It’s been rough year, hasn’t it?
We’ve missed family and friends, eating out in restaurants and travelling further than our back garden and as we’re surrounded with so much uncertainty, consumers have turned to one thing for comfort and that’s food.
Sweet or savoury, homemade or ordered in, food has provided an element of relief. Tensions unwind with every mouthful of a warm sticky toffee pudding. Smiles are reinstated when a portion of macaroni cheese arrives at your doorstep from your favourite restaurant. Squabbling stops as you tuck into takeaway pizza.
And with three quarters of Brits (76%) taking up at least one new form of exercise since lockdown began, consumers are feeling less afraid of calorie content.
But will comfort food be cast to one side as we get back to normal? Will desserts be skipped so we can squeeze into that dress for the weekend? Will chips be swapped for salad because it’s a weeknight? Well, the research suggests not.
Almost 70% of consumers say they’ll continue to enjoy the same amount of comfort food post pandemic1 . This is reflected in the number of people opting for something sweet as the dessert category rises by 8% last year after years of decline.
And as the festive season approaches, consumers are set to make up for 2020’s quiet Christmas so be prepared for customers going over the top with indulgent desserts, lavish entrees and extravagant sides. Just over one third of households celebrated Christmas just amongst themselves last year due to restrictions and one in six decided not to celebrate at all so there’s a lot of making up to do.
So how can you make sure your menu or coffee shop counter is embracing your customers as they seek out comforting classics?
Some trends come and go and some stick around. And sticky toffee sticks around like, well, sticky toffee.
Sticky toffee pudding is the perfect crowd-pleaser that has stood the test of time and works any time of the year. It’s one of the few desserts that featured in at-home meal kits during lockdown.
The sticky toffee pudding pairs perfectly with Macphie Toffee Sauce and can be personalised to preference by providing a choice of accompaniment – custard, cream or ice cream.
And if you don’t want to play it safe, Macphie’s Sticky Toffee Sensation® Mix can be added to create new, more exotic flavours for the more adventurous consumer. Try salted caramel pear, apricot or caramel miso for an on-trend twist.
Or keep it simple with sticky toffee loaf cakes or muffins which taste great on their own or even better topped with Rainbow Cream Cheese Frosting or injected with Bannoffee or Salted Caramel Filling.
Keeping it vegan
Just because it’s vegan does not mean it can’t be comforting.
The number of Brits opting for a plant-based diet has rocketed and the vegan market is predicted to hit £1.1bn by 20232. Cater for vegan customers by switching out dairy cream for Macphie’s Plant-based Cream Alternative.
1Food Institute, 2021