Authenticity, individuality, regionality - for both UK and overseas produce - and extending existing successful categories are key trends within the speciality market.
“The authenticity of a product is essential,” says Jaime Waring, sales executive at Lomer Fine Foods, which focuses on speciality gift foods from around the world. “We offer Balti sets, Oriental sets, tapas and paella packages, and all have authentic ingredients and hardware, such as a paella pan or tapas pot.”
The company has also launched its own range of speciality ingredients, Delissential, which includes different herb mixes, sundried chillies and shiitake mushrooms. The line has been designed to be an everyday purchase for the increasing
number of shoppers cooking speciality dishes at home on a more regular basis.
Regionality in overseas speciality foods is also coming to the fore. Distinguishing specific regions of origin is now seen as a way to differentiate the product for the discerning deli owner and customer. Spanish regions famous for speciality meats, such as Iberian pigmeat from Extremadura, are using their centuries-old rearing and cooking methods as a means to promote produce as best in class. Importers such as newly established Fortun & Moore are looking to regions such as Basilicata in southern Italy, to introduce such foods as ham, bread, olives and sundried tomatoes.
Existing favourites, such as balsamic vinegar and olive oil, are also under the spotlight. Jordanian oil producer Terra Rossa has used its origins as a USP. However, it is now looking at creating flavoured oils and adding complementary dairy products to its offer as a means to expand in the UK. Balsamic vinegar suppliers, such as Merchant Gourmet, are developing new syrups and jellies for the retail market, taking restaurant products into the home.
Even olives are being repackaged for different occasions, from snacking packs to smaller bags for children’s lunchboxes.