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It’s safe to say that many of us are suffering from a severe case of wanderlust thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic putting a (temporary) end to international travel. Speciality Food has previously reported on how the lack of travel has indeed caused demand for alternative cuisines to rise, and Italian ingredients were certainly one of the beneficiaries.
From pizzas cooked outdoors in brand new pizza ovens to pastas whipped up with speciality sauces in order to fill the gaps of all those nights out that turned into nights in, the pandemic offered a chance for many Brits to remember what it is they love about Italian food. In fact, an analysis of more than 50,000 search queries by global tour company Trafalgar Travel found that during the pandemic, Brits searched for Italian food 33% more than the previous year with more than three million searches for Italian recipes. Pizza was the number one favourite, up 14% from the previous year.
Autumn is the perfect time for independents to stir up this passion for Italian cuisine once again with the latest and greatest products. Reshuffling your shelves can help bring richer sauces and tinned and jarred products back to the fore. As soon as the weather turns, your customers will be looking for cosier, autumnal flavours, like truffle shavings or decadent venison ragù. Sourcing locally foraged mushrooms and other seasonal veg grown in the UK will also help customers add a local British twist to their favourite Italian dishes.
For those particularly hands-on customers, why not sell pasta kits complete with everything one needs to craft their own comforting pasta dinner from scratch, such as Italian 00 flour and semolina, a pasta maker and ravioli stamps. For the more time conscious, take a fresh look at your dried pastas and risottos as well as flavour-packed, stir-in sauces to ensure your shop offers something different to the multiples. Autumn is a great time to fall in love with Italian cuisine, and as customers became even more familiar with their favourite Italian dishes during the pandemic, giving them the gentlest prod towards exciting, new fine food products can make all the difference this year.
Are you passionate about Italian food and drink? Get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.