It can take a decade or longer for dishes to make their way from a handful of restaurant menus to grocery store shelves. Now, some food trends are moving more quickly, as diners seek out flavors that are new to them and packaged food marketers try to spot the next “it” dish.
People familiar with dishes such as Mapo tofu might have made Mapo beans to try something new during the pandemic, or a restaurant might put Cacio e pepe potatoes on the menu rather than making the pasta dish, said Claire Conaghan, associate director at Datassential, a food market research company.
“Food trends are, of course, moving faster than ever before,” Conaghan said on the latest episode of the “Marketer’s Brief” podcast.
One dish that seems destined for an expanded audience in years to come is Congee, a rice porridge from Asia that could find its way to U.S. grocery stores as a frozen entree, Conaghan suggested. “It might not be called that, maybe it’s savory rice pudding, but something like that you might see in 10 or 15 years,” she said.