We have entered the season of party food, winter markets and mulled wine galore – it’s Christmas!
The countdown is on, having seen supermarkets release their Christmas ranges earlier than ever this year. We have seen some showstoppers from the retailers, with Asda releasing several products featuring its flavour of Christmas 2023: Brown Butter and Spiced Dark Rum. The flavour combination can be found in various products, ranging from mince pies to gammon joints. Asda has also expanded its range to accommodate dietary requirements, with the launch of 57 new vegan and 35 new free-from products.
Winning retailer of the year for the 4th year running at the Quality Food and Drink awards, Aldi continues to create ‘everyday amazing’ at Christmas time. Aldi have brought the novelty factor this year, by opening the nation’s first bottomless pigs in blankets restaurant in North London. The exclusive restaurant will allow fans to press for pigs in blankets and indulge in a six-course menu of Aldi’s biggest pig in blanket range to date!
Over the past few years as a nation, we have changed our Christmas shopping habits around Christmas dinner, with many consumers becoming more experimental with alternative centrepieces. This year, we have seen innovative products such as Slow Cooked Sloe Gin Duck and Monkfish & Chorizo Wellington from Tesco, with Sainsbury’s launching a Dry Cured Gammon with Honeycomb and a Hot Roast Stuffing Wreath.
Food is a source of Joy at Christmas time, and more than ever we need to welcome it as a distraction from our troubles. Nostalgic flavours continue to be popular during the winter season as consumers look to indulge in classic favourites as the nights draw in.
It’s clear that indulgence will be a key driver of Christmas foods this year, with ingredients such as truffle and butter featuring heavily across festive ranges. Food and drink pairing recommendations feature widely within retailer marketing campaigns and Christmas magazines thanks to a viral Tik Tok video trending! We are seeing some of our most loved drinks being incorporated in our favourite festive foods across retailers, with products such as Sainsbury’s Brie & Bubbly Crisps, Waitrose’s Salmon En Croute with Champagne and Asda’s Venison Lollipops with Blackberry and Sloe Gin Dip.
Hot Chocolate continues to win our hearts during Christmas time as a festive way to warm up from the cold. Hot drinks are as popular as ever on social media, with consumers seeking novelty and surprise from seasonal flavours. We have seen the transition from pumpkin spice to Christmas cheer, with the humble hero taking over the menus of coffee shops. ‘Super Sensory’ is coming into play, from festive flavours, confectionary mash ups, to toasty toppers … the search for “the best” hot chocolate in town continues across Instagram and Tik Tok! We have seen French hot chocolates crossing the boundary between dessert and drink, with specialty marshmallows becoming essential to any high-end hot chocolate (The Food People).
Yes, us foodies go wild for aesthetic and sensory overload when it comes to hot chocolates, but hot chocolate is not exclusive to cafes and restaurants! Our talented team have developed our own range of festive sprinkles suitable for dusting over hot drinks or festive bakes.
Winter Wonderland Hyde Park is known as one of the greatest attractions in London at Christmas and during our recent visit, we experienced the many food stalls, savoured the flavours of winter, and explored the diverse range of culinary delights! The event is great at showcasing the newest food trends and always manages to create a “must try” viral product across social media.
From BBQ classics with a Scandinavian twist, to a taste of Asian, South American and Middle Eastern Street Food, there’s truly something for everyone. A standout culinary adventure is the new ‘Le Chalet Fondue’ experience. Nestled in The Sleigh-By, Le Chalet which will transport you to a beautiful authentic Alpine ski lodge, decorated with plush sheepskins, taking you on a journey inspired by Swiss tradition and flavour.
Handheld Gourmet – We continue to go back to basics, with classics like hotdogs and burgers making an annual appearance at Christmas markets. It’s all about eating with your hands and getting messy with the gourmet movement! Don’t be fooled by the simplicity, these classic dishes have all the flavour and made with the same skill as high end products (The Food People).
‘Worth the Splurge’ – Stand out flavours across stalls included Truffle, Pistachio, Porcini, Cheese and Honey!
We highly recommend Hyde Park Winter Wonderland for an overall truly wonderful Christmas experience!
How Can We Help?
Our team is already working on Christmas flavours for 2024. If you are looking for festive flavour inspiration, market research or industry expertise please get in contact.