Food stories on cronuts, unicorn toast, coconut oil, quinoa, and kale flooded our newsfeeds over the last few years. Food trends impact health professionals’ practices, editorial calendars, and what we incorporate into our own lives. But, how can you tell if a trend will last for a few years, or if it will quickly fade? Learn how and when to incorporate food trends into your practice and communications with Campbell’s six stages of trends framework.
Chefs and bakers in the Campbell’s Culinary & Baking Institute monitor and explore trends to determine the next big flavor for new product development. Each year, they pick their top trends, categorize them into six, distinct stages, and share their findings in the annual Culinary Trendscape. Trend progression depends on many factors, occurs over time and isn’t always easy to predict. Carrie Welt, Senior R&D Chef, Campbell’s Culinary Institute, helped me understand the Culinary Trendscape 2018 and what the six stages mean for you. Take a look at the first two trend stages, what’s trending now, and ways to incorporate them into your practice.
Stage 1: Discovery – Trend Emerges with Limited but Influential Group
Trends begin in the discovery phase with a limited, but influential group. They often, but not always, start in fine dining restaurants and “foodie” circles. Trends may gain steam and advance from this stage, linger or fade out.
What's Trending Now:
Culinary Heritage – It’s all about authenticity with emerging interest in a nostalgic experience, with food made from someone native to that region, with techniques from the past. Carrie used pizza to help explain this to me. We expect differences between New York and Chicago-style pizza. If you order a Chicago-style pizza in Maryland, you would expect thick crust. In Japan, tuna on pizza would be commonplace and thus authentic to that region. This is a simple example of a food experience featuring culinary heritage. Today, more than 60% of foodservice eating occasions feature global cuisine, new spices, sauces and diverse culture is on the rise.
Put it into Practice: Spend time learning about the trend while it is in the discovery phase. Become familiar with global eating patterns and the nutritional profile of common dishes and ingredients from other regions. Focus on the ethnic preferences in your community. Explore any of the trends or foods mentioned in our report, like Aioli and Ponzu that are unfamiliar to you. Chef Carrie recommended Culinary Artistry and The Flavor Bible as great reads.
Stage 2: Introduction - Reaches a Culinary-Minded Audience
Trends develop with an increased interest among an audience that make decisions on food in the marketplace and start to decide when and what trends to invest in and capitalize on. This group represents a relatively small portion of the population.
What's Trending Now:
Feel-Good Treats: Snacking is here to stay, but it continues to evolve. Feel-good treats are foods that consumers can feel good about eating. According to a recent survey, people snack more frequently and 40% report snacking on healthier options. Many consumers feel Better-For-You means they are real or natural, made from scratch, without artificial sweeteners or flavors. For example, dark chocolate (cacao) is part of many sweet snack options because of its health benefits. Have you noticed more dessert recipes made with pulse flour, baking with beans, and a rise in snacks with probiotics as many Americans struggle with digestion issues?
Put it into Practice: Spend time researching trends once they enter stage two and consider the implications for your clients. For this trend, consider what your clients believe is healthy and how that fits into their life. Check out new feel-good treats in the supermarkets and online. Start sampling and continue to read labels! Encourage feel-good treats and help clients appropriately pair them with their dietary needs and preferences.
Trends are a fun and exciting way to look at what’s new in food. Next time you read a publication’s top culinary and nutrition trends for the year, or see a new health craze emerging, think about it strategically. Use what you learned about the stages of trends and allow that to guide your approach. Explore Campbell’s Culinary and Baking Institute Culinary Trendscape 2018 so you can learn about the trends in more detail and see which ones mean the most to your practice!
Stay tuned for part 2 in this series to learn about stages 3-6, featured next month.
Carrie’s BioChef Carrie Welt joined Campbell as Senior Chef, Campbell’s Culinary and Baking Institute (CCBI), in September 2012. Carrie is a passionate culinary educator, with expertise in culinary arts applications for research and development and nutrition. She handles culinary education, plans strategic internal and external events, and supports the soup and simple meals portfolio. Carrie recently served as interim Director of Research & Development with Habit, co-creating a nutrition-focused food program for the unique Campbell-funded start-up’s fresh delivery service. She has also led culinary development, from conception through launch, for Prego Farmers’ Market® dinner sauces. Carrie is a Certified Chef de Cuisine (CCC) through the American Culinary Federation. Carrie earned her bachelor’s degree in computer science and German from Skidmore College, and then earned her associate of occupational studies degree from The Culinary Institute of America, and her master of management degree in hospitality from the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University.
Kate’s BioKate received her bachelor's degree in dietetics from the University of Delaware and completed her dietetic internship at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. She has over ten years of experience in a variety of nutrition-related practice areas including clinical nutrition, weight management counseling, health and wellness and nutrition education. Kate has worked as a nutrition consultant to the Campbell Soup Company since 2005.