Fermented Artisanal Foods: Culinary Trend Tracking Series
Fermented Artisanal Foods: Culinary Trend Tracking Series.
Fermentation is one of the hottest trends in culinary circles today. Coupled with an ongoing consumer interest in both artisan foods and food functionality, fermented foods that provide health benefits are appearing on restaurant menus, in farmers’ markets and high-end grocers across the country. This trend, Packaged Facts believes, will continue to grow and extend beyond the traditional enclaves of the foodies.
Fermented Artisanal Foods: Culinary Trend Tracking Series, the latest in Packaged Facts’ Culinary Trend Tracking Series, explores seven different food and beverages that encompass thematic avenues of opportunity for food businesses. Fermented Artisanal Foods: Culinary Trend Tracking Series charts how current lifestyle and demographic shifts open fresh menu and packaged food opportunities related foods fermented with care, which extends the potential for innovation deeper into meal, snack and beverage territory.
Fermented foods are finding artisan, regional and chef-driven takes. Their authenticity is rooted in hundreds of years of craft preparation and artisan pride. Regional preparations of fermented foods like craft pickles and small-batch whiskey are being elevated in the preferences of consumers looking for artisan foods. In addition to growing artisan appreciation of these foods, more consumers are preferring foods that contain ingredients geared toward wellness. The probiotic goodness of some of these foods, such as kimchi, lactic-acid fermented craft pickles and miso are appealing to those looking to boost digestive health. Propelled by culinary interest in umami flavor, also known as the fifth taste, fish sauce and dried shrimp are seeing larger roles as ingredients in the kitchens of popular restaurants and foodservice operations as they carve their path toward consumer homes.
The profiles in the culinary report demonstrate the opportunity-scape of the popularity of fermentation:
- Korean kimchi – Traceable to the 13th century, Korean pickled vegetables are a fixture in Korean cooking. Scientific study into kimchi’s probiotic benefits in humans is ongoing. The zesty, pungent flavor of kimchi wakens the flavor of milder proteins, making it a condiment and ingredient to watch.
- Craft pickles - New types of pickles and flavor combinations signal that the craft pickling industry is here to stay. Whether through vinegar or natural (lactic acid) fermentation, pickles are appearing on more dishes and in a greater number of retailers. Craft pickles, a perfect complement to American proteins, are going upscale, from culinary trendsetters to the fast-casual restaurant segment.
- Asian, fermented fish sauce and dried shrimp or shrimp paste - With more chefs and consumers taking a deeper culinary dive into umami -- the salty, savory taste profile -- ancient, fermented preparations of fish and shrimp will gain more room at the table.
- Small-batch whiskey - Whiskey is going small. An artisanal approach to whiskey involves a smaller manufacturer and more specialized batch distillation and aging process, upping the ante on whiskey in drinks and boosting its appeal and relevance in cuisine and as an indulgent flavoring agent.
- Tempeh and miso - Tempeh, the loaf-like fermented soybean food imported from Indonesia, is extremely versatile and gaining popularity. Miso’s versatility and umami flavor fuel its rising reputation as a star of the modern kitchen, lining up beside newly popular in the U.S. flavors from Asia such as sriracha and wasabi.
- The availability of global foods with authentic preparations and a heightened consumer interest in bolder and spicier flavors are reasons fermented foods are quickly-becoming more popular
- 53% of consumers seek out foods with bold flavors
- 20% of consumers seek out foreign foods
- Kimchi has tripled menu penetration since 2010 and its accelerated rise on menus and in media is propelled by the popularity of Korean-American chefs and consumers seeking foods with probiotic goodness
- Craft pickling is a hotbed of flavor exploration and is benefiting from regional takes and also its sub-category that is produced using natural, or what is known as lactic-acid fermentation
- Chefs are looking to boost umami flavor in their dishes. Widespread use of fish sauce in Thai, Vietnamese and many Southeast Asian dishes, as well as the popularity of dried shrimp in dishes from Hong Kong, Indonesia and Thailand are further boosting the use and manifestations of Asian, fermented fish sauce and dried shrimp & shrimp paste
- With whiskey having a menu penetration of more than 10% in restaurants and eateries (Datassential) and whiskey sales representing nearly one quarter of total spirits sales (Technomic, Inc.), now is an ideal time to explore small-batch and regional distilling, along with craft mash-up takes on the ever-popular spirit
- Miso, a historically right, fermented soybean product delivers umami flavor to a diverse array of dishes and food products, due to its adaptability
- Tempeh bests tofu from nutritional and texture standpoints, making it a standout center-of-plate option due to flexible cooking applications for flexitarians and vegetarians
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