Unlike any time in history, people have unimagined control of their everyday lives. They can work where they want, have access to a world of information at their fingertips, and they have unprecedented choice.
This new power-shifted reality is also changing the world of food. Modern consumers want to experience global tastes and trends, and they want to experience those tastes in convenient ways they control.
They want to taste the world, and they want to taste it on their terms.
By the numbers: The tale of the new dining table.
International food is becoming more popular year over year. People want to experience new and exciting tastes and textures. When asked, 47% of millennials said their eating was “adventurous.” While many who seek out global tastes like to experience “authentic formats”, over half want those world-famous tastes to appear in new, ready-to-eat and on-the-go formats.
That ready-to-eat market is growing every day. In 2019 the sector was worth just over USD $195 billion. That number is expected to grow annually by 5.5% for the next five years.
But this is not the ready-to-eat food of yesterday. This is a new day.
Convenient meal solutions no longer get to cut corners.
In the past, ready-to-eat meals were always given a bit of a pass when it came to taste and ingredients. Long gone are the days of, “sure, it isn’t that good, but it is quick.” Consumers want the best of the best. And they want it now.
That’s why ADM has formed Culinary Crafted Solutions℠. A program that relies on a team of global chefs to help develop a line-up of international foods that are as delicious as they are convenient.
“Like never before, people are eating foods from all over the world. Our job is to bring those tastes to life in new and innovative ways.” says Chef John Stephanian, ADM VP, Global Culinary & Innovation.
The Chef-led team at ADM’s kitchens also uncovered three important factors integral to creating convenient global dishes: they needed to have real ingredients, clean labels, and can never, ever be boring!
The real deal.
When ADM Chefs develop dishes, they start always with real ingredients. It’s the foundation of great taste. They prepare those real ingredients in small batches, like a great cook would do when preparing a meal for their family. They marinate, slow roast, sauté, braise – whatever it takes to create real flavor. Whether that be smoky, spicy, mild, umami, when they start with real ingredients, the final sauce, marinade or protein is as good as it can be.
Ingredients you can pronounce.
Not being able to say the name of an international dish or recipe is something by which people may be intrigued. Not being able to say the name of an ingredient is another story altogether. Luckily, ADM Chefs’ commitment to real ingredients also stretches to ingredient lists that tend to read “clean and clear” in the mind of the consumer.
Natural coloring is key to clean labels, for example, which is why ADM created the Colors From Nature™ portfolio. It includes a rainbow of possibilities from divine caramel colors to brilliant white hues using food solutions. Each one is derived from natural sources.
Sodium content is always on the radar of consumers, especially in the ready-to-eat category. ADM’s Chef Team meets that need by using sea salt alongside other natural modulators and enhancers to build back great flavor in sodium-reduced products.
Taking chances can lead to some delicious food.
While ADM has great respect for global food traditions, it’s clear that consumers are now looking to blur boundaries. The fusion of different foods is becoming a significant trend. Ten years ago, concepts like Korean Tacos would have received many “you just can’t do that” sentiments but, now it’s the mixed trend that people are seeking.
That’s why ADM Chefs are offering products like ethnic spice pastes. It allows people to mix and play with tastes and traditions. Thai with South American. Indian with American.
All resulting in a wonderfully delicious, “United Nations” of food choice.
What a time to eat.
Never has there been so much opportunity for consumers to taste the food of the world. It’s something ADM is committed to every day. Great international food – served in a way consumers want.
The world on their plate. Easy. And ready when they are.