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Appetizers Take Center StageAppetizers Take Center Stage

August 1, 2000

3 Min Read
Appetizers Take           Center Stage

Food Product Design

August 2000
Design Applications Appetizers Take Center Stage
By: Christianne Ingegno
Applications Editor   Appetizers, a foodservice segment that has grown by about 7%, are making quite an impression on the industry. Consumers enjoy savory "small bites," an array of flavors and small portions which encourage sharing. Meant to whet the appetite, appetizers are ordered as replacements to full meals and more stationary menu items. Appetizers are found throughout many cultures and ethnic influences. Spanish tapas, Egyptian mazza, Greek meze and Italian antipasti are examples of such offerings. Restaurants are offering more appetizers (12 or more) and a greater variety of different flavor profiles. Foodservice professionals are looking for quick, easy-to-prepare items, that are conveniently packaged and easily assembled by their staff. As a result, product development has increased in this segment and has become increasingly diverse. Product designers are experimenting with many flavor profiles, including Caribbean, regional Italian, Greek, Spanish, Cuban and Chilean. Restaurant-branded appetizers can now be found throughout the supermarket making popular appetizers available for retail consumers to heat and serve at home. This extends restaurant awareness and gives the consumer an incentive to come to the location and try all the options on the menu. Extensive market research is being applied to find the most productive and flavorful way to get appetizers to the consumer. Flavor profiles that not only appeal to the taste, but also to the eye, need to be developed. Creativity, color and shape variances are key to drawing consumer focus, and skewered, pastry enrobed, filled and fried formats all help to achieve this end. Foodservice professionals need bold flavors combined with complex flavor profiles in order to feed customer demand. Creative new ways in which to present appetizers and new products are the catalyst to launching this segment even further. As long as new products are being developed and tested, the consumer will eagerly await the next new appetizer sensation.
Caribbean Skewered Chicken

Ingredients % by Weight Chicken breast, skin and bone removed,
cut into chunks 41.3% Papaya, cleaned, cut into chunks 27.6% Green onion, cleaned, cut into pieces 27.6% Brown sugar 1.7% Parsley, finely chopped 1.8% Allspice ground, 1/2 teaspoon, or to taste Red pepper, ground 1/2 teaspoon, or to taste Salt and pepper, as needed Total: 100%
  Cut chicken and prepare papaya and green onion, set aside. Combine brown sugar, parsley, allspice, red pepper. Salt and pepper as needed. Gently coat the chicken into this mixture and place onto wooden skewers, alternately with the papaya and onion pieces. Grill or broil until done, turning once during the process. Serves: 2-4. Serve these chicken skewers with a tropical fruit salsa or relish.
Back to top Copyright Weeks Publishing Co. 3400 Dundee Rd. Suite #100
Northbrook, IL 60062
Phone: 847-559-0385
Fax: 847-559-0389
E-Mail: [email protected]
Website: www.foodproductdesign.com

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