Friday, June 6, 2014

Food News: Unilever Food Solutions Shares Emerging Food Trends

Unilever Food Solutions, the food service arm of Unilever, recently shared key emerging food trends and insights in Southeast Asia via a series of short online videos entitled "Food Trends" (see more here at The short videos provide snippets of emerging trends in the dining landscape, identifying opportunities for local chefs and restaurant operators to grow their businesses.  

The short videos produced by Unilever Food Solutions provide actionable insights essential in remaining relevant to customers and keep pace with the increasingly competitive dining scene. The local food service industry continues to grow with the rise of new restaurants and concepts, along with the evolving Filipino palate, and offering new and refreshing dining experiences becomes more and more crucial in keeping your food business top-of-mind among more adventurous and sophisticated customers.

Unilever Food Solutions launched its series of online videos at Abe's Farm in Magalang, Pampanga, an appropriate venue which highlights the first key food trend, Food Trend #1: Food Tourism. Food, and local regional cuisine in particular, has become a destination in itself. Philippine tourism appears to be driving this trend, with tourist arrivals posting double-digit increase versus the previous year. And local cuisine is increasingly becoming an attraction, with both domestic and international tourists alike planning their itineraries around food and immersing, and tasting, the local culture. All one has to do is take a quick glance at various social media like Facebook and Instagram and to experience this trend first hand, with images of food and travel dominating the stream. Restaurant operators must strive to deliver the full experience, from service, setting and the food. And plating becomes crucial as well in this age of social media, so each plate must be photo ready...and take advantage of the free global promotion on Facebook and Instagram. Sites like Trip Advisor or Yelp can also be useful tools, so be sure to manage your online presence.

At Abe's Farm, more dishes were served, each capturing the other emerging food trends, like this appetizer sampler featuring a refreshing Pako Fern and Tomato Salad, crispy Chicharon Bulaklak, the original Pampanga Sisig, and the unique Betute, or fried stuffed frog to highlight the second key food trend, Food Trend # 2: Smaller portions, bigger variety, more profits. Along with flavor and value, diners are looking at an adventurous, fun, and engaging dining experience with friends. Smaller portions for tasting, and bigger plates for sharing combine to deliver that unique experience diners look for, and at the same time restaurant owners can maintain a healthy margin and offer significant value for money. The sampler at Abe's Farm combines the different and popular flavors of Pampanga in one dish, and you can enjoy the region's iconic dishes, all in one plate. This trend is also evident in some of the metro's popular restaurants, including CIBO, offering smaller portions as well as large plates for their pasta dishes, and El Chupacabra with its wide range of street tacos. It's also a great way of identifying dishes that work, by offering diners to sample a range of dishes in smaller portions, and eventually serving bigger portions of the small plate favorites. Offering diners a variety of flavors is key.

As more dishes were served on the table, the staff brings what looked like a whole bamboo shell on a plate. After repeatedly tapping the bamboo shell, and catching everyone's attention, the bamboo shell is then split revealing steaming cooked rice. Abe's Farm serves its signature Bamboo Rice, long-grained mountain rice cooked with shrimps, wood ear mushrooms, and bamboo shoots, cooked in a bamboo shell, leading to Food Trend # 3: Dish Innovation. A simple rice dish, transformed and elevated to a whole new dining experience. To stay competitive, one must look at innovation to offer that unique dining experience that customers will keep coming back for, and talk about in social media. Creative, even disruptive, out-of-the-box ideas are what adventurous diners are looking for, and this innovative approach is seen in the rising popularity of pop-ups, supper clubs, and gastropubs that refresh the dining experience. This new trend appears to be driven by creative entrepreneurs outside the food and beverage industry with their own unique "perspective from the outside" ideas, like the innovative Lechon Degustacion from Pepita's Kitchen, with 13 courses all prepared in her home kitchen (for more on Pepita's Kitchen, check out my previous posts here at, and my very first Lechon Degustacion experience here at

Authenticity and traditional flavors always bring back customers. And at Abe's Farm, traditional dishes from family recipes are served daily. Like the Binukadkad na Pla-Pla, deep-fried whole tilapia with crunchy garlic and served with buro (fermented rice), a classic Capampangan favorite...

...and the traditional Kare-Kare, an ox-tail and tripe stew with thick peanut sauce and vegetables. The place, the service, and the food make the road trip to Abe's Farm part of a unique dining experience.

And Abe's farm has one more surprise. Sikreto ni Maria, a rich and indulgent dessert with a secret, slowly revealed after a few spoonfuls of rich and creamy ice cream.

The Unilever Food Service team (L-R), with Sous Chef Pipo Aluning, UFS Marketing Manager Seanta Reyes, Senior Sous Chef Janice Lazaga, and Senior Sous Chef Paulo Sia.
"As the food service arm of Unilever, we at Unilever Food Solutions believe it is our mission to keep chefs and restaurant operators, big or small, equipped with the knowledge and skills to run their food business successfully," shared Unilever Food Solutions Philippines Marketing Manager Seanta Reyes. "The Food Trends videos at are intended to help food business owners and operators. We believe that fir them to stay in touch with customers, they need to stay in touch with the latest trends in the industry - that's what Food Trends aims to provide."

More food trends are revealed at the Unilever Food Solutions' website, each providing key insights in growing your food business in today's ever changing and increasingly competitive dining landscape. Simply visit the website at and find out how you can maximize these emerging trends.

For more information on Unilever Food Solutions, visit, and see how Unilever Food Solutions can help grow your food business. To stay in touch with your customers, stay in touch with Unilever Food Solutions' Food Trends. 

Dude for Food is now on Facebook, check out the FB Page for regular updates on good eats. Better yet, click "Like" and enjoy the ride...just look for the FB "Like" widget on the right sidebar.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Got something to share? I'd love to hear from you...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...