Tasty Trends in Butter and Oil
Throughout the world, people love butter and oil. These fatty ingredients add flavor and texture to many foods and even beverages. Like anything else, trends in this category are continually coming and going, and we love the latest trends we’ve seen this year in delicious, creamy butter and flavorful oils.
Butters and oils are beneficial in food production because they add fat, an essential component of many formulations. There has never been such a wide choice of fats in supermarkets, restaurants, and specialty stores as there is today. Now is a great time for manufacturers of these products to:
- Highlight the natural qualities. The increasingly health-conscious consumer seeks natural foods, and they like to know where the ingredients came from, the production methods used, and that there are no questionable ingredients such as GMOs.
- Source locally whenever possible. Brands that choose local production facilities and ingredients will find it easier to connect with consumers by promoting feelings of regional pride and appealing to their interest in sustainability.
- Tap into plant-based trends. Interest in vegan foods is higher than ever, particularly among younger shoppers. This interest presents major opportunities for innovation in dairy alternatives and plant-based spreads. Brands should also clearly communicate the inherent vegan qualities of their oils.
- Alleviate consumer concerns with ethical dairy. The increase in vegan butter alternatives has boosted the pressure on traditional spreads to compete. That means that it’s a good idea to highlight a commitment to sustainable land management and impressive animal welfare credentials.
As consumers have turned away from low-fat diets to eating patterns that eschew carbs and embrace many fats as healthy, butter and oil have enjoyed somewhat of a rebirth. Butter sales are at their highest in decades. Younger generations of consumers, including Millennials and Generation Z, seek out healthy fats and oils in significant numbers, partly because they do more cooking at home than older generations. They’re also extremely adventurous in the kitchen and want new products and unexpected flavors with which to experiment.
Butter and oil offer perfect backdrops for painting new and unique pictures with flavor. Chefs and manufacturers alike are using more brown butter for its nutty, caramelized flavor, as this delicacy has become more conveniently available as a packaged and ready-to-use product. Butter as an experience is yet another trend in the world of butter we’re seeing – think fresh butter churned by hand right in the restaurant or store, maybe even in view of customers.
When it comes to flavors, butter is a highly versatile base. Flavored butters range from spicy to sweet. Herb butters featuring rosemary and sage are hot right now and perfect for steaks. Butter is also getting blended with red wine, parsley, and shallots for a lovely accompaniment to a glass of vino. Even sweet flavors are getting in on the action with varieties such as salted caramel being offered for spreading on cookies or muffins. From cilantro lime and bacon chive to peach honey and pumpkin spice, there is no end to the flavor possibilities when working with butter.