For today’s consumers, retailers and operators, solutions that minimize guess work and maximize flavor, convenience and accuracy are in high demand. At home, consumers want to simplify and elevate their meals, choosing retail options that deliver both convenience and global flavor. Plant-based proteins such as Korean-Style Meatless Meatballs (US) and Gnocchi with Plant-Based Bolognese (Brazil) showcase these innovative offerings. Additionally, private label options bring familiarity and culinary excitement to a home cook’s repertoire, perfect for easy-to-prepare items like meal kits.
On the foodservice side, restaurants are being challenged to “do more with less” in all areas of operations. Maintaining the quality of takeout and delivery is essential, with pre-portioned meals, long hold times and sustainable packaging as key solutions. Curated meal kits are another way operators are delivering restaurant-quality experiences to their customers at home. In the UAE, a popular taco shop offers taqueria recipe boxes with 30-minute prep, and a bakehouse sells smoked salmon bagel boxes for an easy breakfast option.
Efficiency also plays a role in today’s snacking trends. Consumers are enjoying more satiating snacks as meal replacements, emphasizing the importance of delivering on both nutrition and flavor. In India, high-protein or added-protein snack claims grew 82% between 2017 and 2021; there is a huge opportunity to innovate in the space to address consumer demand. Functional snacks are also growing, with items such as “zen” snack mix (France) and blueberry-hemp power balls (Germany) claiming to address cognitive and nervous system function. In Japan, monthly subscription boxes add another level of convenience and ease to snacking.
3 Trends to Watch
Convenience will be found in even more foodservice spaces, with brands and retailers delivering meal solutions through vending machines, pop-ups and branded partnerships.
Wellness attributes will be an area of continued focus within the snacking space as consumer prioritize their mental health.
Technological advances, such as robots and enhanced point-of-sale systems, will serve as ways to optimize operations.
Three Recipes, One Sauce
Streamlined, optimized menus are the key to efficient operations, especially in today’s challenging foodservice environment. Watch Chef Mark Serice share his tips for cross-utilizing ingredients across multiple dishes and dayparts to maximize versatility.
To ease the impact of the pandemic and labor shortages, distributors are developing prepared solutions while operators are streamlining menus and innovating within operations.
Value-added flavorings are being used to differentiate plant-based proteins in convenient meals, appetizers and sides, driven by consumer demand. Animal protein innovations are also launching within meal kits and ready-to-eat meals.
CPG snacks are highlighting “convenience plus…” attributes—emphasizing additional functional benefits such as mental acuity, beauty, immunity and sustained energy.
Get inspired by these on-trend concepts to create innovative offerings using Griffith Foods’ products.
This straightforward, versatile Spanish sauce is commonly used for braising but is adaptable to multiple menu applications. It consists of eggplant, tomato, onion, olive oil and roasted peppers.
All of the following recipes feature: Griffith Foods Spanish-style Samfaina Sauce, Griffith Foods Sofrito Seasoning, Griffith Foods Spanish Chorizo Sausage Seasoning
Olive Oil-Poached Cod with Samfaina Ragout
A fresh center-cut Pacific cod fillet slowly cooked in a rich blend of tomato, eggplant, roasted peppers and olive oil. Finished with house-cured Arbequina olives and fine threads of crispy fried scallion.
Rigatoni with Crisp Pancetta, Samfaina “Red Gravy” and Goat Cheese
Fresh tomato passata, eggplant, garlic and roasted peppers, reduced and tossed with rigatoni pasta. Topped with pancetta, rendered crisp in a cast iron pan, and served with thinly shaved caprino goat cheese.
Arroz al Horno with Samfaina Sauce
Slow-cooked tomato, eggplant, fava beans, chorizo and calamari, folded into bomba rice. Baked in the oven until tender with a crisp top crust.
“In the age of convenience, we must also be aware of the environmental impact of food packaging. Consider ways to reduce waste, with more eco-friendly reusable, compostable and biodegradable containers for meal kits, to-go orders and delivery.” –Chef Mark Serice, Vice President Global Culinary, Griffith Foods
Creating a Circular Economy
At Griffith Foods, we strive to embrace the principles of a circular economy. With a life cycle that includes sourcing, production, packaging, transportation, consumption and waste management, we are taking steps to examine the impact of our products across all business practices.
Take packaging, for example. In 2020, 92% of the paper- and fiber-based packaging we used for bags and corrugated boxes was FSC certified. Not only are we aiming to reach 100% FSC certification, but we have also set a target for 100% of all our packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.
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Source: Mintel, 2022 FlavorIQ® Global Trends and Insights Report, January 2022.