Forget what’s trending on Twitter or what’s viral on tik tok – the most fascinating trends for the upcoming season are happening in supermarket aisles across New Zealand.
New World Group Manager for Foodstuffs South Island Stephanie Browning says the trends we select for our autumnal trolleys will be both exciting and varied.
“What we choose to put in our shopping trollies and feed our families are extensions of our own values and often reflective of the changing environment we are living in. COVID has impacted our shopping habits in ways we might not even recognise, and there is a much greater understanding of the importance of provenance and traceability for value-conscious consumers,” says Browning.
“A great part of our job is working with our customers to understand what is important to them and then delivering innovative, category-challenging products that meet their needs ahead of the curve.”
Here are the top five food trends for this autumn and beyond as picked by New World’s experts:
Zero carbon aspirations are often associated with big companies moving to reduce their environmental footprints, but the exciting movement is the rise of individually certified carbon zero products. From bananas, milk, chicken and even wines and beer, consumers are now able to select a product that has been traced, evaluated, and certified to produce zero carbon emissions.
Head of Produce and Butchery Brigit Corson says products like All Good Bananas are popular with New World customers wanting to make a difference with their dollar. “From processing, transporting, ripening all the way to eating, these bananas have a net-zero carbon footprint.
“We know that our customers value being able to enjoy great products, as well as feel good that their choices have helped minimize their impact on our planet.”
Foodstuffs North Island has recently expanded its exclusive range of Simply Milk, NZ’s first carbonzero milk – to include a 3-litre option. Starting in 2020 as a collaboration with fellow kiwi co-operative Fonterra, the 2L bottles proved a massive hit with customers and have so far helped offset 4,223,000 kilos of carbon.
“Here at New World we are committed leaders in sustainability,’ confirms Corson, “and we love working together with our suppliers to support fantastic products that work towards a collective goal of a better planet.”
Another movement is the preference for quick and easy foods that don’t compromise on nutritious goodness or deliciousness.
Category Manager Delicatessen and Meal Solutions Rebecca Tuhakaraina and Meal Solutions Lead Tatiana Sanchez says the need for convenience is still top of mind for New World customers, “but they’re not wanting to miss out on the benefits you can get from home cooking”.
Which is why the New World team created Simply Dinner meal kits. The range helps make affordable healthy food, even more accessible to people by packaging up ingredients for mouthwatering, nourishing enjoyable meals in one place.
Tuhakaraina says COVID has shifted our priorities particularly around home cooking, and these meal kits are so popular for a variety of reasons.
“They tap into our desire for great home cooked meals without any of the associated hassle when people are time poor. They’re fantastic value for money, reduce waste and help customers who are looking for a quick and easy meal solution without the dreaded 3pm ‘what’s for dinner conversation’.
Sanchez says they’ve also seen a groundswell of other organisations utilising the meal kits as a straightforward way to teach cooking to groups, for example, Scouts groups who use Simply Dinner meal kits as an introduction to cooking, as well as other organisations focused on teaching young adults essential life skills.
“Over the next 12-months we expect to see this category turbo boosted and have some exciting new meals and collaborations planned.”
The last few years have reminded us of the importance and benefits of shopping seasonally, just as generations before us did. New Zealand fruit and vegetables will be taking centre stage in the 2022 seasons, as issues with global supply chains continue to impact availability of some produce.
New World customers are predicted to embrace this with a new passion, and the co-operatives have been working closely with their suppliers across Aotearoa to ensure the very best quality and variety of seasonal produce will be readily available for customers. The New World team are also creating seasonal based recipes for their popular Recipes of the Week to hero our amazing local produce and encourage people to ‘taste the season’.
Merchandise Manager Produce Foodstuffs South Island Justin Dykhoff says it’s great to see more people embracing the shop seasonal message.
“Eating the seasons is the foundation of a healthy diet that’s achievable for us all. We’re so lucky in New Zealand to have a wonderful abundance of produce.”
Seasonal vegetables tend to be cheaper so you can get more nutritious fruits and vegetables for even less which makes for great value in your regular shop, says Dykhoff.
“As the seasons change, it encourages creativity in the kitchen which in turn, increases the variety of healthy foods you’ll eat throughout the year. Which makes shopping seasonally good for your pocket and good for your gut.
“The great thing about living in New Zealand is the wonderful abundance of produce and New World works closely with local suppliers to ensure they’re providing the very best seasonal produce for customers.”
For great in-season recipes head along to New World’s Taste the Season page online to get delicious inspiration or swing by the in-store recipe stands at your next visit.
The plant-based movement is going from strength to strength as Kiwis take an even greater flexitarian approach to their diets. From being kinder to the planet to health and wellness, the benefits are numerous and thanks to novel new products, eating plant-based is even more accessible.
Last year two-thirds of Kiwis said they were already committed to enjoying a meat-free meal at least once a week, now New World is expanding its plant-based offering to encompass every eating occasion and everything in between.
Pippa Prain, Head of New World Marketing & CX, says the New World team has been working hard to expand the selection so that customers can swap in innovative plant-based products no matter the meal.
“It’s not just dinner that people are considering alternatives for now, it’s everything from morning coffees to mid-afternoon snacks and we’re committed to providing the options they’re wanting across every aisle,” says Prain.
“With more New Zealanders jumping into plant-based eating, the products coming onto shelves are truly at a new level. Brands are continually evolving in line with this demand for example the Pams Plant Based range has just been expanded to include delicious ready meals such as butter chicken and cottage pie, but also ice cream and nibbles like curry puffs and spring rolls- and there’s so many awesome products set to be added onto shelves soon.”
Zero Per Cent Alcohol
The rise in popularity of the no and low alcohol categories continues and suppliers are continuing to meet the demand with more and more innovative creations coming onto shelves.
Foodstuffs North Island Head of Deli, Bakery, Chilled, Beverages & Liquor Chris Anderson says it’s clear that customers are looking for lighter and healthier alternatives in their alcohol choices.
In response to growing demand, New World has recently introduced ‘Zero Zones’ within liquor departments where shoppers can easily find and explore the store’s range of non-alcoholic beverage alternatives.
“We’ve seen real innovation come through in this area of beverage, especially with the beer section it’s just exploded, and people are really loving being able to have that same taste and variety in choice with the alcohol content.”
For the first time in its 19-year history, the 2021 New World Wine Awards included a dedicated entry class for non-alcoholic wines that attracted dozens of entries from the growing number of options now available from wineries.
The 2022 Beer and Cider Awards is following suit and introducing a dedicated category for brewers to enter in their innovative ‘low and no’ alcohol products. Customers should expect to see some award-winning products without the ABV on New World shelves nationwide later this year.