New Indulgence Goes Beyond Fattening to Sophistication and Adventure
"American consumers have become comfortable indulging through non-essential, yet accessible, consumer experiences via pleasurable food and drink," says Kimberly Egan, CEO of CCD.
Indulgent used to mean fattening. Today, it provides important emotional benefits that translate into profits -- uber comfort, the thrill of trying something exquisite, an expression of sophistication and a sincere appreciation for handcrafted quality.
Trends in indulgent fare that enhance appeal and emotional satisfaction include:
Taste Adventure -- Novel flavors, textures and foods deliver new indulgences. Infusing floral flavors such as jasmine, rose and hibiscus transforms the familiar into a fresher, more natural treat. Rich in protein and probiotics, creamy Greek yogurt is a luxurious upgrade of an American staple. Truffles, now grown domestically, provide a no-travel taste of what the French commonly relish.
Connoisseurship -- Consumer confidence and consumption of wine has grown, and cooking with wine has moved beyond savory to sweets. New desserts like wine-flavored chocolates, ice creams, syrups and sauces are appearing, featuring varietals like cabernet.
Artisanal Connection -- Knowing by whom and where your foods are made and how small batch production can assure premium quality can make a big difference to those seeking specialty cheeses or their daily chocolate fix. Single origin, fair trade, handcrafted, and farmstead fresh are meaningful characteristics.
The Culinary Trend Mapping Report is a thematic bimonthly trends examination along five stages -- from fine dining through chain restaurants to grocery shelves. Strategic implications for manufacturers and food service included. Individual issues and annual subscriptions available at www.packagedfacts.com.
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