Recently the Ivystone team sat down with Lisa Lewis, Regional Sales Manager at Stonewall Kitchen, to discuss food trends and what to be on the lookout for in 2023.
Where do you look to figure out what the latest food trends are and what's going to emerge next in the market?
Whether it's candles or food, we really look to the consumer, we look to what is happening out in the marketplace.
For example, what are people are watching on TV, what's attracting them to their local restaurants, or what's really bringing families together? Making sure to look across different segments and demographics to see what's exciting and what people want, not to just complement their table but also complement their experience when they gather with others that they care about the most.
Trending Now: Charcuterie Boards & The Cocktail Craze
Charcuterie is an experiential way of snacking. There's something for everybody, it's easy, and people feel like they've left having a meal without you slaving over the stove, and maybe the items on your board pair nicely with a glass of wine. It’s all about the experience - bringing people into your home, offering them something that is perceived as elevated without slaving over hours of preparation, cooking, and dishes, and people enjoy the conversation over charcuterie.
The trend towards charcuterie also pairs nicely with the Cocktail Craze. Both focus on creating a fun, elevated experience in your home with family and friends.
Looking Forward: Home Cooking Trends
During the pandemic, many consumers taught themselves new skills. Now, people are starting to explore different ways they can expand on those skills.
The trend toward more home cooking is also bringing families together. The younger generation is getting exposed to cooking, whether enjoying different types of food at family dinner, or participating in baking activities.
If you're a gift shop, there's absolutely a place for food on your shelf. Think about how can you pair food with table top items that you already have in in your store or include food in your merchandise stories.
Food has become very giftable, if it's packaged the right way. You can present food on your shelves as an offering for special occasions, such as Christmas, Mother's Day, or Father's Day. There are a lot of different ways you can add food to your existing merchandising stories. For example, consumers will come in and think it's really cool to buy Dad a spatula for the grill with a barbecue bourbon grilling sauce.
There are ways to make gifting in food really fun, and not just fun for the person that's putting the gift together, but also fun for the person that's receiving it. It all goes back to the trend of experiences. People are not spending as much money on things anymore, unless those things can give them a really cool experience. So, when you're thinking about gifting with food in a retail space, how can you complement what you already have in your stories and add food to that? Because everyone loves food!
Elevating with Food
If you are a retailer that has offered food in the past, here are four steps to become even more successful with food.
- Review your current assortment
- Identify areas where you can elevate your offerings.
- Order any ancillary items that can add and elevate your existing stories
- Re-merchandise your stories to include new items
Have Fun with Food
Experimenting with food really elevates the cultural experience, within our homes, and also how we interact with friends and family. It's really great to see that we're not just going through the motions with food anymore. We are expanding what we do with it and really having fun with it.