“We are seeing customers looking for provenance”

21 January 2020, 10:40 AM
  • We catch up with Jessica Abela, new product developer at Selfridges, to talk all things condiments
“We are seeing customers looking for provenance”

What’s influencing the flavours we’re seeing in condiments now?
The influx of street food and people travelling more is meaning that there is a growing market for those wanting to try something a little different. They might want to recreate a dish they tried on holiday or even just try something new from one of the amazing cookbooks currently on the market. There is a lean towards Middle Eastern flavours such as zhoug, as well as clean flavours from Japan such as yuzu. Bold, smoky American flavours are ever-popular and we are seeing quite a surge in hot sauces. The constant flavour that people always reach for is truffle. It is a little bit of luxury that you can add to the most simple of dishes for a bit more of a wow factor.

What are shoppers looking for from the condiments they buy?
Condiments are doing really well at the moment as customers are experimenting more with home cooking and different cooking styles and methods. Everyday condiments are now being used as glazes, marinades, dips, dressings and even in cocktails. We are seeing a lot of customers looking for provenance in the condiments we sell. We like to support smaller, artisan producers and in doing so we are able to work with some really great small batch producers who often grow the ingredients on their own land.

Are trend-led products as popular as the classics?
No, I think the classics or the classics with a modern twist sell best. For example, upcycled fruit/vegetables being used in ketchup, small batch ales used to soak mustard seeds, ghost chillies in what is usually a milder chilli sauce.

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