Loblaw’s 2017 Canadian Food Trends

Turmeric, plant proteins and meal kits will be tantalizing the taste buds of Canadian home chefs next year. Loblaw 2017 Canadian Food Trends outline what Canadians will be eating in the coming year. In addition to reviewing internal and industry data, the company brought together a group of experts ranging from professional and home chefs and registered dietitians, to academics and a futurist to form the Loblaw Food Council. The Council met in November 2016 to consider underlying motivations and drivers from within Canada’s food landscape to support the creation of the trends.

“Five years ago we changed the way Canadians shopped for groceries when we opened the Loblaws store at Maple Leaf Gardens,” said Garry Senecal, President, Market Division, Loblaw Companies Limited. “As we celebrate the store’s five year anniversary, we continue to innovate and engage our customers in new and unique food experiences. With the introduction of the Loblaw 2017 Canadian Food Trends we hope to start a national conversation about what Canadians are eating and how we can continue to inspire our consumers’ creativity and adventurous spirit when feeding their families.”

The Loblaw 2017 Canadian Food Trends include five themes that will impact Canadian kitchens:

– The New Conscious Consumer – Canadians are more interested than ever before about where their food comes from and how it is grown. In 2017, Canadians will be bugging out as they increase consumption of alternative proteins, such as insects and plant-based proteins. Canadians will also change the way they cook as they look to reduce food waste through root-to-stem or snout-to-tail cooking. With the environment and sustainability in mind, customer demand for responsibly sourced food and information on certification will become more prominent. According to Ned Bell, Chef, Advocate and Loblaw Food Council Member: “In 2017, Canadians will put the vegetable first and enhance their meal with smaller portions of proteins that are sustainably sourced.”

– The New Mindful Foodie – Canadians will place a greater emphasis on what we’re eating and how we’re eating it to improve our physical and mental health. Canadians will be looking to spices and ingredients that serve a dual purpose. The Loblaw Food Council also identified that Canadians will want to cook with simple ingredients to create great tasting food. The emergence of additive-free and raw foods will see items like seaweed added to our list of favourites. Greater attention will also be paid to not just what we eat but how we’re eating it. Chef and Loblaw Food Council Member Mike Ward comments: “The idea that being frantically busy all the time is somehow a benchmark of our career success is shifting. It’s now fashionable to have a sensible work-life balance. This changing mindset is translating into a greater emphasis on both how we shop for food, and how and what we eat.”

– The New Home Chef: The dichotomy of time pressure and the desire to eat nutritious food will impact the tables of the nation. The home chef will be a weekend food warrior, embracing slow cooking, preserving and canning to create a deeper connection with their food and will be more adventurous to try new recipes and ingredients. During the week the opposite emerges, as home chefs embrace meal kits and, in urban areas, delivery services, that allow a touch of personalization without all the prep. Loblaw Executive Chef and Food Council Member, Chef Mark Russell believes: “Canadians want to feed their family great tasting quality food and are now more than ever willing to ask for help through recipes, new kitchen gadgets and meal kits.”

– The New Connected Shopper: Canadians will opt to shop at retailers that offer enhanced digital experiences layered with personalization to make their shopping seamless, accessible and efficient. Online solutions – from pre-order to same-day delivery – will increase in popularity as Canadians visiting recipe sites and sharing food related content look to purchase recipe ingredients. In store, the transformation from transactional shopping to a digital community hub will drive personalization. Emma Waverman, Writer, Influencer and Loblaw Food Council Member, sees the impact of our online habits on our meal preparation: “Online culture is inspiring food exploration. We watch a video or see a photo of a dish and want to immediately order the ingredients to recreate it in our own homes. We need to be inspired in-store, on apps and through eCommerce.”

The New Canadian Cuisine: From far and wide, the multicultural mosaic of the nation will inspire global flavours to infuse traditional Canadian meals. International flavours and spices, such as Za’atar, Turmeric and Togarashi will make their way into Canadian homes. Canadians are at ease with different flavours and searching for additional ways to incorporate global flavours into their everyday meal staples. Kathy Jollimore, Chef, Food Stylist, Food Writer and Loblaw Food Council Member notes: “It’s an amazing thing to have globally influenced flavours available in our grocery store because otherwise we wouldn’t be necessarily exposed to them. If I can go buy a Filipino ingredient at the grocery store I’m going to, because I may not get another chance to experience that without travel.It allows for more experimenting and fusion. It’s expanding people’s minds.” Dan Clapson, Food Journalist and Loblaw Food Council Member adds:”Turmeric will be a big food trend in 2017. It’s growing in popularity. We’re seeing it used more creatively in restaurants and is even being incorporated into mixologist menus.”

Throughout the year, the Loblaw 2017 Food Trends will come to life in many different ways in-store, online and in kitchens across the country. As the hub of food innovation, the Loblaws store at Maple Leaf Gardens will feature the trends at various times throughout the year and provide opportunities for customers to taste, learn, and understand new food experiences like never before. Loblaw invites food lovers from across the country to unite and taste what’s new in food in 2017.

James Chung

Vancouver Lifestyle, Cool Tech & Travel Adventure. Email: [email protected]

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