Exploring international cuisine with Louise Allen, Whole Foods Market

22 March 2023, 07:49 AM
  • Louise Allen, senior local forager at Whole Foods Market, explains the importance of international cuisine to the destination retailer
Exploring international cuisine with Louise Allen, Whole Foods Market

What role do international foods play in Whole Food Markets product range, and what options do you stock?
At Whole Foods Market, international foods are an integral part of our product range, and we stock a wide variety of international flavours including Mexican, Korean, Chinese, Thai, Indian, Caribbean, Japanese, Middle Eastern and Italian.

We seek to lead the way in offering our customers unique products from artisan producers, that are fun, exciting, and most importantly delicious, all sourced within our strict quality standards.

In your view/experience, what are the most popular international cuisines in the UK right now?
Making international foods accessible is key to their popularity. As an example, Korean cuisine is increasingly popular, with numerous brands adding Korean flavours to their products, making them increasingly accessible for consumers.

Whole Foods Market leads the way in representing trend-driven cuisines and this year we have launched the popular and versatile Gochujang Hot Honey from Wilderbee, Korean Chilli Oil from Nakasero, as well as stocking a range of three Korean sauces from BomBom Market.

Are there any new to the UK world foods set to trend in 2023?
We have found that African and Caribbean foods are yet to have a strong offer in retail, however, we are seeing more come to the market. As a receptive retailer, this January, we have launched three, high-quality Caribbean sauces from Lesley’s Sauces showcasing the delicious flavours of the Caribbean and the brand’s heritage.

What makes international food such a popular sector in the UK’s fine food market?
We live in a wonderfully diverse society, which provides an exciting melting pot of cuisines and flavours. Consumers love exploring new foods and culinary experiences as well as enjoying the richness that this diversity brings.

Through the high-quality and diverse products we stock, Whole Foods Market provides consumers with the experience to have fun in their kitchen with different international foods.

What does the future hold for this sector?
There are still many international cuisines that remain less represented than others, and as new flavours and trends continue to enter the market, we certainly expect to see growth within this sector.

With inflation and the cost-of-living crisis, we may see people travelling and eating out less, therefore we hope people will experiment with new cuisines at home, bringing that experience to their dining table. As a retailer leading the way in producing a variety of unique, high-quality products, we are expanding our international food category to reflect the success of previous launches and the demand for international cuisines.

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