As always, our aim is simple; to keep our customers informed of the latest trends in the food industry and how TasteConnection can help you address those trends.
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In this edition:
Christmas 2015 review
Christmas 2015 showed again that it was not just the high end supermarkets that had the best offerings…
All that sparkles is not gold…
Prosecco & gold stars were everywhere from crisps to cakes to Christmas puddings and desserts. Marks & Spencer’s led the field with Winter Berries and Prosecco crisps with gold stars. Tesco followed suit with Prosecco and Elderflower crisps. Marks & Spencer’s also had whisky gold edged smoked salmon. Tesco had Prosecco and Chocolate cake as did the Co-op who also had Prosecco and Raspberry cheesecake.
A Polar(ising) Christmas
Consumers headed to budget retailers for cut-price quality, as the march of German budget supermarkets shows no signs of letting up. Both Aldi and Lidl saw double digit growth in their market share of sales. Some consumers pushed the boat out resulting in high end retailers such as Waitrose and Marks & Spencer doing well. The middle ground felt the pinch with Tesco, Asda and Morrisons suffering the biggest decline in sales.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…
In numerous taste panel tests, budget retailers offering were pitted against their high end counterparts. In some cases quality won, in other situations the economy offering was preferred, for example Aldi champagne was preferred to Fortnum & Masons, whilst M&S Mince Pies beat Aldi.
Tis the season to be snacking….
Turkey is not the only flavour, despite several Christmas snack lines including turkey and stuffing, turkey and secret stuffing, turkey and maple, Christmas snacks were not exclusively bird orientated. Other seasonal snacks included; Pancetta and Maple, Prosecco and Elderflower, Winter Berries and Prosecco, Pigs in Blankets, Gin and Tonic, Crisp-mas flavour, Cinnamon and Mint Chocolate, Mince Pie flavour, all accompanied by ‘Brusselmole’ (the new guacamole made with Brussel sprouts).
At the start of the New Year we look to see what trends could shape 2016…
Fire Starter – If 2015 was all about pickling and fermenting, it looks like 2016 is going to be all about open fire cooking.
Souping – Juicing is set to be replaced by souping as the liquid fad of the year. Fitness fans have caught onto the trend to create clean, protein packed versions of some of the nation’s favourite broths.
Roe – Cropping up on any number of menus around the world including; ‘fresh, smoked or dried and being used for sauces or as a garnish.’ Making special mention of “Golden bottarga on fresh tomatoes and sea urchin under avocado on toast” as two “stunning examples.”
Persian cuisine -Think lamb and chicken stews and rice dishes spiked with dried fruits and nuts. Also Shawarma Recipe dishes. Amba pickle (mangoes, mustard, turmeric and chilli).
Black Pudding – Blood sausage is going to become a superstar in 2016 as it’s packed with protein and practically carb free.It’s also a great source of protein, potassium, calcium and magnesium. Black pudding is also rich in iron and zinc – two minerals frequently missing from modern diets. Iron is needed to make healthy blood cells and prevent anaemia. Iron deficiency also leads to fatigue and poor concentration.
Golden berries – A Peruvian berry that is set to become the next ‘superfood’.
Sprouting seeds – Sprouting seeds supposedly have more health benefits and are easier to digest. Waitrose will introduce a sprouting kit for those wanting to give it a go at home and you can also buy pre-sprouted seeds from health food stores. Sprinkle over salads, smoothies, soups and porridge.
The Delivery Revolution – Popular apps that simplify online and mobile ordering making “dining in” even easier and, in some cases, “dining out” irrelevant. One particular threat to restaurants could be app-only services like Munchery, which delivers restaurant-quality food from a central kitchen, cutting out brick-and-mortar restaurants completely.
Fast Food Refresh – Consumers gravitate to ‘better’ quick-service restaurants. This has created the subset of ‘QSR-Plus’ concepts with fresher menus and more contemporary designs, which exploits a price threshold between fast food and fast casual e.g. Chick-fil-A and In-N-Out Burger. ‘Build-your-own’ menus are springing up across the industry, and many quick-service brands are adding amenities like alcohol. ‘QSR-Plus’ also helps other restaurants clarify their positioning by giving up their attempt to go upscale in a piecemeal approach, and those chains instead are returning to their roots with simplified menus and lower prices.
Elevating Peasant Fare – The popularity of street foods and consumers’ demand for portability and affordability have put things like meatballs, sausages and even breads back in the spotlight. But this time, those meatballs might have a nouveau twist, such as a blend of fancier meats like duck or lamb. Multiethnic dumplings will also continue to grow in popularity, from Eastern European pierogi to Asian bao.
The Sriracha Effect – This hot sauce from Thailand will continue to grow in popularity, but the ‘effect’ is that chefs will search for the next hot ethnic flavour such as ghost pepper from India, sambal from Southeast Asia, gochujang from Korea, and harissa, sumac and dukka from North Africa.
‘Neolithic’ Diets – Meanwhile in the barmy world of dieting, Paleo dieters have evolved sufficiently to re-invent the wheel with the Pegan diet (unlimited fruit & vegetables, small amounts of grains, nuts, legumes and seeds, meat and eggs, but no dairy, gluten or sugar). Rest assured trend spotters, once fire is rediscovered we are assured another quack diet is just around the corner.
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