Monica Chauhan, commercial manager at Bridge Cheese, said: “Cheese is such a versatile ingredient and the way it’s used in food manufacturing and food service is changing all the time.
“With so many new flavour trends for 2024, as well as the continuation of established trends such as healthy eating and value for money, we are looking forward to supplying some really exciting and tasty new products this year which will help our customers deliver food which is out of this world.”
Healthy eating never really goes out of fashion, but spurred on by sustainability concerns, more people than ever will be looking to include vegetables and pulses in their diet in 2024. A tasty mature cheddar adds zing to lentil casseroles or a vegetable lasagne, plus cheese is also a good way to add protein as well as flavour.
This year will see new imaginings of great British cuisine. Cheese is the ideal ingredient to create a flavour fusion with traditional British dishes, particularly combinations with an Italian twist. Think mince meat pies with mozzarella or sausage rolls with a tomato, basil and mozzarella filling.
Value for money
Inflation might be coming down but high commodity prices and interest rates are ensuring that cost remains front of mind for consumers and businesses alike. This year will see a continuation of the trend for value for money, where great tasting products meet lower prices to maintain margins. The most popular way to do this is through lower cost cheese blends, mixing natural cheese with or without fat filled alternatives, and consolidating SKUs.
Compare and Contrast
After a year of subtle flavour variations in cheese in 2023, this year is set to be much bolder. Contrasting flavours – in particular sweet and savoury – will be a key theme appearing in our food choices. Think wasabi/miso fish with cheddar or honey and mozzarella in a pork burger.
Where products come from is becoming increasingly important to buyers and consumers. We are already seeing an uptick in sales for products with the Red Tractor mark and regional cheeses such as West Country cheddar as the ‘Buy British’ movement gathers momentum. We’ll also see more interest in authentic imports such as Italian Regato.
Viva La Mexico
After a few years out of the spotlight, Mexican flavours are back and trending in 2024. From cheddars with jalapeno to medium fat hard cheeses to top off a spicy creamy sweetcorn or add an extra flavour note to wraps or burritos, it’s one trend we’ll be seeing a lot of in food manufacturing and food service over the next 12 months.