Marry Me chicken is a dish that is made up of chicken breast cutlets with sundried tomatoes, parmesan cheese, and heavy cream as key ingredients and then garnished with fresh basil leaves. The Marry Me chicken can also be served with pasta, mashed potatoes, rice, or crusty bread.
Beef tallow is a type of animal fat that is rendered from beef. The fat is often used in cooking as a high-heat cooking oil, as well as in soap making and skin care products.
Lesser Evil Popcorn is a line of popcorn that is made without using artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. The popcorn is made with non-GMO corn and is gluten-free.
Salmon bites are a type of appetizer that is made from salmon. The salmon is typically chopped into small pieces and then mixed with a variety of seasonings and spices. The bites are then typically breaded and fried or baked.
Buldak chicken is a Korean dish made of chicken that is marinated in a spicy sauce. The chicken is then grilled or pan-fried, and is often served with rice and vegetables.
Malatang is a Chinese soup that is made with spicy broth and various types of meat and vegetables. The soup is meant to be eaten as a meal or as a snack.
Birria Ramen is a ramen dish that is made with a goat meat broth. The broth is flavored with chilies, cumin, and other spices, and is served with ramen noodles, goat meat, and vegetables.
A Korean Hot Pot is a pot that is used to cook a variety of foods in a broth at the table. The pot is typically filled with a spicy broth and a variety of meats, vegetables, and noodles are added to the pot to cook.
Rose Tteokbokki is a type of tteokbokki, or Korean rice cake, that is made with a rose sauce. The sauce is made with a mix of gochujang, soy sauce, sugar, and rice vinegar, and is often garnished with chopped scallions and sesame seeds.
Catalina Crunch is a fast-growing food startup that offers keto-friendly cereal, cookies, and snack food. The snack is low in sugar and calories, and uses high-quality, natural ingredients.
Bulking foods are foods that are meant to be consumed in order to gain weight. The foods are typically high in calories and protein, and are meant to be consumed in conjunction with a weightlifting routine.
Mochi Donuts are a Japanese-inspired pastry that is made from a soft, doughy mochi rice cake that is deep-fried and coated in a sweet glaze. The donuts are then topped with various flavors and textures, such as sprinkles, nuts, and chocolate.
Street Corn is a dish that is made of grilled corn that is slathered in a creamy sauce and topped with cheese, chili powder, and lime juice. The dish is popular in Mexico and is often sold by street vendors.
Mazesoba is a dish that combines elements of ramen and soba noodles. The dish is made by cooking the noodles in a broth and then adding in various toppings such as pork, vegetables, and eggs.
Gopchang is a type of Korean sausage that is made from beef intestines. The sausage is usually grilled or boiled and is a popular dish in Korea.
Bao buns are a type of steamed bun that is popular in East Asia. The bun is made of flour, yeast, sugar, and water and is often filled with pork, beef, or vegetables.
A salmon bowl is a dish that combines cooked salmon with rice and vegetables. The dish can be served either hot or cold, and is a popular choice for a healthy and easy-to-make meal.
Tteokbokki is a popular Korean dish made of rice cakes and a spicy sauce. The dish is typically cooked in a pot on the stove, but can also be made in a microwave.
Trend Highlight – Healthy Snacking is on the Rise
As screen time grows, and consumers increasingly watch with a phone in hand (one 2019 survey put the share of TV watchers who do this at 55%), there's a battle for the last hand, and healthy snacking options are aiming to win it by becoming one-hand-eating friendly.
Protein powder has been growing in popularity for years, and while it's a good way to add protein to shakes and smoothies, it's not very compatible with preexisting meal habits. Quest Chips is a growing brand of protein chips that’s at the center of these trends.
One feature of chips, compared to bars, is that consumption is more continuous rather than discrete. If you planned on eating a single bar, it's hard to accidentally eat a bar and a half. But with chips, it's easy to passively consume them. That's especially possible while doing something else; there's a whole category of listicles that recommend the right snack for binge-viewing Netflix, and even an abundance of articles on content pairings for particular shows.
Rather than a traditional meal that could require a fork, knife, and plate, TV-focused snackers are increasingly seeking out hand-held snacks. A snack for gaming, a snack for texting, or a snack for watching TV. Food companies noticed and started pushing to create snacks that are utensil-free and clean-up-free.
Snacking has been growing too and, as this happens, the line between snacks and meals is blurring. Research shows that consumers are eating more meals at non-standard times and that snacks now account for over half the times younger generations eat. It’s a function of a more fragmented day that's less likely to be bookended by a context-setting commute.
Trend Highlight – The Fascinating Economics of Breakfast Food
While cereal is inexpensive, sweet, and easy to prepare, consumers' growing interest in eating less sugar has cut into sales.
Catalina Crunch, a healthy breakfast cereal company is trying to bring cereal back alongside similar companies like Magic Spoon which has grown over 1000% and $85M since we featured it in Glimpse 3 years ago. It's targeting those that left cereal for healthier options and those who are still frequent users but are looking for something more nutritious.
Because of how cereal has traditionally been distributed in retail stores, the competition has been around who can put the brightest colors and boldest fonts onto the front of the box to get consumers' attention in the aisle. By selling directly to the consumer, these cereal brands don't have to fight for attention this way and can instead focus on finding relevant customers on relevant channels.
One way these brands are able to sell at nearly 2.5x the price of traditional cereals is by positioning the product as an alternative to premium healthy breakfast foods like protein shakes or smoothies and by targeting adults who control their own food budgets.
Unlike other meals of the day, breakfast is the one where consumers tend to be okay with eating the same thing every day, so once a cereal customer turns into a daily user, there's a consistent and profitable revenue stream.
Trend Highlight – Why SnackMagic Is So Popular
Over the past 3 years, software that helps companies hire internationally has grown rapidly. Deel–one of the fastest companies to ever scale to $100M in ARR–helps teams run HR internationally. But cultural infrastructure is now having to play catchup.
The days of on-tap kombucha, massage Fridays, and mediation rooms may be on pause as companies reevaluate their strategies for a new era.
And everyone is trying to get in on the shift: Food delivery businesses like Doordash and Uber Eats say they’re benefiting from the move to digital perks. Airbnb is running ads for “international remote team bonding” experiences. The Zebra, a fast-growing insurance startup, even offers to cover employees’ cost of adopting a pet as they work from home and may be lonely.
When it comes to snacks and meals though, there’s a new challenge: carving out time for meals when the day has less structure and is less likely to be portioned off by a context-setting commute.
And while working from home means workers can easily pick their own snacks, it also typically means they’d need to pay. With SnackMagic, employers send out a link and everyone gets to build their own snack box on the company’s dime. The concept exploded and with it, the company’s success: SnackMagic now orchestrates snack programs for everyone from small startups to Google, Amazon, and Salesforce.
Trend Highlight – The Rise of Wagyu Beef
When Instagram first started influencing restaurant traffic, some restaurants switched from round plates to square ones to fit in with the social media company’s image format, which was square-only until mid-2015. The rectangular shape maximizes the amount of food in the frame and helped restaurants stand out in the feed.
In similar ways, restaurants are increasingly putting more effort into eye-catching interior decoration rather than exterior design; if more customers are choosing dinner based on their social media feeds, rather than by walking down the street, it's what's on the inside of the restaurant that counts.
And as TikTok and YouTube usage continues to rise, the popularity of aspirational dining grows too. Wagyu beef, a type of meat prized for its marbling, is a luxury food with strong visual appeal, making it popular for this type of content. Millions of consumers watch videos of wagyu being cooked and eaten even though most can’t afford it on a regular or even semi-regular basis.
Its aspirational nature is also clear when looking at the numbers. The "Wagyu" tag has almost 3 billion views on TikTok, compared to 1/5th that volume for “Barbacoa”, another type of meat, despite Barbacoa having higher consumption.
This widespread appeal creates buzz and the increased buzz eventually helps get the product in front of the consumers who can afford it, driving up sales in the long run. It’s a marketing strategy many companies use: Lean into the features of a product that appeal to a less relevant but wider audience as a way to create a buzz that draws in the ultimate target audience.
There has been pushback on marketing non-Japanese beef as Wagyu, especially from 1997 to 2003, when the Japanese government banned the export of Wagyu cows. Since then, different varieties like American Wagyu and Australian Wagyu have grown in popularity.
Expensive foods, more broadly, are an important export for Japan. Consumer behavior studies have shown that gift recipients put more value on an expensive version of a typically cheap item than on an average-priced version of something usually more expensive, even if the price tag of the latter is higher. This means that a $300 bottle of wine would be received more favorably than a $1,000 computer.
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