9 Food Trends That Specialty Grocery Stores Should Know
We don’t just work with restaurants, hotels, and caterers. We also work with our local grocers to get them the best quality products to stock in their stores. Whether they are facilitating professional, private, or hobbyist chefs alike, grocers need to stay ahead of the curve and predict their consumers’ needs. We can definitely relate. We have all seen food trends come and go over the years, from the 1950s’ Jell-O food to Ranch dressing on everything in the 1980s. 2021 brought about many food trends, and quite a few stemming from the Coronavirus pandemic. Here is what you need to know as the world continues to recover from this latest challenge when it comes to food trends.
Carb alternatives are mostly born of the ketogenic diet, or “keto”. They avoid carbs and sugars in favor of healthy fats and high protein. They are not the only ones cashing in on low carbs. Plenty of consumers are realizing the health benefits of nixing simple carbs in favor of whole grains, and locally sourced produce. That’s because items such cauliflower, root vegetables, microgreens, and fruit all pack loads of nutrition that can boost mind, body, and immune system.
Home Baked Bread
When the pandemic hit and people had to quarantine, essentials such as bread started to fly off the shelves. Being stuck in the house with seemingly nothing to do, people began baking their own bread. With this, many discovered it’s actually a pretty enjoyable pastime! Some of the most popular breads to bake at home include sourdough, white, and whole wheat. Stocking your store with sustainable bread ingredients is a sure-fire way to anticipate bready necessities.
Plant Based Burgers, Tofu, and Meat Alternatives
Many people love their plant based burgers and other meat alternatives, like tofu or jackfruit. Morningstar and Boca both offer quick and easy frozen patties you can just throw on the grill, but as more people cooked from home, they began opting to make their own blends! Some of the popular bases for these plant based burgers include mushrooms and beans. Some of our mushroom blends would make an amazing mix. We also carry sourced tofu, and other produce that could bulk up any plant patty.
Garbanzo beans, or chickpeas, are becoming an increasingly popular dish ingredient in the US. And it’s not just for hummus (though everyone loves a good hummus dip). Many people in the US are beginning to put garbanzo beans in curry, soup, and even used in crabless crab cakes! Remember those plant based burgers above? Same deal. Garbanzos are not just delicious, they are have loads of fiber and other nutritional benefits for their consumer.
Low Waste Food
Zero and low waste lifestyles is on the rise. This is especially prevalent in food consumption. More and more, customers are looking to eat healthy food with minimal packaging in an effort to reduce waste. We recommend less packaging for produce, something we definitely cut down on at our distribution center. You can also stock a bulk section, which naturally encourages customers to bring their own containers and bags from home. Organic produce over non-organic also cuts down on waste and never sacrifices flavor.
Dairy Milk Alternatives
While dairy milk alternatives are nothing new, they are becoming increasingly popular. There are many forms of non-dairy milk, including soy, almond, cashew, and oat. Lately, oat milk is newest star, due to its creamy texture and flavor. Some dairy milk alternatives are better for drinking or smoothie making, while others are better for cooking. It all depends on the individual’s personal preferences and what they’re making.
Veganism & Vegetarianism
Vegan and vegetarian food is nothing new, but folks are choosing to follow a plant based path these days. It’s just more sustainable. After we lost so much last year, sustainability just has a happier, healthier ring to it. People’s reasons to change their diet varies, but the most popular reasons are for health, ethical, and ecological reasons. Many choose to do it for a mix of reasons! Specialty grocery stores should carry a mix of plant based and non-plant based options for all shoppers. Seasonal is also attractive, so if you’re looking for a supplier–or just for ideas–you can always check our monthly updates and social media.
Mental Health Food
With the increased focus on mental health and mental wellness, many people are eating different foods to improve their state of mind. Food is an integral part of wellness, both physical and mental. That’s why people are going for foods that promote a healthy brain, like fish and “superfoods” such as spinach, kale, and blueberries. When we take care of ourselves inside and out, we can better take care of those around us. So, food for thought is not to be missed!
Different Cooking Oils
Home chefs are no longer limited in the types of oils they cook with! Instead of cooking with canola or vegetable oils, many home cooks are reaching for different, more exotic oils such as coconut, sunflower, and avocado oils. These are healthier options to their vegetable oil counterpart, making them a go-to for pantries nationwide.
We Produce Good Results
If your specialty grocery store is in the market for a produce distributor, look no further than AgriExotic Trading! We have a wonderful selection to ensure your specialty grocery store is able to stay on trend, regardless of the year. Stay on trend. Choose us as your grocery store supplier.
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