Santa Maria UK Foodservice

Innovation vs renovation

Innovation is a word we love at Santa Maria Foodservice. We’re always on the hunt for the newest flavour and spice combinations that will help our customers differentiate their menu offering in an increasingly dynamic, yet competitive, eating out market.

Our Street Food and Age Cohort Reports gathered information regarding the flavour preferences of a wide range of consumers, allowing us to develop new spice mixes to help chefs satisfy the evolving tastes of their customers.

For example, Mexican has shaken up and influenced the UK dining scene during the last decade, but is now an established part of the eating out landscape. Our research into the evolving taste preferences of UK diners found an increase in those looking for smoky BBQ and American Cajun flavours. As a result, we developed a range of spice mixes that embody the deep flavours synonymous with Cajun cuisine. Our Louisiana-inspired American Cajun spice mix is a full-bodied blend of bell pepper sweetness with a hit of garlic and chilli heat and it’s so good, it was nominated for the 2015 Caterer Product Excellence Awards.

And it would appear we’re not alone in our hunt for new and interesting flavours. At Mintel’s recent Big Conversation conference, the area of innovation versus renovation in the food and drink category was explored. The level of true innovation or brand new products to market has increased over time. However, new varieties of existing products have remained steady, hovering at approximately 40% of all new products hitting shelves.

Interestingly, the level of renovation or relaunches of previous product lines, has diminished. However, the amount of existing products that are being launched with new packaging has increased significantly over the past five years. This reinforces the trend of “Instagram-ability”, or the concept that the appearance of a product is increasingly important to improving sales.

Luckily, we think all our products are pretty ‘Instagram-able’. There’s nothing like cooking from scratch with a batch of boldly coloured, fragrant spices – they look as good as they taste!

Santa Maria UK Ltd ∙ Nimbus House, Maidstone Road ∙ Kingston, Milton Keynes, Bucks, MK10 0BD