Summer Marinades That Promise Flavor & Fun

juicy baby back ribs on a pitch fork - Summer Marinade Flavors
Warmer weather, glorious sunshine, seemingly endless days – it’s no wonder summer is a season of celebration! This year, welcome summer with open arms – and a fork and a knife in each hand – by approaching seasonal flavors with freedom and delight. Trade the warm and hearty flavors of winter for the bright, zesty, and colorful flavors of summer. We could sing the praises of every sensational fruit and vegetable that’s in season in summertime, but suffice it to say, summer is positively teeming with versatile and delicious ingredients. In this blog, we’re going to focus on scrumptious summer marinades that will infuse your dishes with bold, mouthwatering flavors. Ready to get started? It’s easy – just add flavor!

Simplifying the Classic Summer BBQ

Cooking and dining outdoors is a time-honored summer tradition, and its popularity has only increased in recent years due to the pandemic. Although we’re no longer in lockdown, many people are still spending more time at home than they used to, opting for dining al fresco and “hometainment.” To charm these consumers, pursue convenient barbeque solutions offering big-bold flavors without all the hassle of food preparation and cooking. In addition, explore how you can elevate your barbeque menu through innovative new sauces and marinades. Whether you offer pre-grilling marinades or side-of-plate condiments, these value-add solutions can add big flavor while minimizing your consumers’ stress. In fact, 64% of U.S. protein consumers agree that the right marinade can make any cut of meat taste good! (Mintel 2021) Surely, they would enjoy more flavors in their BBQ kit.

Elevate Your BBQ Dishes with These 5 Marinades

1. Bulgogi Marinade 

Korean barbeque may be hip and trendy now, but did you know that it actually dates back over 2,000 years? With this tradition of barbequing expertise, you can trust Korean cuisine to know which ingredients and sauces best enhance meat flavors. Plus, 63% of U.S. Millennials have tried and 74% have expressed future interest in Korean BBQ flavors and dishes. (Mintel 2021) Give your consumers more of what they want!

A soy sauce-based marinade, bulgogi is intensely flavorful and truly irresistible. Ginger, garlic, and sesame provide a familiar subtle heat and notes of earthiness, while pear adds a natural sweetness and helps tenderize the meat. While it’s most often partnered with beef, bulgogi pairs beautifully with chicken as well. Picture succulent chicken thighs marinated in a rich, flavor-forward Bulgogi Sauce. Available at your grocery chain’s deli counter, consumers will love this grab-and-go protein, which they can eat however they like: nestled alongside rice and veggies, spooned into lettuce wraps, or even layered on top of a simple salad. It offers both convenience and global flair!

bulgogi with bulgogi marinade

2. Huli Huli Hawaiian Marinade  

Food has the power to transport us – and who wouldn’t seize the chance to travel to Hawaii this summer? Give your consumers a taste of paradise with a tropical Huli Huli Marinade, ready to pour over chunks of chicken breast, which can be tossed straight onto the grill. Hailing from O’ahu, this teriyaki-inspired sauce is delightfully sticky, slightly smoky, and undoubtedly sweet. Combining soy sauce, pineapple juice, ginger, mustard, and more, huli huli sauce hits all the right notes: sweet yet sour, fresh yet salty. The name comes from the Hawaiian word for “turn,” a reference to the fact that traditional huli huli chicken is constantly turned while cooked. Consider adding this marinade to a meal kit ­– not only will consumers appreciate the convenience of a perfect portion of marinade, but also the Hawaiian theme might inspire a luau that brings the whole family together!

3. Citrus & Summer Herbs Marinade

Who doesn’t love fresh citrus and herbs like basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano, chives, and dill in the summertime? A crave-able, timeless Citrus & Summer Herbs Marinade adds extra dimension to any fish, with the tart lemon bouncing off the strong peppery, earthy, and piney flavors of these herbs. Offer it in a bottle beside your ready-to-grill fish or frozen fish options. Classic salmon works beautifully with this marinade, but it’s not the only fish in the sea! Try less popular – but still tremendously delicious – options like halibut, seabass, Alaska pollock, or sole. To increase interest in this addictive marinade, highlight its versatility. Consumers could use it to flavor grilled scallops nestled atop parmesan risotto, chicken skewers for a vibrant Greek bowl, or jumbo shrimp teamed up with a piquant chimichurri. With its indisputable versatility, consumers can trust that this delectable marinade won’t last long in their pantry.

4. Char Siu Marinade

Summer marinades are mostly light and zesty, but there’s also a fanbase for marinades full of rich, deep, complex flavor. A type of Cantonese roast meat, char siu combines chopped roasted pork with a thick red sauce that blends together five-spice powder, sesame oil, garlic, soy sauce, honey, and several other ingredients. The result is a tantalizing mixture of sweet and sour with a hint of spice. The five-spice powder provides an enticing depth of flavor, while the sticky honey offers sweetness and gives the marinade a glaze consistency. Imagine a ready-to-eat Chinese BBQ meal kit that combines chopped pork smothered in a Char Siu Marinade with bok choy, rice or noodles, and extra char siu sauce for dipping. This flavor-forward combo gives your consumers a chance to indulge in rich, satisfying, and exciting new flavors in the comfort of their homes. Delish!

5. Coconut-Lemongrass Marinade

Coconut summons up images of lying on the beach with a tropical drink in hand – miniature paper umbrella optional! It’s perfect for summer, especially when paired with a complementary and always on-trend flavor like lemongrass. This classic combo is popular in many Asian cuisines, including Thai and Vietnamese. The bright and aromatic lemongrass, which has notes of citrus and ginger and a floral perfume, offers an excellent contrast to the creamy, rich, subtly sweet coconut milk. Compelling Coconut-Lemongrass Marinade adds bountiful flavor to a frozen shrimp stir-fry. Consumers will love the ease and convenience: simply cook the flavorful shrimp and veggies on the stovetop and pour onto a bed of rice – easy peasy!

coconut lemongrass shrimp

A Sea of Summer Marinades That We Can Custom-Develop for You 

Kaffir Lime-Miso

Hickory Tequila Yuzu

Spicy Mojito


Mango Buffalo 

Mojo/Garlic Mojo



Jamaican Jerk

Moroccan Chermoula

Hot Honey-Teriyaki

Miso Butter Bourbon

Spicy Peach Hoisin

Lemon Ginger

Honey Sriracha

Kalbi Beef


Sambal-Brown Sugar


Sesame Miso

Help your consumers rest, relax, and have fun this summer. Offer exciting value-add summer marinades that will infuse their proteins with flavor, work with more than one set of ingredients, and simplify meal preparation. No matter what your flavor destination, our team of talented culinologists can help you push your creative boundaries and explore new ways to add value and flavor to your summer menu.

Check out some of our other blogs!

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Elevate your summer barbecue this year by offering custom BBQ sauces with smoky, sweet, and spicy flavor notes to boost your food credentials. With our innovative value-add solutions, experience the taste of summer through mouth-watering BBQ sauces.

Global Flavors – World of Opportunities

Leverage global flavors to help your adventurous and curious consumers enjoy their modern global lifestyle to the fullest. Our flavor-forward sauces, dips, dressings, or marinades could take consumers on a journey around the world and back again!

Value-Add Solutions to Increase Your Customer Base

Value-add solutions can take many forms. Additional benefits. Simplicity and cooking convenience. Comforting indulgences. Real, approachable food. Something extra – an unexpected bonus! Our talented team of culinologists pushes creative boundaries to bring food to life – Just Add Flavor!