After all the recent lockdowns and travel restrictions, it’s no surprise that the appetite for exotic adventures is growing.
We’re yearning for the experience of travel – packing a suitcase, the heat hitting you as you disembark your flight and of course, care-free al fresco dining experiences. Some of the strongest travel memories are linked to food.
A year of lockdown has us longing for something a little more exciting with one in two consumers globally saying that “in the supermarket, I look for new flavours that I have never tried before” (Innova Market Insights). And with a taste for adventure, 39% of Brits say they became more adventurous in their cooking over the last year. However, now that hospitality is out of hibernation, operators can now help satisfy their customers taste for travel.
According to MCA, 92% of industry leaders believe global cuisines will grow the fastest over the next three to five years. Emerging culinary hotspots include Middle Eastern, Japanese and Portuguese (MCA Insight).
The much-anticipated Olympic event in Japan over summer put a spotlight on Japanese flavours, enhancing interest in the cuisine. The rise in frequency of matcha and yuzu speaks to this trend, with vibrant green bakes adorning patisserie shelves and citrusy cheesecakes popping up on dessert menus.
Influences from Latin America also show no sign of wavering with chilli, lime and mango continuing to prove popular. And Mediterranean flavours such as blood orange, bergamot, figs, and dates are coming through thick and fast.
Another citrus ingredient cropping up on menus is orange blossom which is a common part of French and Middle Eastern cuisine.
Dining al fresco
Lending itself nicely to exotic cuisine is the growing popularity for outdoor dining. Born through hospitality restrictions, operators have upped their outdoor offering and the trend is sticking. The outdoor setting offers a more informal dining experience, akin to that you’d find abroad – albeit a bit chillier if you’re staying in the UK. Outdoor areas equipped with cosy blankets, firepits, candles and heaters on full blast will be busy over the winter as operators can continue their extended capacity.
We’ll likely see British restaurants tapping into the Apres-Ski culture with menu inspiration coming from the Alps.
Inspired by the French favourite – fondue – Macphie’s chefs created a range of sharing breads with accompanying dips, ideal for post-pandemic catch-ups and for transporting your customers taste buds.
Staying in France, we have French toast with smoked salmon with lemon and dill Hollandaise using our ready-to-use Hollandaise Sauce. And moving to Spain we have a chorizo sharing bread with an aioli-style sauce made using Macphie’s Complete Bread Mix, Plant-based Glaze and White Sauce. Taking a hop over to Italy, you could try a mozzarella and prosciutto Stromboli served with an Italian herb and cheese sauce made with Macphie’s Bechamel Sauce.
Sticking a little closer to home, our chefs have also created sharing options based on some British classics including a Welsh rarebit style sauce using our Cheddar Cheese Sauce and a toad in the hole dish with a gravy dip made with Macphie’s Plant-based Demi-Glace.
Or cater for those with a sweet tooth with these sharing dessert options:
- Mexican churros with chocolate chilli sauce
- Swedish cinnamon rolls with toffee sauce
- Mini doughnut balls with custard
While we yearn for exotic concepts to satisfy our desires to travel, research shows that comfort food classics are still in demand. It’s a natural reaction to the uncertainty thrown upon us over the last year. As well as creating new memories, food can conjure up old.
The sharing breads described above fall perfectly into the carb-loaded remit of coveted comfort food. However, the range of foods that consumers identify as “comforting” is expanding. Particularly with Gen Z – consumers born between 1997 and 2012 – dishes like ramen, sushi and tacos are becoming a go-to gourmet. Having dishes like these on your menu can attract customers back again and again.
So, while care-free holidays in far-flung destinations may still be a distance away, where will you take your customers?
Our wonderfully versatile and simply delicious products work beautifully with the foreign flavours of your exotic eats. For more menu inspiration, check out our recipe page or stay tuned on the Macphie website for more ideas to help you tap into the trend of destination anywhere.