1. Japanese flavours
At Waitrose, sales of the retailer’s own-brand Umami Paste were up 17% compared with 2019, while sushi sales saw a 54% increase. Consumers were also keen to try their hand at making their own sushi, with 2021 sales of sushi mats up 57% and nori sales up 56% compared to the same period in 2020.
2. Levantine food
The Levant, which comprises a large area in the Eastern Mediterranean, has become a mealtime inspiration for more and more Brits. Searches for Levantine on Waitrose’s website rose by more than 2,500% last year, with products like pomegranate molasses, Turkish Urfa chilli flakes and Feta parcels flying off the shelves.
3. Korean fare
The rise of Korean food and culture has been no secret thanks to the success of the popular Netflix show Squid Game. Korean food trends like Dalgona, or sugar candy, have taken off. So too has gochujang paste, also known as ‘Korean ketchup’. This Korean storecupboard staple is quickly becoming one to watch in the UK.
4. Ethiopian cuisine
We’ve known for decades Ethiopia produces sublime Arabica coffee, and now it’s being appreciated for its cooking, too. Waitrose magazine named Ethiopia as one of its tastes of 2021. In September, online retailer Tastesmiths launched its Ethiopian curry kit. With bold flavours and new ingredients to explore, it’s one to watch for home cooks.
Spice from abroad
From traditional spices like garam masala and cardamom to American-style barbecue rubs, Brits are showing a growing interest in adding a pop of travel-inspired flavour to their dishes. In fact, sales of herbs and spices at Waitrose were up 41% last year after a strong 2020. Top performers in this category include Middle Eastern spices and speciality salts.