This isn’t the first time US Foods has approached global flavors with Scoop. How has the trend continued to evolve over the past couple of years, and how does this particular product lineup really approach that?
Delivering the right products to our operators to help drive their continued success is job No. 1. To do this, we are constantly evaluating the marketplace and looking for the right trends that will help our restaurant operators evolve their menus and remain competitive.
Global flavor trends are constantly evolving as diner preferences change. More specifically, global flavors trends are developing as millennials and Generation Z have gained more buying power and are becoming more adventurous in their dining preferences. Gen Z is comparatively less interested in well-established cuisines than other generations and are more interested in emerging multi-cultural influences. With Gen Z expected to account for 40 percent of the population by 2020, it’s important for us to keep pushing in the global flavors space to help operators stay ahead of the curve. There is a huge playing field within this category, and it gives US Foods the opportunity to explore and identify new and exciting flavors and ingredients that will resonate with these changing diner demands.
For this Scoop, we enlisted the help of three innovative and trend-setting restaurateurs, Chef Diana Dávila, Chef Thai Dang and Chef Sameh Wadi who specialize in either Asian, Latin American or Middle Eastern cuisines. They helped us explore these influences to harness the right flavors and ingredients that could translate well into our operators’ menus. We were very purposeful to bring the right authenticity, accessibility and versatility to these products to make it easy for our operators to explore the products and integrate them onto their menus in a way that works for their unique concept.
Talk about the partnerships with Chef Dávila, Dang, and Wadi. What was it like collaborating with such creative forces in the kitchen?
It was exciting and insightful. These chefs are innovators in their field and well respected in the culinary industry for their contributions to the craft. We spent quite a while together, inside and outside the kitchen discussing their influences and exploring the flavors that have inspired their innovation. Also, meeting with each chef on their home turf and exploring their favorite markets and restaurants was such an enlightening experience. It provided so many fresh ideas and inspiration for all us.
Throughout the whole experience, we captured a lot of these meetings and discussions on camera so we could showcase the process to our customers. In fact, for a behind the scenes, you can check out the videos on our website. Each chef brought a completely unique and fresh perspective to their own area of expertise, which resulted in a line of authentic, accessible products to inspire our operators.