Meadow: The essential ingredient this summer
While recent weather may have suggested otherwise, summer is still just about here and, during this season consumers’ tastes tend to change, with certain foods proving more popular at this time of the year.
The popularity of foods during the summer tends to be shaped by a desire for freshness, seasonality, and a balance of comforting and light options to suit the weather.
In our latest blog we look at the food trends that have defined the summer, from fresh strawberries and cream to plant-based favourites and explore how Meadow has been the essential ingredient this season.
What makes certain foods popular at this time of year?
During the summer months, people tend to gravitate towards foods that are refreshing and light, rather than dense and heavy, which makes dishes like salads and quiche popular choices.
2023 was no different, with fresh salads proving particularly popular, thanks to the seasonal availability of produce such as cucumber, courgettes, tomatoes, and lettuce.
Despite this year’s inconsistency, the British summer still brought more clement weather which encouraged people to go al fresco with their dining.
Consumers continued to enjoy picnics, garden parties and BBQs, which encouraged the consumption of more portable and easy-to-eat foods.
The multicultural nature of British society also meant that international cuisine influenced consumer choices during the summer, with Mediterranean foods such as hummus, feta and antipasti proving particularly popular.
Finally, cravings for coolness meant that frozen treats such as ice cream were a perennial favourite among consumers, who are increasingly looking for more vibrant and exciting flavours.
On the hotter days, consumers love to dust off the BBQ and become a chef in their own back garden.
Traditionally, meat-based foods used to make up a large percentage of the dishes on offer, however over the last decade, there has been a huge increase in the number of plant-based products and food ranges available, which has led to meat-free substitutes featuring more prominently at summer BBQs.
According to research, the number of vegans in the UK jumped by 445,428 between 2021 and 2022. These days, plant-based foods are far more commonplace at BBQs as consumers look to cater for a more diverse range of dietary preferences and requirements.
From plant-based sausages to chicken, there has been a huge proliferation in vegan BBQ foods, and these dishes tend to be complemented by an abundance of free-from sauces and dips such as mayonnaise, sour cream and salad cream.
Sauces play a crucial part in any BBQ and with multiple packing lines at our state-of-the-art plant-based facility at our Chester site, we are able to produce the country’s only vegan sour cream that will enhance any free-from sauce.
Meanwhile, our delicious dairy-free soft-cheese will make for an even more exciting plant-based BBQ experience and is a glorious flavour addition to any dish.
Strawberries and cream
There’s no denying that Wimbledon has become synonymous with summer and this year it had the nation gripped, once again. As the finest tennis players descended on south-west London to compete for the world’s most prestigious tournament, a certain food combination came to the fore.
Strawberries and cream, as a combination, has been served at Wimbledon each year since the tournament’s first edition in 1877 and in turn, it has become a symbol of summer.
Over 7000 litres of dairy cream are used each year at the tournament and such is the affection for this iconic duo, consumers are often inspired to recreate the strawberries and cream combination to enhance their own tennis viewing experience at home.
When it comes to creating the perfect bowl of strawberries and cream, Meadow’s double cream is the essential ingredient. Our cream is developed specifically to meet the needs of our customers with functionality and consistency being at the forefront of what we produce.
A perennial summertime favourite, ice creams offer cooling and delicious relief from the warmer weather but with consumer trends constantly evolving, flavour preferences are always changing.
Our customer innovation team have found that, this summer, consumers were looking for ice cream flavours that provided a trip down memory lane and offered a multi-sensory experience.
Novel nostalgia flavours have really turned the heads of consumers due to the fact that they fuse memories of childhood or happy times with the excitement of a new taste sensation.
Meanwhile, combining flavours that traditionally would have been deemed to be diametrically opposed has piqued the interest of consumers, with the demand for combinations such as sweet and salty and sweet and heat on the rise.
Our customers know they can rely on Meadow to produce high quality speciality creams and incredible inclusions that truly are the essential ingredient in their frozen sweet treats.
Consumers are becoming increasingly environmentally conscious, which has meant demand for foods that are produced in a sustainable way continues to grow each year. As such, its vital that brands adapt their practices to lower their emissions, in order to meet this demand.
Meadow’s sustainable ingredients help to ensure that our customers can commit to operating in an environmentally responsible way so that they can meet demand and stay at the forefront of the market.
By doing the right thing, together with our customers, we can all benefit from reduced CO2 emissions and consumers can enjoy products that have been produced in a sustainable way.
If you’d like to discover more about Meadow, and sample our ingredients, you can do so by contacting our customer service team. Or keep up to date on the latest industry and company news on our Twitter and LinkedIn pages.