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Banana ketchup, whipped feta and Birch Sap syrup: Asda predicts future food trends with the launch of its 2024/25 Trend Book

June 27, 2024 00:00pm
  • Asda unveils four ‘mega trends’ that will underpin and inspire its food and drink development over the next year

  • Food and drink trends for 2024/25 are everything from a nod to nostalgia to global inspiration for adventure, and are driven by health, cost and taste

  • Identified as ‘Quick, Easy & Cost Effective’, ‘Pure Comfort’, ‘Sensory & Interactive’ and ‘Health For You’

  • Led by Asda’s Senior Director of Food Trends and Innovation, Jonathan Moore, the Asda Trend book includes over 120 flavours and ingredients, including koji, adobo and banana ketchup

Led by Jonathan Moore, Asda’s Senior Director of Food Trends and Innovation who has cooked at a Michelin Star level, Asda has unveiled its Trend Book for 2024/25, revealing key themes that will guide its food and drink product development over the next 18 months.

For 2024/25, Jonathan and his team have identified four ‘mega trends’ which he sees driving the retailer’s innovation:

Quick, Easy & Cost Effective

Navigating solutions to managing both cost and a busy life, this theme explores how retailers can adapt by providing convenience and flexibility, without compromise on flavour.

Within this, Jonathan coins the phrase “Anything But The Oven”- which sees consumers continuing to migrate from traditional cooking methods to things like the microwave and the air-fryer. Consumers are moving on from cooking whole chickens and the perfect chip, experimenting with ingredients like cookie-dough to recreate ‘viral’ social media desserts at home. Product development is set to reflect this, and we could see more specifically designed products and innovative recipe suggestions on-pack as we head into 2025.

The ‘on-the-go' culture also sits within this mega-trend, as busy lifestyles mean customers are constantly looking for time-saving solutions, but this goes beyond a pre-packaged sandwich and focuses much more on health. Adult lunch box fillers, like individually portioned sachets of healthy nut butters and mini condiments are expected to be popular. Asda’s new Health Menu Shakes have been developed with this in mind, with the Tropical Shake and Berry Shake containing fruits and wholegrains, designed to keep customers energised whilst on the move.

Pure Comfort

Consumers are leaning into foods for joy and comfort. Foodier consumers look to be impressed with ingredient upgrades, whilst younger generations look for new, novelty versions of these favourites such as insta-worthy iced coffees and shakes, gourmet chicken wings with the trending hot sauce of the moment and the latest take on mac and cheese.

With a taste of the nostalgic but with a step on in global iterations, “Pure Comfort” moves on from a traditional ‘chicken dinner’ and takes on globally inspired traditions, like ‘beak to feet’ style serve and charcoal and rotisserie cooking methods, which has created trends for ingredients like chicken fat, panko breadcrumbs, spice rubs, global marinades, hot sauces and flavoured mayonnaises amongst retailers. Asda’s newly launched Chip Shop Curry Mayo is a twist on a classic and taps into this emerging trend.

No longer seen as a guilty pleasure, is the continuing rise of “Gourmet Fast Food”, elevated with the addition of adventurous flavours and indulgent ingredients - think Lobster Fried Rice. Hot dogs and burgers are expected to remain popular, with a focus on the quality of ages, cuts & breeds of meats. Summer 2024 sees the launch of the Loaded Pork Hotdog, where Asda customers are provided with four prime cuts of pork and cherrywood smoked pork, blended with spices, crispy onions and a mustard sauce to assemble their own ‘fakeaway’.

Sensory & Interactive

With a growing appetite for the bold and daring, consumer taste sensations have been heightened with chefs leaning into different flavour bombs, blending sweet and sour, along with increasing visual appeal.

There’s a focus within this trend on indulgent hybrids, which strikes the balance between familiarity and novelty, creating something new by combining foods in new formats. Accelerated by social media, this trend has seen the rise of the ‘crookie’ (croissant filled with cookie dough) joining other viennoiserie trends such as the ‘cronut’ (croissant-donut hybrid), ‘cruffin’ (croissant merged with a muffin) and more recently the cretzel - a blend between a mini croissant and a pretzel, with further mergers expected between sweet and savoury as we head into 2025. Asda’s Pistachio Croissant has sold 150,000 units since launch earlier this year and has hundreds of thousands of engagements across social media, with reviews saying they are “immaculate” and that “Asda is on the right track with this one”. Expected to follow suit is Asda’s Raspberry & Pistachio Donut, launching later in the year.

Health For You

People are focusing on their health in proactive, more positive ways. But in a time of financial uncertainty, solutions need to be accessible and convenient without breaking the bank. Customers still wish to get their sweet fix, but now in the ‘right’ way. Coined by Jonathan as “Sweet Enough” - we’ll see natural sweeteners become a favourite ingredient with the likes of syrups, dates, coconut and honey having a resurgence across bakery, desserts and snacking.

Outside of the ‘mega trends’, customers can also expect to see cuisine influence from specific regions, drawing from within the Middle East, Latin, Greek and Southeast Asia with dishes such as loaded fries, pide, empanadas, tomales, dips and small plates coming through retailers.

Jonathan Moore, Senior Director of Food Trends and Innovation at Asda, commented:

“We’re proud to share our third Trend Book, which identifies four mega trends expected to emerge in the UK food scene, formulated through months of research into cultural and social drivers and inspired by global influence.

“Despite many of the challenges faced by the food industry maintaining influence into 2024, it’s inspiring to see the creativity within this industry and over the next 18 months, I’m excited to work closely with our colleagues and suppliers to bring these trends and influences to life for Asda customers.”  

Asda’s 2024 Trend Book can be viewed here.

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