Bull’s-Eye identifies emerging flavours, experiential dining and plant-forward trends as key opportunities for dine out operators  

Recent findings indicate that emerging flavours, experiential dining, and veg-first plant-based eating are the key areas of opportunity for foodservice establishments, as revealed by Bull’s-Eye, Kraft Heinz’s premium BBQ brand.  

Bull’s-Eye’s insights are a result of extensive social listening research, tracking and analysing more than 7,000 conversations related to dining out and BBQ. Thus, providing a deep understanding of consumer preferences and trends, valuable for operators looking to maximise on dine out occasions.  

While the popularity of more established cuisines such as British (22.1%), Chinese (18.2%) and Thai (12.5%), continue to dominate online conversation, it’s the emerging flavours that provide a glimpse into what consumers are looking for next. Nigerian, Filipino, Caribbean, Korean and Sri Lankan cuisines made up 15.3% of the conversation. These budding cuisines have the intrigue of the consumer but are challenging to access. While 1 in 4 people in the UK have eaten African food in the past few months, almost half of people (47%) have not tried it but are interested in doing so. Moreover, 45% of consumers eating out-of-home are eager to try Sri Lankan and 58% say that it is difficult to find1. Understanding what diners would like to see on menus and their enthusiasm to experiment with new dishes will help operators satisfy diners and stay ahead of curve. 

BBQ remains a firm favourite with consumers, with 7.7% of discussions centring on this. Discussions around this highlighted smoky (78.2%), seared (6.4%) and charred (5.7%) as the most popular flavour profiles. Once synonymous with the summer period, the popularity of BBQ flavours demonstrates its appeal can extend all year round.  

While meat options dominated the social listening share of voice (82%), a quarter of brits now believe that eating meat every day is no longer acceptable2. As a result, veggie-based options are still in demand. Interestingly, Bull’s-Eye’s research discovered that people are looking for more vegetable-based options rather than meat-alternatives, with tofu (46.8%) and mushrooms (43.7%) coming out on top for diners.  

Ben Tish, Chef Director at Cubitt House recently hosted a Supper Club bringing to life some of the key research findings with a Bull’s-Eye feasting menu. He said: “There is something comforting about the smoky rich flavours of BBQ. It’s not all about the seasonal cooking we are familiar with. These deep, rich flavours can add a depth to dishes, or a spicy kick depending on preference at all points of the year. And the variety of the Bull’s-Eye range means kitchens can enhance dishes with ease.  

“Guests were wowed with dishes such as grilled red prawns with chilli, garlic, lemon, rosemary and Bull’s-Eye Louisiana Chipotle sauce, and sticky aubergines, dukkah, chards, pomegranate and Bull’s-Eye Original BBQ sauce.” 

Daniel Wilkes, Divisional Food Development Manager at Mitchells & Butlers attended the Supper Club and said: “The insights shared by Kraft Heinz were invaluable and support the evolution of our brands. The discussions with other industry professionals really underpinned our beliefs in trends and how the market is evolving.  

“Ben’s food at Cubitt House has given us inspiration of how we can use the Bull’s Eye range to support these trends. They are so versatile and compliment meat, fish and vegetarian and plant-based dishes”. 

Experiential dining is still a rising trend, with 45% of conversations focussed on this. 31.2% also look for authenticity when eating out. Diners, now identified as “Experientialists,” are seeking innovation, new culinary experiences, and authenticity. This trend is expected to continue to flourish, presenting a golden opportunity for foodservice operators to explore creative menu options and experiences. 

Artemis Argyrides, Foodservice Marketing Lead, Northern Europe at Kraft Heinz says “Customers are looking for new experiences when they are eating out. They want to be surprised. New, innovative cooking methods, such as adding smoke for drama are being used across restaurants to excite diners. Curious diners want culinary adventures and have come to expect more from dining out experiences.  

“We’re here to help operators with this. Through the versatile Bull’s-Eye range, authentic dining experiences can be created with minimal fuss. Experimenting with dishes has never been easier. Consider adding Bull’s-Eye Original sauce to spatchcock chicken for a twist on African Braai or use the Louisiana Chipotle as a dipping sauce for black-eyed bean fritters.” 

Bull’s-Eye is available at all major wholesalers or to find out more, contact routetomarket_uk@kraftheinz.com  

To register interest in attending future Bull’s-Eye supper club events, email contact@williammurray.co.uk 

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