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From Bolder Burgers to Fresh Juices, Campbell’s TrendScape Report Tracks North American Food Trends

Savory yogurt, new Jewish deli and Brazilian cuisine: what do the three have in common?

All three items are part of this year’s food trends highlighted in the first ever Campbell’s Culinary and Baking Institute (CCBI) TrendScape Report. Tracking food trends and how they evolve helps Campbell stay ahead of the culinary curve. It’s even important to stay on top of emerging trends that might be a few years out.

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Chef David Landers, CCC, Senior Chef, Campbell’s Culinary and Baking Institute, says timing is one of the hardest parts of creating new Campbell products that incorporate the latest culinary trends.  “There is a fine line between getting ahead of the culinary curve and trends that are already accepted,” said Chef Landers. “We follow these emerging trends so that we know the right time to act on them.”Drawing on global expertise and culinary intuition, CCBI has researched current food trends and themes to watch in 2014.The Six Stages and TopTrends in 2014


1. Discovery:
When the trend emerges within a limited, influential group. This includes fine dining restaurants and cultural hotspots.
The Trends: With Rio de Janeiro hosting the 2014 World Cup, consumers can expect to see more of Brazil’s seafood stews, grilling techniques and unusual ingredients. Composting, root-to-leaf cooking and repurposing leftovers are gaining traction with consumers in an effort to raise food waste awareness in the kitchen.
2. Introduction: The trend reaches a culinary-minded audience.
The Trends: A renaissance is afoot at the newest generation of Kosher-style Jewish delis, such as Wise Sons in San Francisco where diner-inspired classics are being revived – and refreshed. The process of fermentation continues to trend upward with a move toward umami-driven flavor profiles and tart beverages.

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3. Adoption: The trend gains traction with a larger audience and can be seen in full-service chain restaurants and menu innovations.
The Trends: Craving better-for-you balance, the health-conscious are “going green” to refresh and recharge with Fresh Juices. Greek-style yogurt is showing up in savory, non-spoonable applications like condiments, baked goods and snacks. At GRK in New York City, it’s served with basil, apples, figs, lentils and olive oil. Sophisticated Sweets are making their way into the dessert spotlight with spices, botanicals and fresh takes on fruit. The Dutch in New York City makes a layered cake with black pepper icing.

4. Mainstream: The trend is well-accepted in many households.

The Trends:
Beverage-Inspired Flavors have made their way into kitchen, and barrel-aged, bottled and brewed flavors have moved beyond public house glasses into everything from hot sauces to barbecue. Regional Mexican traditions continue to provide us with a fount of culinary inspiration, as authenticity is as important to consumers as it is to our chefs.

5. Established: The trend reaches a mass audience, and can be seen in grocery retail products and packaged foods.
The Trends: Bolder Burgers are changing America’s iconic sandwich with new buns, unique burger patties options like chicken, lamb, elk, and brisket, and a range of toppings—all redefining what a burger is.

6. Expanded: The trend reaches a global audience and is available internationally.

Campbell has incorporated some of these trends into a variety of new products based off of this data. For the first time in twenty years, Campbell announced a new twist on the household favorite SpaghettiOs with the debut of CheeseburgerOs. Three new pub-inspired Campbell’s Chunky soups were introduced this fall, which include a Hearty Cheeseburger flavor. Last year, Campbell’s Skillet Sauces were introduced and feature unusual flavors such as Thai Green Curry.

However should consumers expect every trend to be the inspiration for a new Campbell product?  While some trends and themes might serve as inspiration for future Campbell products, others may not. “The TrendPoints are just something we need to pay attention to in the upcoming year because they are flavors and ideas that are accepted by a large number of people,” said Chef Landers.

The TrendScape Report is a testament to Campbell’s commitment to constant innovation and a reference for coming up with new ideas and products that delight consumers. By staying in tune with trends and consumer shifts, Campbell can keep connecting with the people who love our foods and drinks.

Click here to read the full 2014 Trendscape Report.