Dawn Farms Trendcatcher Autumn/Winter 2022

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KEY TRENDS Autumn/Winter 2022 Edition


Top Food & Flavour Trends

Macro Consumer Trends

Consumers are seeking 'better for me & better for the environment' solutions

Consumers are back travelling again, keen to experience new and exciting flavours home & abroad

Consumers want value, will be more discerning & don’t want to compromise on quality

In times of uncertainty, consumers look to trusted brands and familiar products

Consumers will want to reward and treat themselves, and their families & friends



Modern Mexican is having a big moment in Europe, and it looks like it is only gaining momentum. Consumer appetite for authentic and regional Mexican cuisine is bigger than ever. (Food People, Top Trends 22/23).

Millennials are craving more fresh and authentic foods, whilst Gen Zs seek any opportunity to experiment with new and exotic cuisines. Modern Mexican has all the criteria; from comfort and health, to convenience and value, satisfying all consumer needs.

Trend in action Modern Mexican is in the limelight thanks to viral trends such as Birria Tacos and the Tortilla Wrap Hack. We expect this trend to stay as many QSR brands such as Chipotle, Tortilla, Zambrero and Taco Bell launch their own interpretations of Modern Mexican to leverage its growing popularity.



There has been an explosion of healthier pre-made meals that promote ‘clean and lean’ eating as a lifestyle choice. This trend will continue to grow as consumers’ positive perception of ready meals continues to improve. Customers seek to bring the transparency and quality of 'at-home' cooking to their ready meals, with high-quality and nutritional ingredients, as well as sustainable credentials. (BFFF, 2021/Bord Bia, 2021).

Some of the most common call outs include High in Protein > 20g / Low in Fat / Natural Ingredients / Sustainable packaging or carbon labelling.

Trend in action Grocery shelves are reflecting a shift towards protein and nutrition-focused ready meals. Shoppers still reign meat supreme in their quest for protein, with higher protein, cleaner label options filling the shelves. Ready Meal brands that are leveraging this growth in demand include Muscle Foods, Fit Foods, Gym Kitchen, PurePower and NutriQuick.



Beef Doner Pizza, Domino’s

Authentic, Middle Eastern kebabs are having their day, highlighting that well cooked meat with flavoursome sauces is something to be celebrated. This comes as a new wave of independents across Europe have begun to elevate the reputation of kebabs, with an emphasis on high-quality ingredients and big and bold flavours.

Chicken Gyros Dinner, Mikos Gyros

Consumers are more exposed to newer cuisines and more open to exploring what these cuisines have to offer. (The Food People, 2022). Kebabs are an effective way to break the monotony of every-day ‘regular’ food for today’s hyper-aware and health-conscious consumers. According to Technomic (2022), almost half of Gen Zers and Millennials would like to see dishes with more Middle Eastern influence in restaurants.

German Doner Kebab, Berlin Strasse

Trend in action In food-to-go, kebabs are becoming the hottest new protein in the ‘grab and go’ sector. QSR brands are also getting creative with new kebab concepts such as Beef Doner Kebab Pizza and Kebab loaded fries.

Doner Wrap, Vedang

Pork Meatball Kebab with Black Garlic Drizzle, Le Bab

Beef Truffle Deluxe Kebab, Kebab with Attitude

Source: Dawn Farms’ Berlin Food Safari, 2021

Breakfast is back, and bigger than ever. Consumers are back on the move, seeking out-of-home options. Breakfast trends are aligned with the consumer macro trends; health, indulgence, convenience, and nourishment, making the early morning occasion ripe for innovation. (The Food People, 2022). In an era of inflation, homemade recipes may bounce back, but experts also suggest there will be demand for big, extravagant breakfasts when the occasion calls for it. (Peter Backman, 2022).



Trend in action Breakfast is trending big-time on Tik Tok, with Gen Z creating decadent and stacked Breakfast Burgers & Burritos. In QSR, brands such as Dunkin’ Donuts and Del Taco are also embracing the trend with new NPD.



Accelerated by the globalisation of flavours, fusion food is evolving. The increased accessibility of international ingredients and the growing appetite for experimentation is leading to new blends of consumers’ favourite cuisines. The most popular fusion cuisines include Mexican-Korean, ItalianJapanese, and mainstream Asian-American (Food People, May ’22). The boundaries of Fusion Foods will continue to be tested in 2023. French Toast Sandwich, Burger King

Bold, unique flavours are exciting consumers senses in a post-pandemic world. In 2021, 32% of consumers said that they enjoy dishes that combine two or more global cuisines or flavours into one dish, up from 27% in 2018. (Technomic, 2021)

Trend in action In recent months, there has been increased experimentation with fusion foods. On Tik Tok, Gen Z are testing craveable recipes such as Zing Fried Chicken, Sushi-Burritos, Gochu-Buffalo Wings and Butter-milk Chicken Tacos.



There is a growth in alternative proteins. 1/3 of consumers are looking for recognisable ingredients and vegetables to be the primary ingredient in their meat alternatives. (Simple Root 2022). Further research shows that consumers are starting to find the language ‘plant-based’ more appealing than ‘vegan’, as they do not think vegan options sound very appetising. (Canvas 8, 2022). Consumers seek transparency more than ever before. They want to know if the food they are eating is good for them and the planet. Information labels are emerging on pack as key levers to inform the consumer. Nutrition labels such as the Nutri-score are becoming more widespread across Europe particularly in France, the UK and Germany. Eco and carbon labelling are also beginning to emerge.

Trend in action There has been a notable shift in grocery retail with a substantial proportion of launches highlighting clean label credentials or displaying a vegetable as the hero ingredient. Vegetable proteins were also one of the key takeaways from our Food Safaris. On our Sandwich Safari, we tasted Bombay Potato Grilled Toasties. On our Berlin Food Safari, we experimented with Potatoes and Jackfruit on pizzas. On social media, Mushroom-based Tacos, and Air-Fried Cauliflower have been notable trends emerging.

‘Better for you, Better for the environment’

In inflationary times, behaviours change. Consumers are more discerning, focusing on value & occasions. They turn to trusted brands and QSR to satisfy their need states in these trying times. There will be both ‘value seekers’ & ‘Enthusiasts’ at play in QSR. Menus that provide the choice, offering both value and premium options will win over both sets of consumers. Combining innovation in key need states with the perception of better value is expected to be a particularly attractive offer going into 2023. (Bord Bia / McKinsey, 2022).



Trend in action In QSR, some of the most trusted brands have continued to roll out menu innovation, with a focus on premiumisation, while other brands, have implemented subscription services to attract the more value-focused consumer.



When consumers do opt to eat out, they generally want to treat themselves and take indulgence to the next level. Millennials are the most lucrative age group at the moment, spending & eating out more than any other cohort. (Lumina Intelligence Report, 2022)

Platforms such as Tik Tok & Instagram have created a form of ‘culinary theatre’. Foods are being designed to entertain and leave consumers craving more. The main drivers of indulgence are premium & artisanalstyle ingredients, big & bold flavours & provenance. (The Food People, June 2022).

Trend in action Consumers are no strangers to overloaded pulled pork sambos or deep-pan meat feast pizzas, but now things are getting bigger & better. Meat is still the main event but it’s the addition of cheese or a drizzle of sauce that adds much-needed acidity, sweetness, or freshness for a perfectly indulgent dish. This coming winter, expect a novel approach to menus, with concepts being elevated to new levels.

Think… Hot Honey Chicken Sando, Black Garlic, Soy Glaze, Spicy Mayo, & Honey Drizzle

OR Deep Dish Pizza with trending Nduja, Roast Red Peppers, Patatas Bravas, Spicy Mayo Drizzle & Jalapeno Jam

Postscript Nutrition labels such as the Nutri-score are becoming more widespread across Europe particularly in France, the UK and Germany. Eco and carbon labelling are also beginning to emerge on menus as consumers want to understand how their purchasing habits impact the environment.

50/50 Halo Italian Meatball Sub with Marinara Sauce, Mozzarella, Black Olives, Iceberg Lettuce & Garlic Aioli

OR Turkey & Edamame 50/50 Meatball, Udon Noodle and Miso Broth, Light Soy, Shiso & Spring Onion

Thank You for your Time All the products featured are available from Dawn Farms / TMI. The trends featured have inspired our latest NPD ranges.

If you would like more detail on any of these trends or products, please contact your Business Development Manager or email jroche@dawnfarms.ie