Like clockwork at the beginning of each year, we are bombarded with predictions from editors, foodies and trends analysts about the newest “super food” and hottest flavor combinations. A common thread among forecasts is consumers’ desire for bold, global flavors.
“While there are so many predictions for ‘Hot Trends’ in 2017, I see authentic ethnic dishes on the rise,” explains Daniel Phalen, Corporate Executive Chef at Luby’s Fuddruckers and National Turkey Federation (NTF) Advisory Board Member. As these flavors become more mainstream, consumers become increasingly interested in recreating them at home. It can, however, be intimidating.
In her role as Consumer Insights Manager, Menu & Innovation at Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Debbie Freeman strives to make trending flavors accessible for diners. She notes that traditional ethnic comfort foods are coming into the mainstream, including Japanese, Indian, Korean, African and Middle Eastern. “We’re constantly looking for ways to bring some of these newer flavors to life in a form that’s comfortable and approachable – the burger. Turkey burgers can be a great platform for introducing more exotic ingredients, as the mild flavor of turkey allows those flavors to shine.”
Freeman, a NTF Advisory Board member, notes that with the national expansion of ethnic foods aisles, ingredients like za’atar blends, tandoori spice, harissa paste, gochujang sauce, tahini, daikon, etc., are now readily available. “Consumers have seen celebrity Chefs working with these ingredients for many years, but weren’t able to find them, until now.” she adds.
Consumers’ pursuit of global recipes is a great opportunity to introduce these flavors and show your shoppers how to create them at home or encourage them to try them in your prepared food offerings. “Education is key,” says Phalen, “Any information you can provide to lessen the ‘intimidation factor’ goes a long way.” Phalen’s new favorite dish is Grilled Cuban Mojo Turkey Cutlets, a perfect one for you to share via a cooking class or demo. “To make the cutlets even more tender, I used a meat tenderizer. This allows the marinade to penetrate faster for more flavor and tenderness.”
Freeman suggests giving shoppers a one-stop alternative. “I’ve considered some of the home meal delivery services, but the opportunities at my local supermarket drew me in. They did a fantastic promotion featuring Italian dishes with recipes that could be made with 6 ingredients in 30 minutes. They grouped the ingredients together, so I didn’t have to roam the store to find them. As a time-pressed mom, it was a godsend, and a great way for me to expand my family’s palate.” Freeman suggests a trending dish, Cacio e Pepe. “It’s super-easy to make, and can be amped up by adding roasted veggies and grilled turkey as ‘toppers.’”
Your manager will appreciate your ability to help shoppers experience the latest food trends, positioning the store as culturally attuned.
Visit ServeTurkey.org for globally-inspired recipes, nutrition facts and other resources that you can share with your shoppers. For ideas on how to best use turkey with bold, global flavors, follow us on Twitter @serveturkey and on Facebook.