Foodies are everywhere – from New York to Portland and from San Francisco to Austin. Indeed foodies are here to stay, changing the expectations of what is required in a dining experience at every food establishment they frequent. If you’re a food supplier, restaurant owner, caterer or other food-related business, how can you serve the content that these discerning buyers will gobble up?
Foodies expect a very high level of quality from the food they dine on, and this expectation affects grocery stores as well. Boutique stores, mom-and-pop holes in the wall, expensive, 5-star restaurants, trendy caterers and the newer-to-the-scene food trucks: all strive to provide their diners with the ultimate in a food experience. Foodies’ expectations are very high, as they look for the latest in innovative ways to mix ingredients and prepare food. The answer is in the details.
Stay on Trend
First, you must be on top of the latest trends. For now, think hot, hot, hot because any type of pepper product is a hot topic of conversation on every foodie’s lips. From ghost peppers to homemade hot sauces, to spicy bar-b-que to Sriracha-on-everything, the heat index just keeps going up, up, up as everyone vies to try the hottest peppers they can find. You’ll even find desserts weighing in on the heat factor. So remember, for hot foodie content, keep it spicy. [Tweet it]
Another big trend could be called “back to the basics.” This alludes to chefs who make everything on the menu from absolute scratch. From smoking their own bacon, to grinding their own meat, to making their own hot sauces and salsas (again, the spicy factor) to making bread and jelly from yeast, flour, sugar and fruit. Restaurants now pickle their own sauerkraut and cucumbers, grind their own mustard from seeds and dry their own herbs. They dehydrate citrus rinds to use in powdered form as decoration for pastries and vegetables alike and make their own ketchup. Absolutely everything fresh and from scratch is the basic theme here. If you can do it yourself, do.
Recently, “organic” was the buzz word on every foodie’s requirement list; now it’s been exchanged for “local.” Restaurants that use everything from local sources are all the rage, and foodies expect that at least some of their dinner’s ingredients are grown, raised or made locally. This goes hand-in-hand with a similar trend, which is “seasonal.” Using only foods that are both in season and locally grown ensures that you eat your food at its peak in flavor, and always ripe and fresh. Food that has to be freighted in can never arrive in perfect condition as it can take up to a week to actually hit the shelf. Food eaten freshly harvested will always have more flavor, power and punch. So if you want to draw foodies in, speak the ‘local’ language, and remember: fresh is the key, and strawberries are only in season once per year. [Tweet it]
Alternative food venues are also an enormous trend. In particular, food trucks are very “now” and of the moment. Food trucks are known for their tremendous variety and creative use of ingredients. The food is cooked as soon as you order it and handed to you piping hot out a window, so it is definitely very fresh. Ingredients are often used in very creative ways, such as waffle sandwiches and potatoes stuffed with smoked salmon and dilled cream cheese, but others offer more traditional ethnic fare, such as falafels and gyros, or pizza, or mesquite roasted chicken and barbecue (yes, Texas has its own ethnicity). Food trucks are also interesting in that they can be set in either a stationary location or mobile, moving from venue to venue in the parking lot of a trendy boutique by day, or in front of a nightclub or bar in the late evening hours. Those that are stationary can either be grouped around a central dining area with outdoor tents and picnic tables, or found on their own in office building parking lots or on the roadside (especially true with coffee carts). Wherever they might be found, these food trucks, with either their regional or creatively inspired offerings, offer a dining cornucopia for foodies.
Do Your Reading
For more up-and-coming trends of the year, check out The National Restaurant Association’s “What’s Hot Culinary Forecast.” It is a valuable, up-to-date resource for what’s new on the food front that should be on every content marketer’s list. Along with those already listed here, the Association includes “house made/artisan ice cream”, “farm/estate-branded items” and “ethnic-inspired breakfast items.” Another good source is Bon Appétit‘s 2016 food trends list.
If you want to appeal to foodies, make sure you’re up on the latest trends. Check out these websites, but more importantly, go out and try the food yourself. Your taste buds will thank you.
5-Star writer Baranna B has been published in numerous publications from around the globe. Her interests are varied, and her knowledge runs deep on a number of different subject matters.
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