Dips and Spreads - foodwatching report

Our latest foodwatching report takes a look at what's what across dips and spreads of late, as part of the recurring theme of a 'comfort rules' approach to eating. We wanted to give you a feel for the type of content you'd be privy to if you were a subscriber receiving these regular reports in full, so the following covers some of out key findings from the report in detail.

There have been certain recurring themes across the food spectrum over the last year - and perhaps the most prevalent of these is a 'comfort rules' approach. Faced with uncertainty and stress, consumers have turned to simple-but-satisfying comfort foods; dishes that are accessible and more-ish, which you can eat with your hands and if you get a little messy ... who cares! Against that backdrop, it's no surprise that dips and spreads are trending - and we aren't just talking guacamole, hummus and tzaziki!

Indeed all manner of plant-based dips are cropping up on supermarket shelves and restaurant menus alike - from roasted tomato dips to butter bean spreads, and plenty in between. And they are just the tip of the iceberg ... also trending are cheese dips aplenty (ricotta, feta and queso to name just a few) - as well as fish and seafood dips, flavoured butters, yoghurts, labneh and sweet dips.

We take a look in the associated foodwatching report at some these trending dip and spread formats and plenty more.

You Say Tomato...
Fresh tomato salsas are many people's go-to-dip - often paired with natural bed fellows like guacamole and and nacho chips. Now we are seeing other tomato dips coming to the fore - think burnt, smoked and roasted tomatoes cooked down with fragrant and flavourful ingredients like garlic, ginger and onion. Bold and vibrant, these tomato dips are great on their own - but shine when paired with smooth or creamy counterparts like tahini or labneh.

Burnt Aubergine
Speaking of bold flavours ... another traditional favourite in the world of dips in baba ganoush - a much loved Middle Eastern aubergine dip, often imbued with a smoky flavour by charring the aubergine. Taking a cue from the popularity of this formula, chefs are producing all manner of show-stopping aubergine dips - often marrying smoky, creamy, spicy and sour elements in one dish.

Full Of Beans
With many consumers rediscovering the pantry aisle during lockdowns, there is a new found appreciation for tinned beans and pulses - not just for their affordability, but also for their versatility, flavour and nutritional value. So it's no surprise that bean dips are also proving popular - with butter beans leading the charge, lauded for their creamy texture and flavour (perfect for blitzing with garlic, onion and other ingredients for a creamy, versatile dip).

All About The Alliums
There has been a lot of talk in recent months about loss of taste and smell, as a symptom of COVID-19. As a result, consumers have even more appreciation for flavour - and their motto is 'more is more'. That means bold flavours are firmly in fashion ... and what's more bold than plenty of onions and garlic! Cue a raft of allium-based dips that are unapologetically flavour-forward - from flavoured aioli (garlic mayo) to five-onion dips, and lots in between.

Subscribers can read the full report here, while those interested in finding out how to subscribe should get in touch using the details below.