Saturday, January 24, 2009

Snacking and Beyond in 2009

Gilroy Foods & Flavors™ has released a new issue of Food & FlavorCast™, the company’s quarterly update designed to bring insights and ideas on the trends shaping the way Americans eat today. And the forecast: heavy on snacks and South American inspired meats.

Food & FlavorCast reports that the snacking craze is altering eating and shopping patterns in the United States. Currently, 21% percent of all meals are snacks (NPD Group). Snacks offer consumers new flavors in on-the-go formats to fit hectic lifestyles, and, in foodservice, snacks are often “right-size” food portions at the “right-size” price. Several snacking trends give operators and menu developers new ways to appeal to snacking enthusiasts, from flavorful wraps to unique savory snacks, like the chile lime pepitas the company created to highlight its expertise in custom flavors and seasoning blends.

Gilroy Foods & Flavors looked to South America to see what’s really cooking within the popular culinary and travel destination. In a word, meat. Americans are true carnivores consuming 62.8 lbs. of beef per person each year—it’s no wonder upscale churrascaria and rodizio chains are a hit. To top it off, 22% of Americans are interested in trying a Brazilian restaurant (Dataessentials). Liz Olsen, sous chef at Gilroy Foods & Flavors notes: “We’ve been having fun with robust barbeque cooking from Brazil and Argentina. The simple grilled meats provide a perfect canvas for fresh, flavorful seasonings and sauces.” Food & FlavorCast explores ways to enhance menus with South American flair such as a versatile chimichurri sauce that can top a steak, fries or blended in a dressing.

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