Classics Bring Comfort
In 2020, consumers around the world turned to their favorite comfort foods in a time of unprecedented change and uncertainty. Today as they navigate a new reality, many consumers still demand foods that support their desire for comfort, familiarity and emotional wellbeing.
Home-cooked meals became a source of comfort, with consumers taking time to hone their culinary skills. But many are ready for new recipes and meals to add into their rotation. Speed-scratch options (such as sous-vide meal kits) and retail adaptations of restaurant favorites give consumers delicious shortcuts for creating craveable comfort foods at home. For example, a popular pizza chain in the Philippines began offering a ready-to-cook version of their trademark crispy potatoes, available in supermarkets. The product created a sense of community on social media, too, through shared “hacks” and cooking tips.
Operators and manufacturers alike can showcase comfort food innovation against such themes as “nostalgic dishes” or “twists on a classic.” On the protein side, one upscale restaurant in the UK offered a tasting menu inspired by childhood favorites elevated with premium, artisanal meat and seafood—think lasagna with ox cheek ragu and fish sticks with salmon tartare. The snack category does a great job mixing new and traditional comfort food flavors—items like Cuban Sandwich-flavored potato chips in Canada showcase this consumer curiosity.
Starting with a recognizable format and changing up the condiments, fillings or toppings captures the attention of consumers in a big way. Striking a balance between both familiar and exciting flavors will carry the momentum of the comfort trend forward in the year ahead.
Consumers often feel a sentimental attachment to classic comfort foods. In our latest video, Chef Sid speaks to one of his favorite comfort dishes—Khao Soi, a flavorful curry soup from Chiang Mai, Thailand. Watch the recipe demo!
QSR/FOODSERVICE:Regional dishes rule, and operators can keep things fresh by infusing unexpected flavors and ingredients into traditional comfort food recipes from around the world.
PROTEIN PROCESSORS:Hearty proteins in familiar recipes provide comfort, such as affordable cuts of red meat that are ideal for stews and slow-cooked meals. Other comfort dishes may get a health makeover with plant-based proteins, such as meatless brisket.
SNACKING:Brands are delivering on the emotional aspect of snacking. “Nostalgic” snacks will continue to evolve as consumers who were children in the early 2000s enter adulthood.
Get inspired by these on-trend concepts to create innovative offerings using Griffith Foods products. Please contact your Griffith Foods representative to learn how this trend can be customized to your product portfolio.
Rich in flavor and full of antioxidants, vitamins and fiber, this slow-simmered Portuguese soup includes a vegetable broth enhanced with collard greens, potatoes, olive oil and semi-dried chouriço sausage.
Variations of this traditional dish can be found in areas tied to Portuguese colonial exploration, including India, Brazil and China.
Shaped like tortellini, these small Russian dumplings are cost-effective, hearty and easy to prepare in large quantities. They’re filled with seasoned ground beef or lamb and served with melted butter, sour cream or a splash of white vinegar.
At Griffith Foods, we are passionate about creating delicious food that is healthy, sustainable and nutritious. In a time when consumers are seeking comfort, we’re working with our customer partners to develop products and dishes with a healthier twist. The addition of nutrient-dense ingredients or simple substitutions can put a nourishing spin on comfort foods that are typically associated with indulgence. Learn more in our Nourishing Cuisine newsletter.
In the latest episode of “The Blend by Griffith Foods,” Chefs Daniel Roseira and Andy Jones share their favorite comfort foods—influenced by their childhoods, their travels and their careers in the food industry. They’ll discuss the comfort dishes that became popular during the pandemic, along with how they see the trend evolving in the future.
Mintel, 2021 FlavorIQ® Global Trends and Insights Report, January 2021