Head chefs at Crust, Wendy’s and The Coffee Club tackle the latest in food development
Going healthy is certainly among the trends; executive chefs tell QSR Media more.
“There is a greater focus on products that are low in fat and sugar, high in fibre and contain no artificial colours and flavours,” says Carole Holroyd, National Product Development Manager at Wendy’s, when asked what trends they are noticing in food development.
Adam Moore, Corporate Executive Chef for Campbell Arnott's Asia Pacific, shares the same view and notes that one of the big trends in terms of food development is having no "E" numbers and opting for a more natural product. Moore says there is now interest in the story behind the ingredients.
And how do you satiate that interest? Peter Augoustis, Head Chef at Crust, says you show diners what they’re being served. “Many operators are steering towards food theatre. Showing off good, fresh products and methods to give the customer a great experience.”
At Crust the stores and the kitchen are open so customers can see their pizzas being made right in front of them and see the fresh produce being used, notes Augoustis.
Trends in food development, according to Holroyd of Wendy’s, continue to be driven by the demands of consumers who are increasingly savvy when it comes to making healthier food choices.
Recognising the demand for healthy options, Holroyd elaborates, “We offer a range of products designed to cater to a range of different tastes and needs, including scoop ice cream made with all natural colours and flavours, reduced calorie smoothies, frozen yoghurt with the benefits of probiotics and more.”
Customers also turn to the classics when making their choices. Dan Forrest, Executive Chef at The Coffee Club, says, “We are finding that comfort food like coffee and our ‘café classics’ are still the main picks on The Coffee Club’s menu.”
Meanwhile for Mark Baylis, Executive Chef of Unilever Food Solutions, authenticity and consistency are vital. “The two key trends that we take into consideration when developing our products are, firstly, that they deliver authenticity. Through increased travel to overseas destinations consumers are exposed to more authentic ingredients and food, so the expectation of authentic menu items increases. Secondly we try to use the same ingredients as a chef would use wherever possible,” he says.
Baylis points out, “We find that more and more consumers want to know what is in their food, as such QSR’s are under increased pressure from regulators and consumers to provide information and be transparent in order to help consumers make informed choices when eating out.”