instore - March/April 2014 - (Page 32)

gear up for thanksgiving parties the flavors of a diverse America by John Unrein A s supermarket bakeries and delis plan ahead for their busiest holiday season of the year, starting with Thanksgiving, instore directors and store-level managers are tweaking fall product lineups and prepared food offerings to accommodate the most influential trend in the food business today: local cuisine. No one is prepared to proclaim the end of the traditional Thanksgiving turkey, and yet 10% of Millennials surveyed in 2013 by reported they intended to skip turkey altogether for Thanksgiving and just eat their vegetables. Beyond generational factors, the culture of food is influenced dramatically by region of the country. Adding oysters to stuffing probably means you're in Maine, according to cookbook author and culinary consultant Rick Rodgers, while Californians like to enjoy persimmons in their pudding. Creative side dishes and desserts that reflect local culinary trends are increasingly popular, and instore delis and bakeries are wise to pay close attention. According to the 2014 Farm Fresh Food Trends Forecast, for instance, Virginians this year will increase their use of heirloom vegetables, quinoa, unique root vegetables, jackfruit, ginger and kale. "Food trends are typically strong reflections of what is going on in our communities," says Mark Merrill, vice president of merchandising for 42-store Farm Fresh Food & Pharmacy in Virginia. "Virginians, like many Americans, are branching out from traditional meals and menus, and finding ways to incorporate new or scarcely used foods and flavors into their lives." Michigan-based Meijer predicts that kale's rising popularity will continue to pave the way for other power greens like Swiss chard and turnip greens this year. "Consumers are being more adventurous in produce choices, so if they liked kale, they may reach for another unfamiliar green," says Melissa Hehmann, Meijer's healthy living advisor and a registered dietitian. In addition to trying new produce, consumers are rethinking traditional staples like cauliflower. "Cauliflower can be mashed like potatoes, grilled like steak, and used as a gluten-free option for things like pizza crust." Illustrating how different trends can be in another part of the country, culinary experts in St. Louis predict that, although barbeque will remain a staple food this year, ethnic influences with shape the local food scene with the addition of more Bosnian-influenced offerings, Asian foods and ingredients - specifically Thai, Vietnamese, Korean and Chinese cuisines. All of these trends have potential to shift local shopper demand during key holiday periods like Thanksgiving-maybe not dramatically, but certainly enough to matter. "Consumers are being more adventurous in produce choices, so if they liked kale, they may reach for another unfamiliar green." Melissa Hehmann, Meijer's healthy living advisor and a registered dietitian 32 * MAR + APR 2014 * instore

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of instore - March/April 2014

Instore - March/April 2014
Editor's Note - The Thanksgiving Issue
What's in store for Nov. + Dec.
Table of Contents
News - Industry Mourns Loss of Carol Christison
On Our Radar
Trending - Muffins
Trending - Deli Prepared Foods
Regulation - Nutrition Labels
Proposed changes at a glance
Consider Whole Grains
Grab-and-go Growing
The Flavors of a Diverse America
Promoting Value
Connecting to Communities
All You Need is Cheese
Embracing Hispanic Trends
Product Trends - First to Market
Product Showcase/Ad Index
Next Up - Christmas and New Year's

instore - March/April 2014