

According to trade magazine Restaurant Business hybrid foods are now the fastest growing food trend in the last ten years.  Some of the most popular sweet inventions are below (and the list keeps on growing):

  • Cronut – a croissant/doughnut
  • Muggel – a muffin/bagel
  • Waggle – a waffle/bagel
  • Townie – a tart/brownie
  • Crapjack – a croissant/flapjack
  • Cupcaron – a cupcake/macaron
  • Duffin – a doughnut/muffin

One of the first, and perhaps the most well-known sweet hybrid food is the Cronut – a croissant and doughnut in-one. Created in New York in 2013 by a French pastry chef called Dominique Ansel – the bakery sold out of its inaugural batch within the first 20 minutes.

Such a positive reception to these new sweet treats, which have often been created by individuals and small bakeries, means that hybrid foods have edged into the mainstream market, adopted by larger retailers.

UK bakery chain Greggs paid the ultimate compliment to Ansel when it launched its imitator ‘Greggsnut’ and UK supermarket Waitrose fuelled the trend with its ‘yumdough’ icing-topped, layered dough concept with fondant filled pockets.

The popularity of the ‘duffin’ meant it hit the headlines when the name was controversially trademarked by a Starbucks UK supplier, despite London bakery Bea’s of Bloomsbury claiming to have produced a very similar product for the past couple of years.

Interestingly, as hybrid foods have evolved and diversified – so has a range of hybrid packaging. Like hybrid food, hybrid packaging utilizes different material types in one packaging solution, to provide a ‘best of both worlds’ type solution for contemporary food-to-go.

So, what’s the best way to serve a Muffle on-the-go? Well, it rather depends on the topping. If serving plain, a simple paper bag and napkin is a practical, cheap option.

If serving with a topping, a sturdy tray might be the better option.  At Bunzl Catering Supplies, we sell food on-the-go trays in lots of materials, shapes and sizes, including: foam, foil, rPET (made from recycled PET – and recyclable) cardboard and bagasse (made from sugar cane – and compostable).

A third option, and our personal favourite, is to serve your Muffles in a snack cup, from our partner supplier Colpac Packaging. Snack Cups are available in both Kraft (brown) and white, and have a flat bottom for sitting on a table top or counter, but are also easily held in one hand for eating on-the-go. The shape of a snack cup allows for the Muffle to be folded together, with a filling or topping piled into the middle. Beautiful!

We’re convinced that there will many more hybrid foods, both sweet and savoury, making their way   to the high street in 2017 – if you spot a new one, and would like to add it to your menu – why don’t you give us a call to discuss your packaging options?  As the leading supplier of catering disposables and food packaging in the UK – we’re confident that we’ll have something to help you serve your hybrid sweet treats in style.

Image source 1: Snack scoop –

Image source 2: Waffle in bag –

Image source 3: Waffle on trays –