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Autumn is an exciting time of year for the fine food industry, as shoppers look to indulge when it comes to food and drink, and begin gearing up for the festive season.
But what are the key food trends for autumn in 2022?
Bring on the cosiness
According to Jemma Coombe, head of new product development at Daylesford, “Traditionally this time of year is associated with the end of summer holidays and the return to normal routines of school and work.
“It’s a time when temperatures drop and daylight hours shorten, causing people to withdraw back indoors. As a result, we focus on items that encourage a feeling of cosiness, such as warming broths and soups, and afternoon tea treats.
“Our Real Meals are popular year-round but especially in autumn and winter as they are an easy, convenient way to enjoy a hot, delicious, nourishing organic meal without having to worry about prepping ingredients, cooking and cleaning up – ideal for easing into a new season.”
This is something ShelfNow has also picked up on, as Philip Linardos, CEO of the digital wholesale platform explained. “During the autumn months, ShelfNow also sees a spike in demand for sauces, spreads and seasonings as more look to achieve artisan cooking at home.”
Shoppers also tend to have more of a sweet tooth as we approach the colder months. According to Philip, “Trending product categories amongst buyers on the digital marketplace include bakery, cakes, biscuits, confectionery and sweets. Confectionery orders spike most around autumn, as shoppers indulge for Halloween, Bonfire Night and Christmas.”
“As we near the festive season, we also expect a shift towards party food and drink such as our botanical spirits and pre-mixed cocktails”, Jemma added.
Focus on health
While consumers will be on the hunt for comforting flavours and textures this autumn, there is still a key focus on health that is driving the market.
As Philip explained, “When it comes to beverages, soft drinks and water are also the most popular, in addition, low and no drink options also are popular choices amongst buyers as they are seeing an increase in demand for healthier options and in preparation for Dry January.
“Also, as we are seeing a continued trend of healthy options, low and no drinks are a continued popular buy including functional drinks such as kombucha.”
This is something Jemma also noticed, adding that, “Over the colder months, people are drawn to items that enhance wellbeing, such as nutrient-dense cold-press juice shots and supplements to support a healthy lifestyle.
“Healthy, satisfying snacks are also a good idea – anything that can be popped into a lunchbox, handbag or pocket.”
How to capitalise on the trends
According to Jemma, “As ever, quality and variety are key to ensure you appeal to a wide range of needs. Independent retailers can differentiate their offerings by highlighting details about their products, how they are made and where they come from. If you have positive stories about ethical sustainability, traceability and supporting local producers, share them!
“We always take part in the Soil Association’s Organic September campaign, which champions the benefits of choosing organic and highlights why we farm and produce food in the way that we do.”
Phillip suggests that independent retailers keep up to date with evolving consumer demand for low and no drink options, and plant-based products that cater to different dietary requirements.
He concluded, “Retailers should aim to be ahead of the curve when planning their autumnal stock along with innovative ways to display and promote their range of new artisan products.”