“Real foods” and “clean labels” are driving culinary leaders to bring products and menus back to nature. Culinary innovators like Smoothie King, Au Bon Pain and Chobani are foraging for authentic superfood ingredients that stand out from the crowd when it comes to flavor and nutritionals.
According to Wholefood’s Market Top Trends for 2018, “Consumers want to know the real story behind their food.” The quest for authenticity, health and sustainability has put the spotlight on ancient grains and fruits. More digestible sprouted grains, non-GMO, naturally ripened and sweetened – clean simple ingredients that taste amazing and make you feel good.
Nutritionists have long hailed breakfast as the most important meal of the day, but as culinary influencers zoom in on ingredient transparency and nutritionals, breakfast is getting a makeover. Breakfast has become a meal-theme that’s consumed throughout the day at home, as an on-the-go snack or as a fuel-up restaurant occasion.
Innovators appetite for ancient ingredients
Unlike some wild berries, where the natural defense is a bitter taste, Wild Blueberries are deliciously sweet with a potent tangy flavor that delights the palate and makes them ripe for real food innovation. The North American continent’s first inhabitants in Maine and Eastern Canada picked these tiny wild berries for their flavor, nutrition and healing abilities. Crowning each Wild Blueberry is the signature base of a dormant flower, a calyx in the shape of a five-pointed star. Legend has it that during a time of starvation, the Great Spirit delivered these “star berries” to relieve the hunger of his children. The pursuit of real ingredients is bringing new product developers back to their ancestral roots.
New releases invoke authenticity
Smoothie King’s Cleaner Blending 2018 initiative calls out Wild Blueberries as a whole fruit ingredient with a more intense flavor and nutritionals that “will help you meet your New Year’s goals.”
The national chain is eliminating added sugar from over 50 smoothies as well as GMO fruits and veggies and artificial flavors, colors and preservatives. Smoothie King Franchises is a New Orleans-area-based franchise company with more than 900 units worldwide.
Au Bon Pain – “Simply put, Bon means good.”
Au Bon Pain’s VP of Innovation, Katherine See, and her team recognize that meals should always offer flavor whether they’re picked as an indulgent treat or for their nutritional values. Their new seasonal winter menu achieves a balance that delivers on both fronts. Their featured Overnight Oats are soaked overnight in vanilla Greek yogurt & skim milk with bananas, almonds, dark chocolate chips and Wild Blueberries.
Chobani – “A food-focused wellness company.”
In 2017, Chobani was recognized by Fast Company as one of the top 10 most innovative companies in the world. Chobani recently announced their regional roll-out of the new “A Hint Of” fruit range, in the Northeast, Florida and the Pacific, which will go national this summer. “A simply-crafted, blended Greek yogurt made with only natural ingredients, hand-selected varietal real fruits and spices for delicious flavor with less sweetness.” Packaged in a to-go-size cup with only natural sweeteners (9g sugar) and high protein (12g), and five “curated” flavors. Madagascar Vanilla, Monterey Strawberry, Alphonso Mango, Gili Cherry and Wild Blueberry. This exotic line-up is portrayed by Chobani as a – “Wink at the beauty and simplicity of a juicy little piece of nature, blended with perfectly creamy Greek Yogurt.”
Culinary innovators recognize the value of featuring a Wild Superfruit ingredient and its perceived promise of taste, health and sustainability. Discover the Power of Wild research and how Wild Blueberries can give your brand a competitive edge with real food consumers. Research categories include smoothies, yogurt, granola, beef jerky, snack bars, muffins, restaurant entrees, breakfasts, desserts and more. Check out the food category relevant to your business at: wildblueberries.com/eatwild