Curiosity, sensory, novelty and west-east fusions spotlighted by FrieslandCampina Professional
27 Jan 2023 --- FrieslandCampina Professional is highlighting three global trends in the F&B industry: “Weastern Wonders,” a fusion of Eastern and Western influences within one dish; “Conscious Curiosity,” where consumer concerns about sustainability lead them to seek plant-based alternatives to popular products; and “Sensory Novelty,” describing the trend of consumers searching for new sensory experiences in products, such as contrasting flavors, textures and temperatures.
Within these macro-categories, the fifth annual trend report also identifies eight micro-trends subcategories. Jules Kramer, marketing director of industry at FrieslandCampina Professional, talks FoodIngredientsFirst through the trends.
The company notes how boundaries are blurring between Eastern and Western cultures’ cuisines, leading to “Weastern” dishes, where fusions of both are combined. These hybrids are emerging on an industrial scale, uniting, for example, “the refinement of Japan and the innovativeness of Korea,” combined with French techniques.
“From the Weastern Wonders trend, we see many unexpected and new hybrids emerging continuously,” says Kramer.
Examples of “Weastern” cuisine include the first microtrend, French-Asian pastry (Frasian) offering meringue pandan croissants, which Kramer explains “emerged when Asian chefs returned from their pastry education in France and started blending French techniques and pastry classics with local ingredients, expressing the tastes of the season.”
Further examples include Japanese-European fruit-filled sando sandwiches and the French-inspired melon pain cookie-coated brioche.
The second microtrend, Hybrid to Go, exemplifies dramatic recreations of street food, such as savory, egg-free muffins and pizza cones designed for handheld ease.
“Traditional meals at traditional times are history,” notes Kramer.
“Today’s consumers have instant access to emerging food trends from around the globe and love to experiment.”
Street snacks continue in the third microtrend, Global Mix, highlighting unexpected unions of Korean street food with world influences, leading to croissant and waffle “croffles” and Korean waffle pizzas.
Consumer behavior is changing in line with their growing concerns about their ecological footprint during worsening sustainability and climate crises. As they search for healthier alternatives for both consumers and the planet, consumers exhibit “conscious curiosity,” often leading them toward plant-based and vegan solutions.
“This trend is all about consumers who are increasingly concerned about their impact on the planet and their health,” says Kramer.
“To tap into this trend, and because of rising ingredients prices, producers can use more innovative blends that incorporate hybrid alternatives, a combination of plant-based, dairy and full-on vegan options.”
A microtrend within this group is the “Blended Benefits” offered by combining dairy and plant-based ingredients, leading to products such as basil-infused velvet cakes and dairy-infused maritozzo buns filled with Asian flavorings.
Vegan Delight highlights the growth of ingredients used to bolster vegan baking and topping options, with health concerns continuing into the Lighten Up trend toward consumers searching for lower-calorie versions of old favorites, such as low-fat pizzas or egg-free macarons.
Consumers are increasingly looking for taste sensations and experiences that will invigorate their senses in new and exciting ways, leading to innovation in creating novel experiences, such as contrasting flavors, textures and temperatures.
“The Sensory Novelty trend is all about the combination of different types of ingredients to achieve the contrast of flavors and textures in your products,” highlights Kramer.
Tales of Texture notes the microtrend toward a sense of play with textures, leading to products such as soup topped with cappuccino foam, “soupaccino,” cream-filled Italian bombolini donuts and egg-free shu floating dumplings.
“Our soupaccino recipe is where we lean into this trend of exciting plays on texture with a soup topped with cappuccino foam.”
The final microtrend, Creative Contrast, highlights offerings with unusual fillings or contrasting textures, such as chocolate-filled Kougin-amann pastries or soups topped with crunchy nuts.
Kramer highlights the generational push behind the desire for novelty.
“Every generation has different preferences regarding food and beverages,” he says.
“Generation Z is driving this trend because ‘novel flavors’ are the main purchase driver for this young generation. They’re looking for novelty in foods, even more so than affordability and health benefits, which are on the top list for the older generations.”
Many of the trends outlined by FrieslandCampina Professional align with Innova Market Insights’ Top Ten Trends for 2023.
Conscious Curiosity taps into “Redefining Value,” the number one trend, whereby cash-strapped consumers search for alternative products that fulfill their needs to cut costs and address their sustainability concerns.
Similarly, the number four trend, Plant-Based: Unlocking a New Narrative, focuses on how consumers once looking for meat alternatives now demand more of the plant-based sector in terms of taste, texture and global flavor profiles.
By James Davies
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