Waitrose predicts Viking invasion of culinary kind

By Ben Bouckley

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Cooking

UK supermarket chain Waitrose is predicting that Scandinavian food will make inroads during 2011, with products such as herring, smoked fish and lingonberry jam firm fixtures on the nation's shopping lists.

According to an independent trends report entitled ‘Food Watching’ and commissioned by Waitrose, Scandinavian food is in demand due to its use of simple, high quality ingredients.

Classic Scandinavian food covers everything from simple oats and wholegrains, berries and vegetables to oil-rich fish such as herring or salmon, hard cheese, poultry and lean meat; many of these feature heavily in the nation’s national buffet dish, the Smörgåsbord, which features a wide array of dishes.

Neil Nugent, chief executive, Waitrose, said: “Scandinavian food is now being discovered for its simple, clean flavours. I think it will eventually become part of the repertoire of foods that Britons eat and some products could be a future food staple, such as Vasterbottensost cheese which could become as popular as Edam.”

Swedish food trial

Given its tip that Scandinavian food will be a top food trend in 2011, Waitrose-owner John Lewis has partnered the Swedish Trade Council to present a range of Swedish foods in two of its London food halls from yesterday.

During a six week trial stores in Oxford Street and Bluewater shopping centre, several Swedish products will debut, including cheese, crispbread and lingonberry jam.

Swedish companies involved include Eriks Såser, Fria Bröd, Lekandsbröd, Norrmejerier, PehrsonHertz, Procordia, Scan, Skånemejerier and Villman & Co, and Swedish Trade Council project manager Gustaf Bergström said:

"This is the first time such a trial sale of Swedish food has been conducted in the UK and we think the timing is just right, since we can see a large and growing interest around Scandinavian and Swedish food.”

Peruvian food ‘one to watch’

Nugent said 2011 would be marked by a move “back to basics” ​with ‘Vintage British’ cuisine, “traditional recipes loved by our grandmothers making a comeback, alongside some more exotic cuisines”.

Hailing a cuisine that uses Chinese and West African flavours, he added: “Peru is one to watch. Considered the gastrononimc equivalent of France in South America, the cooking techniques there have a long and established history. We expect to see Peru-inspired recipes like stews and tamales being tried in homes across the UK, as well as an increase in staples such as quinoa.”

Another Waitrose food trend for 2011 tipped by the report is Mexican food, with the supermarket hailing inexpensive Mexican staples such as corn and beans, spices such as cinnamon and chipotle and increased use of chocolate in savoury cooking.

Meanwhile, Waitrose said, “Japanese food is quickly becoming more mainstream, with sushi becoming one of our more popular lunchtime foods.”​ Other dishes such as ramen soups and soba and udon noodles would also breakthrough in pre-prepared versions, the retailer predicted.

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