Vegetables are taking centre stage as consumers' appetites grow for healthy and exciting dishes
Almost a third of meals consumed in the UK are now vegetarian, according to retail analyst Kantar Worldpanel, as more and more people take a sustained interest in lifestyle choices such as veganism and vegetarianism.
Greater access to products, both in the supermarket and restaurants, and innovation in the way they are prepared and presented, are behind this appetite for vegetables.
One versatile vegetable doing this and more is Tenderstem®. Available in all major supermarkets, the vegetable features in more and more home-cooked meals and on restaurant menus up and down the country, meaning it is now the UK's second-biggest fresh produce brand. A hunger for feel-good cuisine and culinary creativity has helped to catapult this vegetable into a leading role on dinner plates.
Making healthy eating a pleasure relies on innovation within the industry.
Tenderstem® was born out of a ‘time to dream' free-time session at Japanese seed specialist Sakata. Its distinctive flavour and texture suit all sorts
of cuisine; there's no waste; it's easy to prepare and cook; and it looks great on the plate.
The pursuit of pleasure remains one of the strongest influences on consumer choice and it is this consumer insight that drives the marketing strategy for brands like Tenderstem®. Health-conscious consumers want feel-good food and an exciting eating experience. Social influencers also drive the trend by making
colourful, mouth-watering dishes hugely popular on channels such as Instagram. The ‘Instagrammability' of a dish then becomes a consideration when developing a menu.
This trend is encouraging culinary innovation as chefs use their skills to turn vegetables into main characters. As well as delivering visually pleasing
dishes, they are perfectly pairing vegetables with other ingredients, bringing out subtle flavour notes and building layer upon layer of complementary
tastes and textures. As a result, imaginative vegetable-centric dishes have never
been more popular.
Tenderstem® is leading this vegetable revolution. While other vegetable varieties are still rehearsing their lines, Tenderstem® continues to enjoy rave reviews. It ticks all the boxes for its vitamin-rich versatility and simplicity and it's backed up by award-winning marketing campaigns that put fun at the heart of cooking,
inspiring consumers to be more adventurous with their meals.
All those responding to the growing appetite for vegetables with innovative culinary theatre may take a bow.