In a time when many people feel increasingly distant from the means of production for what they eat, artisan foods carry inherent value by granting consumers an opportunity to know where their food comes from, to see the hands that made it and to understand how it is made.
Powering this artisan food trend are several important drivers that revolve around local and seasonal eating, a love of handmade and authentic food, a quest for exciting new flavors, a desire to engage with food and producers, and eco-consciousness, according to Artisan Foods: Culinary Trend Mapping Report from the Center for Culinary Development (CCD) and leading market research publisher Packaged Facts.
"Consumers, manufacturers, and restaurant operators all recognize that artisan is synonymous with quality when it comes to ingredients and preparation," says Kimberly Egan, CEO of CCD. "The appeal lies in the stories that connect products to consumers which in turn offer deeper meaning and connects to personal values."
Artisan food trends are emerging across all five stages of CCD's Trend Map. They include:
- Gastropubs: This hybrid breed of pub mixes a wide selection of often-artisanal beers and spirits with high-quality housemade comfort food and a casual, community-oriented atmosphere.
- Condiments, Preserved Foods & Heirloom Produce: These locally sourced and home-grown foods are made using traditional cultivation and preservation methods, bringing consumers closer to the sources of their food and appealing to eco-minded people seeking to go green.
- Boutique Booze: Small-batch spirits appeal to consumers seeking liquor with diverse and unique flavors.
- Handmade Ice Cream: Using old-fashioned methods and organic and local ingredients, these ice cream innovators offer extraordinary versions of a familiar favorite.
- Butchery: "Rock star butchers" are raising interest in meat, hosting meat cutting classes and demonstrations while placing an emphasis on locally sourced and heritage options.
- Artisan Pizza: An Italian classic turned American staple gets an artisan makeover, as pizzaiolos take the craft to a new level, perfecting wood-fired crust, incorporating more high-quality ingredients and going global with toppings.
- Reinvented American Cheese: Indulgent, hand-crafted and all-natural, artisan cheese is easily incorporated into a diverse array of dishes or enjoyed on its own.
These exciting trends are redefining quality for consumers. The report highlights strategic applications relevant for food manufacturers and restaurant operators seeking to capture this excitement in new product development products.[Source: Artisan Foods: Culinary Trend Mapping Report. Center for Culinary Development (CCD)/Packaged Facts. 19 Jul. 2010. Web. 29 Jul. 2010.]