Insightful Bites – the latest trends and insights in the world of food and drink

Issue 6, June 2022

Welcome to Issue 6 of Insightful Bites, our round-up of all the latest trends and insights in the world of food and drink to get your teeth into!  This month we’re talking food discovery on Tik Tok, frozen food, snacking trends, wine from Sussex and British Cider.

Move over Instagram, Tik Tok is the new food discovery channel

Instagram is so last week when it comes to food discovery – or so says an article in The Takeout, a Chicago based food and pop culture online magazine.  The piece argues that Tik Tok’s approach to food leaves Instagram in the dust.  Sure, there are still the aesthetically pleasing, perfect pictures of dishes that wannabe food photographers populate the Gram with, but there are also many more everyday cooking videos and food hacks on FoodTok, as well as #foodfails and disgusting foods – it’s much grittier, much more about gamification and keeping it real.  It seems if you can make your product part of the latest food hack then you are onto a winner.  There’s also some interesting stuff about how restaurants are being impacted – 36% of TikTok users have visited or ordered food from a restaurant after seeing it on TikTok. 

Return of the Ice Age: Is frozen food set to be the next trending category?

Modern Retail published an interesting piece about the frozen food category this month – traditionally the poorer cousin of the chilled category, it seems that frozen food is about to have a moment.  It’s all driven by the combination of high-quality foods and convenience.  As we all learnt in the pandemic, a well-stocked freezer is something of a godsend when it comes to easy meal planning and being able to lay your hands on quality ingredients without going to the supermarket several times a week. 

The article reports that “frozen food sales rose 21% in 2020, which is double the rise of fresh food sales, according to a report from Deloitte in September”. You only have to look at France to realise that they may be onto something with the popularity of frozen food specialist Picard or consider busy mums and dads who batch cook and portion up for the freezer. Bring on the Ice Age Mark 2!

Healthy, easy snacking

When it comes to snacking, ‘healthy’ and ‘easy’ are the watch words since HFSS came into play. The Grocer recently profiled a host healthier snacking brands, launched within the last five years or so, illustrating just how innovative this sector has become with the introduction of alternative ingredients, alternative processing methods that lock in more nutrients or help to keep the calorie count down and gluten-free, vegan products.

Industry reacts to Sussex wine designation

Finally, it seems that the burgeoning industry that is English Wine is starting to get protective. This month, The Times reported that the designation ‘Sussex’ on a Wine means that it must be grown in either East or West Sussex and tasted by an independent panel.  When it comes to sparkling wine, Sussex produce must be aged in a bottle for at least 15 months and be assessed for clarity, aroma, taste, and the characteristics of its bubbles. 

While this paves the way for comparison with other protected famous wine regions like Champagne, Burgundy, and Rioja, as The Times wine critic Jane Macquitty points out it’s unlikely to mean very much.  To date, there is no industry expert or commentator who lays claim to a distinctive Sussex flavour profile, which is very much what PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) is all about.  Industry reaction has certainly been divided, with many concerned that the focus remains on English wine and establishing its credentials on the global stage before we start to drill down into regional specifics and confuse consumers.

Hot off the press!

From English wine to British cider, this week the British Guild of Beer Writers announced that their members voted in favour of broadening the Guild’s remit to cider at their AGM.  Great news for cider writers and British cider to be given a platform to be better known and understood.

Inside Sharp HQ…

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