Table of Contents
Interest in savory fermented foods is growing alongside appreciation for naturally healthy functional foods and of hand-crafted foods prepared with artisan technique and pride. This helps explain the growing penchant for fish sauce and shrimp paste and for tempeh as a more flavorful kin of tofu. As an important component of this trend, consumers are seeking out probiotically beneficial foods as health and wellness becomes a much bigger driver in American food consumption trends. Kimchi, miso made from unpasteurized soy, and naturally fermented pickles are examples of ancient foods that provide this type of probiotic benefit. Small-batch whiskey rounds out the food and beverages explored in this latest food trend research report, Fermented Artisanal Foods: Culinary Trend Tracking Series.
The various products in this report all represent culturally embedded and seemingly timeless care and devotion in preparing artisanal foods. A desire to consume historically rich fermented foods, drawing on the ancient preservation methods that were the genesis of such fermentation, deepens the bond that the consumer has with these dishes. In this issue, we look at artisanal, fermented foods that can trigger new food development concepts and propel category leadership.
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.
Packaged Facts’ new report 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 up fresh menu and packaged food opportunities related foods fermented with care, which extends the potential for innovation deeper into meal, snack and beverage territory.
The profiles in the culinary report demonstrate the opportunity-scape of the popularity of fermentation:
Korean kimchi - Korean pickled vegetables date back to the 13th century and are an indispensable staple in Korean cooking. Scientific study into kimchi’s probiotics 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 new 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 retail offerings. Craft pickles, a perfect complement to American proteins, are being upscaled in culinary circles and in 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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