Supermarket Perimeter - December 2020 - 9

For 
Flavors and foods
to watch
Historical ties
Look to ground a flavor in
past of country. Call out a
flavor's ties by putting it in
country of origin - cilantro
in regional Mexican dish,
za'tar from Middle East, chow
chow from Appalachia, etc.
Health boosters
Elderberry for immune
function, yogurt and
cheeses due to vitamin D,
meat due to zinc, prebiotics
to assure immune cells
are born in gut, etc
Specialty ingredients
and cuisines
Shito - Ghana
Jerk - Caribbean
Za'tar - Middle east
Sesame - Japan, Middle east
Regional honey & sweet
browns - maple, molasses,
raw and brown sugar
Regional BBQ - Texas,
Memphis, Kansas City, etc.
Ceviche - Peru
Ramen - Japanese
Source: Culinary Tides

trend-watchers in food and many other industries, the key
word heading into 2021 is " unknown. "
COVID-19 is still very much with us, and its impact will
continue to be felt throughout the food world well into - and perhaps all the way
through - the New Year.
Given that framework, expect " comfort " to be another word that dominates,
as consumers seek to console themselves in any way they can. But also look for
existing trends in ethnic cuisines, health-conscious options and clean label (among
many others) to continue to gain traction in the coming year.
Maeve Webster, president of consultancy Menu Matters, said it's hard to predict
what flavors will be trending heading into 2021 because of the pandemic.
" It's going to have a significant impact on how the industry will go forward, "
she said. " Anyone who says they can predict at this point, honestly, is not thinking
through the potential impact of three or four more months of anxiety, lockdown and
uncertainty on the part of consumers and how that will impact the industry moving
forward. "
Once operators have a chance to stop worrying about surviving and start
releasing innovation resources, Webster said, the first thing consumers could see
will be a return to many of the trends that were in earlier stages just before the
pandemic hit.
A few examples of that would be Middle Eastern and North African spice blends,
beverages and foods.
" These were just kicking off before everything happened and will be a no brainer
in returning to, " Webster said.
Some operators will retrench to more familiar territory but start rethinking how
to present the familiar, she added. For example, Chinese food will likely enjoy a
resurgence of sorts with operators using it as a framework for innovation in nonChinese categories, like mashups, but that will be tricky depending on US/China
relations - any new conflicts, Webster said, could create negative perceptions
domestically.

Seeking comfort - sweet and savory
Amy Marks-McGee, Founder of Trendincite LLC, expects to see a return to basic,
comforting flavors ranging from savory to sweet.
For example, in the savory category, chicken seems to be the " it " ingredient in
both meat and plant-based meat alternatives, she said, citing Google Trends data
finding that chicken recipes were the third-most searched recipes during stay-athome orders.
That's carried over to produce and meal prep. Dole recently launched a Just
Add Chicken Salad Kits line in four flavor combinations: Lemon Herb, Pesto Caesar,
Roasted Red Pepper, and Sweet Orange, which combine Dole lettuces, toppings, an
original Dole dressing, and chicken sauté. Another example cited by Marks-McGee is
Progresso's new Toppers line of classic soups with crunchy toppings and Gardein's
new soups with plant-based meat alternatives.
Pizza also seems to be enjoying a renaissance, Marks-McGee said. Innovations in
the category include more plant-based and better-for-you ingredients.
Banza Pizza, for instance, features a crust made from chickpeas, olive oil,
yeast and oregano and is offered in Four-Cheese, Roasted Vegetable, and
Margherita.᩿American Flatbread launched Meatless Evolution, a new line of plantbased, flash-frozen pizzas in Plant-Based Pepperoni, Plant-based Supreme, Vegan
Meat Lovers, and Vegan Pepperoni. And Foster Farms launched Smart Crust frozen
pizzas, which are gluten-free, grain-free and keto certified and available in three
flavors: Four Cheese, Uncured Pepperoni, and Uncured Bacon Club. For sweets,
Banana Bread was the number one searched recipe and cheesecake was the tenth
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