The rest of the world may mock British food as bland and stodgy, but our tastes are becoming more adventurous. Research experts Mintel say two fifths of UK ethnic food users are continually on the lookout for new and interesting cuisines, and a third of users are enjoying spicier food more than before. It’s good news for Encona Products, the Grace Foods UK subsidiary whose Encona Jerk BBQ Sauce and Peri Peri Sauce have been relaunched in time for the BBQ season.
“The key to making the most of interest in Caribbean sauces is effective sign-posting and merchandising,” says Lisa Leung, Brand Manager for Encona. “Market-leading lines such as Encona Sauces act as beacon brands consumers recognise and trust. It’s also worth dual-siting some products in more ‘mainstream’ aisles as Caribbean food is no longer the sole preserve of the Caribbean community.”
Following the first Caribbean Food Week last year, Grace Foods UK, the UK’s number 1 supplier of Caribbean food and drink is once again encouraging Brits to try the exotic flavours of the Caribbean. The second Caribbean Food Week takes place from 19-25 August, just before the Notting Hill Carnival, tying in with the Grace’s biggest ever NPD drive.
In recent years, Asian cuisine has become a prominent part of the British culinary landscape and the trend shows no signs of decline.Twenty years after Geeta’s Mango Chutney first won the hearts of British consumers Geeta’s Foods has become established as a leading premium Indian brand, with its new range of premium Indian Curry Pastes launched in Tesco and Waitrose. priced at an accessible 99p to serve two.
Rice is a huge part of the ethnic food market, and in June Surya Foods, the company behind Laila Basmati Rice, took their first foray into TV sponsorship on Asian channels B4U Music and Star Plus. Soraya’s portfolio ranges from Asian, Oriental and Afro-Caribbean to Polish and African.
Authenticity and product quality are as important in ethnic food as in other grocery sectors, says Jag Singh, brand manager at Tropical Sun Foods: “Our entire range of sauces is free from artificial colours, additives and preservatives and almost our entire range of Tropical Sun seasonings is free from MSG, fillers and bulking agents. Over the past few years we have reaffirmed our commitment to maintaining a very high standard and eliminating unnecessary ‘nasties’ in all our products.”
Finally, with the numbers visiting Thailand in 2012 up by almost 16% on 2011 and continuing to grow, more and more Brits are developing a taste for authentic Thai dishes. So expect to hear more from Thai-based CP Foods, whose USP is authentic dishes made using ingredients difficult to source in the UK. Chicken Pad Thai recently joined the CP Authentic Asia range.