Monday, May 9, 2022 The barbecue season is about to start, a guarantee for a lot of wonderful moments with family and friends. Customers can turn to Colruyt Lowest Prices for an extensive assortment. The product offer was expertly composed based on the consumer demand, but five trends that emerged from figures and insights were also taken into account. And it is not only the assortment that contributes to unforgettable BBQs, the culinary guide filled to the brim with recipes is an ideal inspiration source for tasty grilling as well. In this overview, we put the 5 most important barbecue trends in the spotlight.
World flavours are becoming increasingly popular. In the past two years, we have cooked ourselves more often and this allowed for quite some variation, which led us to more exotic tastes. And, of course, other factors came into play: our wanderlust, the multitude of culinary inspiration found in cookery books and online, and our multicultural society also open our taste buds for influences from other cultures. Since 2020, Colruyt Lowest Prices' 'Food of the World' assortment has grown nicely.
We use that worldly inspiration mainly to 'pimp' classic dishes. And that is what we will see in barbecue dishes this year, as well as in everyday cooking. Think of chicken brochettes with peanut sauce or Greek burgers with tzatziki. That tzatziki was very popular in the past year because its sales figure grew with a double-digit percentage.
In terms of spices and sauces as well, it can be a bit more special. For example, 17,500 kilograms of Himalaya salt was sold in the past year and Colruyt Lowest Prices welcomed sauces such as 'hot & spicy' or 'curry & mango' in the assortment.
It is absolutely no surprise that we all started enjoying ourselves at home more often, as the corona pandemic forced us to dive into our kitchens more often. However, this also caused us to really learn how to enjoy this. Because the hotel and catering industry was locked down for such a long time, people start dipping into pots and pans themselves in large numbers, and this is not bound to change quickly. This obviously tasted like more, as sales of herbs have been on the rise since 2020. Of course, these are also used in barbecue dishes a lot, as we are also making our own marinades and sauces more often instead of buying them prepared.
It is not only about tasty food, but also about considering food as an experience. We take our time for extensive aperitifs, and self-made or 'ready-to-serve' cocktails such as the cosmopolitan and caipirinha of Marie Galante are not to be missed. The assortment of 'ready-to-serve' cocktails grew in volume with almost 10% in comparison to last year. The beers to savour increased in sales by more than 5% as well, and are the perfect companion to kick-start a barbecue moment.
In addition to extensive aperitifs with appropriate drinks and (hot) snacks including Boni Selection's mini pizzas and cheese balls, the BBQ dishes themselves also get a restaurant-worthy touch. Think for example of the côte à l'os with lemon-oregano butter and tomato salsa or the fish papillote with mussels and fruit beer. In the past year, we could see customers opting more often for meat that is a tad more exclusive, such as Holstein, Simmentaler and Tomahawk. Turkey is also growing ever more popular and this year the turkey selection will be even bigger, as Colruyt comes forward with marinated turkey and soft turkey pavé.
Of course, one can also enjoy fish. Especially shrimps and mussels do particularly well in the summer months. In addition, some of last year's top sellers appear again in Colruyt's assortment: marinated hake filet and marinated scampi brochettes.
And the afterglow can continue as well, because the hot charcoal is still perfect to soften a camembert cheese. People with a sweet tooth in their turn opt for marshmallows or special ice cream flavours such as Ijsboerke's vanilla ice cream with chunks of almond bread or Jules Destrooper's spiced biscuit spread. And after that, the experience can continue with digestives, such as the premium brown rum of the Belgian Maman Brigitte.
The group of consumers that eats no or less meat is growing continuously. In addition to vegetarianism as a lifestyle, more and more other people are also opting for eating less meat. Almost one in five Colruyt customers buys something from the veggie assortment from time to time. That assortment now counts around 80 products of which 40% is vegan.
To meet the needs of both vegetarians and flexitarians, it has become almost unthinkable to still organise a BBQ without vegetarian alternatives. Think of veggie hot dogs with veganaise and pickled radishes or colourful brochettes with halloumi. Among the most popular veggie products are tofu and nuggets, but during the BBQ season it's mainly veggie brochettes, burgers and sausages that are some of the top sellers. In response to this trend, Colruyt introduces novelties such as Boni Selection veggie grill sausage, falafel and hamburger brochette. Grill cheeses such as the Cypriot halloumi are also doing well and have doubled in sales since 2019. The Belgian variant Berloumi also brings a refreshing new taste to the Colruyt shelves, a version based on cow milk with a marinade of chilli pepper and mint.
In addition to the vegetable alternatives, vegetables also score well on and off the grill. As side dishes, Colruyt welcomes new products including red beet salad, Waldorf salad and cauliflower-cherry salad.
Non-alcoholic and low-alcohol
Not only beers to savour or rosé wines are being enjoyed during barbecue moments; the non-alcoholic alternatives are becoming more popular as well. Colruyt sells 2.5 million litres of non-alcoholic beverages yearly.
We want to continue to enjoy ourselves, without a sense of guilt. That is why more and more full-fledged alternatives are being marketed, as a replacement for the well-known drinks. Alcohol-free gin, rum and amaretto, for example, are on the shelves at Colruyt, as well as speciality drinks such as Nona and Gimber. And not to forget the success of mocktails such as virgin tonic of spritz.
Non-alcoholic beverages are expected to grow in the coming years.
Because our moments of enjoyment can last longer and we want to sip a tasty drink while doing so, low-alcohol variants are also on the rise. Sparkling wine with an alcohol percentage of 8.5%, Gran Baron Joven Brut or Rosé, or beers (to savour) fit perfectly with a BBQ and therefore with this trend. Tip for a beer that is low on alcohol: La Cambre IPA with 4.9% alcohol.
Classics (with a twist)
For most barbecues, the usual ingredients are still part of the package. Brochettes and hamburgers, but pasta salads and bread with herb butter as well. During the summer months, the volume of herb butter sold at Colruyt doubles.
The top favourites do not have to make way for original newcomers yet, but they can have a twist every now and then. For example, the turkey brochette has passed the classic beef brochette, in 2021 this little stick appeared on no fewer than 1 in 14 barbecue receipts. In the absolute first place are chipolatas - of which we sell almost 2,000 kilometres during the summer, followed by ball brochettes and merguez. Spare ribs keep selling well, of course. Fish scores as well, such as marinated hake filet and scampi brochettes. And veggie is here to stay.
Vegetables that do well during the BBQ season are cucumbers, red pepper, courgette and vine tomatoes. Remarkable: almost 1 in 10 customers buy cucumber.
To freshen up the taste palate, rosé wine is often opted for. Before, rosé wine was drunk primarily during the summer months, but now we see that rosé wine does well throughout the year. On a yearly basis, around 10 million litres of rosé wine was sold at Colruyt, of which no less than two thirds during the barbecue season.