Industry News | December 21, 2009

Crab Cakes Hold On Through Recession

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Phillips Foods Inc. announced that crab cakes are holding steady on menus, even during these challenging economic times.

According to Datassentials (November 2009), crab cake menu penetration increased from 11 percent in 2005 to 15 percent in 2009. Whether they are roasted, fried, sautéed, or seared, crab cakes are on the menus of over 48 percent of fine-dining restaurants and 23 percent of casual-dining restaurants. Although fine-dining and casual-dining restaurants are the most common venues featuring crab cakes, their versatility as appetizers or entrees in a variety of innovative platforms and featuring various grades of crab meat make them a fit across multiple segments, including in quick-service and limited-service restaurants.

On appetizer menus, classic dishes such as shrimp cocktail, bruschetta, and potato skins are surpassed in popularity by crab cakes. As one of the fastest growing appetizer items since 2007, crab cakes are found on 12 percent more appetizer menus in 2009 as compared to 2007. When it comes to crab cakes as entrees, they are most traditionally featured as center-of-plate items or paired with another protein, most often as a surf-and-turf combo.

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