Speciality foods are no longer reserved for the few, but a lively source of new tastes and food ideas, increasingly browsed by a much wider audience. Until quite recently, respondents tended to view this type of food with caution; but this has changed, with a growing proportion - not just the affluent - actively seeking different products to add interest and excitement to their repertoire. Many are bought for special occasions, so a premium price isn't necessarily a barrier, particularly if the product can provide a talking point at the table. A further dimension impacting on the growing popularity of speciality foods is the increased awareness of local foods and products from small producers that offer traditional as well as new tastes. Pack and presentation are particularly important; carefully crafted designs once considered old-fashioned can help achieve shelf standout by offering an immediate, visual, reassurance of food quality and manufacturing values and distinguish them from the mainstream.
Kettle Kitchen - Norfolk Honey Barbecue Chips SCORE: 40 AVERAGE: 35
This eye-catching pack was picked up in a farm shop. A blend of sweet and savoury that worked well, with more than three-quarters claiming they would buy to share with family and friends.
The Fine Cheese Co Ltd - Wholemeal Crackers SCORE: 34 AVERAGE: 34
The "unusual and special" packaging set up high expectations. After trial the sweet, wheaty crackers proved popular with ABC1s, who felt they justified the premium price.
Bigham's Salmon in Banana Leaf Parcels SCORE: 28 AVERAGE: 30
An ambitious, visually attractive recipe that aroused high interest pre-trial. The strong lemongrass and fresh chilli flavour pleased spice lovers, but tended to overpower the salmon.