Meal kits give shoppers the chance to safely experiment with new flavors and ingredients.

Consumers love the trendy and authentic dishes they get through meal-kit delivery services. According to Datassential’s 2018 Insider Special Report on the subject, the most popular orders include both familiar and exotic ingredients such as stir-fried vegetables and glass noodles. “Ubiquity with a dose of inception” is the Datassential directive for choosing the menu pairings that drive traffic and repeat purchase. Combined with local and organic sourcing, these are powerful tools for your perimeter

Glass Noodles

MAC stage: Inception – Ethnic markets, ethnic independents, and fine dining

Trends start here and exemplify originality in flavor, preparation, and presentation.

 

These translucent dried noodles (also called cellophane noodles) are used most often in Asian cuisine, especially at Thai restaurants. They’re most often paired with more common ingredients such as chicken, stir-fried vegetables and shrimp.

 

On <2% of U.S. restaurant menus

Up 22% on U.S. restaurant menus

27% of consumers know it

16% have tried it

 

Menu Example

Sun Basket

Korean Steak JapChae with Glass Noodles and Stir-Fried Vegetables

Seared steak with gluten-free noodles in an umami-rich sauce of garlic, ginger, and sesame

Shakshuka

MAC stage: Inception – Ethnic markets, ethnic independents, and fine dining

Trends start here and exemplify originality in flavor, preparation, and presentation.

 

Shakshuka is traditionally a dish of eggs poached in a sauce made of tomatoes, chili peppers, onions, and spices. It’s often eaten for breakfast with challah or flat bread for dipping.

 

On <1% of U.S. restaurant menus

Up 174% on menus over the past four years

12% of consumers know it

4% have tried it

 

Menu Example

Blue Apron

Potato & Pepper Shakshuka

Eggs, tomato sauce, pepper, onion, potatoes, za’atar-seasoned pita chips, and harissa

Havarti

MAC stage: Adoption – Ethnic aisle at supermarkets, casual independents, fast casual

Adoption-stage trends grow their base via lower price points and simpler prep methods. Still differentiated, these trends often feature premium and/or generally authentic ingredients.

 

This semi-soft cows’ milk cheese from Denmark has a creamy taste and white-yellow coloring. It’s good for melting, making it popular on hot sandwiches and burgers. It’s often paired with tomato, onion and bacon on cold sandwiches and salads as well.

 

On nearly 4% of U.S. restaurant menus

Up 27%  over the past four years

51% of consumers know it

33% have tried it

 

Menu Example

H-E-B Meal Simple

Chicken Breast Entrée

Chicken breast served with asparagus, Havarti and prosciutto

Barbacoa

MAC stage: Adoption – Ethnic aisle at supermarkets, casual independents, fast casual

Adoption-stage trends grow their base via lower price points and simpler prep methods. Still differentiated, these trends often feature premium and/or generally authentic ingredients.

 

While Barbacoa is a cooking method that originated in the Caribbean, it’s more commonly associated with the Mexican preparation of slow cooking over an open fire. Typically served as a taco dish, this is also a popular burrito filling and most frequently paired with salsa, beans or onions.

 

On <2% of U.S. restaurant menus

Up 61% over the past four years

35% of consumers know it

23% have tried it

 

Menu Example

Home Chef

Barbacoa Steak Tacos

Mouthwatering steak strips, cooked with shallot, tomato and seasoning fill warm tortillas along with pickled shallot & jalapeno, crumbly queso, and cilantro cream