Foodpairing… the new food experience trend

Last week, the crème de la crème of the Belgian marketers gathered to learn more about Gastronomy and Branding at STIMA’s BrandCafé. Different presenters talked about all kind of trends they see popping up all over the world, such as healthy fast food, sustainability in food, proximity and protein alternatives, as the insect burgers are finding their way to the supermarket shelves. However, the story I remember best is the foodpairing story by Johan Langenbick, owner of Foodpairing, a Belgian company which is the global reference for exciting foodpairing.
You may know that one of the main trends these days is Serendipity: consumers feel an increasing need for unexpected, coinciding fun, discoveries and surprises in a society where everything is becoming too predictable. Many examples are offered to consumers these days: think about the bold flavors of Blue Hill Yogurt, morphs of ancient classics such as the Cronut (a croissant/donut combination, very popular in San Francisco), but also of burger restaurants which are getting hip and classy makeovers, shops or even boring launderettes which now need to be entertaining (having a great lunch while your laundry is done); anything is possible.
Another trend that perfectly fits with this experience-related consumer society is Foodpairing. Some leading food companies use this trend to find their unique strengths and to pair their products with unexpected but perfectly matching products. Think about Leffe Blond which makes for a perfect match with French Brie cheese. Or the floral and aging notes of Zacapa rum pairing perfectly well with raspberry and chocolate.

We could also discover this trend ourselves with Jules Destrooper’s Almond thins: during the BrandCafé we tasted this famous cookie combined with Roquefort cheese and mango, accompanied by an Affligem beer. And I must say, this combination was delicious and gave me an unexpected ‘waw’ moment. No artificial flavor enhancers required, only pure ingredients, each and every single one of them… another trend which is very relevant for consumers.

To conclude, the evening clearly gave me food for thought and confirmed again how important Serendipity is these days!
Did you know that InSites Consulting is currently working on a food trends report themselves? Should you like to get a presentation of the trends we spot or should you like to know more, contact me!

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