Think of Christmas dinner, the first thing that comes to your mind is turkey and why not! The oversized bird has been the indispensable centerpiece of our traditional Christmas dinner for at least two centuries. You might find it hard to believe, but people across the US, the UK, and other parts of Europe are ditching the classic turkey dinner and other options. Market research shows that the sale of whole turkeys plummeted by 7% last year in the UK. It is estimated that about 40% of households in the UK will be going cold turkey on turkey this Christmas.
So, what causes this massive shift in consumer habits? And how do frozen food suppliers who have traditionally been selling turkey and other heavy meat products keep up with this changing trend? Here’s a quick guide to the top holiday frozen food trends to look out for in 2019.
THE RISING TREND
Some key factors contributing to the dwindling popularity of a heavy meat holiday spread is the food waste that comes from a whole turkey dinner, the long preparation and the rise in the vegetarian culture.
This rising trend has larger implications for players in the frozen food industry – they must think outside of tradition and offer not just meat but a wide variety of interesting alternatives. Many supermarket chains in the US and the UK have already been tweaking their holiday offerings. Whole Foods Market, the US-based supermarket giant, has come up with vegan stuffed turkey roast while the UK-based Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose, and Marks & Spencer have also launched their predominantly vegetarian Christmas range.
Suppliers are starting to use high-quality plant-based and dairy-free ingredients to create innovative dishes and unique flavors. Here are a few suggestions:
Meat-free Mains for a Merry Christmas
When it comes to offering meat-free centerpieces, consumers are starting to get more options. Everyone loves it when all-time classics like turkey roast, Wellingtons, wreaths, and loaves are given a vegan twist with new ingredients. Stuffed Squash, Stuffed Pumpkin, Layered Vegetable tart, Mushroom and Chestnut Wellington, Chickpea and Cranberry Wellington, Shepherd Pie with Chickpeas and Sweet Potatoes, Root Vegetable Tarte Tatin, Beetroot and Red Onion Tarte Tatin, and Squash and Kale Wreaths all make for excellent mains for a lavish holiday dinner. Christmas loaves filled with plant-based alternatives like potatoes, red cabbage, and lentils are also popular with flexitarian diners.
Frozen sides that cater to the preferences and taste buds of light meat-eaters are another way to keep up with the changing trends. Fried Onions, Scalloped Potatoes, Vegan Spring Rolls, and Roast Potatoes are great options if you want to go the classic way. Alternatively, you could offer some unique flavors like Mushroom and Mascarpone Parcels, and Honey Roasted Parsnips, among others. The vegan version of Pigs in Blankets is a huge hit among meat-free dinners. Replace the traditional offers with vegan sausages and wrap it in dairy-free pastry and you have, hands down, a winner!
Dairy-free Desserts for Guilt-free Indulgence
Catering to vegans for desserts this Holiday season is a big opportunity for Frozen suppliers. Vegan Lemon Cheesecakes, Chocolate Cheesecakes, Lemon Tarts, Frozen Churros, Chocolate Tortes, and vegan ice creams will big big hits this year. Tiny tots love with fruity treats like sorbets made using raspberries, cherries, strawberries, and the like.
Being a little creative can help your products stick out on the shelves with things like Chocolate Profiteroles, Cheesecake Bars, Cherry and Hazelnut Mince Pies, Vegan Gingerbreads, Caramelized Apple Dumplings, Fruit Strudels, Apple Crumbles, and Mint Chocolate Pavé…
OUR TWO CENTS FOR YOU
If the latest estimates are to be believed, plant-based Christmas food offerings across the big supermarket chains in the UK are likely to shoot up anywhere between 40% and 400% this holiday season. Similar trends are expected in the US and other parts of Europe as well. So it’s time to up your game and expand your festive food range by including beef-less Wellingtons, turkey-less turkey roasts, no-meat Christmas loaves, egg-free cakes, dairy-free puddings, and other innovative vegan options. After all, what better occasion to make your offerings inclusive than Christmas!
Whether you are a frozen food supplier selling innovative holiday dishes or a buyer looking for holiday frozen foods, get in touch with us. We’ll put you in contact with the right customers/suppliers.