The potential for the ‘street food’ concept to exert greater influence in consumer goods categories is signalled by a new snack mix range with an emphasis on exotic ingredients and flavours – Forest Feast Street Food Snack Mixes.
“Inspired by the sights, sounds and spices of the World’s Street Food hot spots”, Forest Feast Street Food Snack Mixes are being rolled out in the UK by snack producer Kestrel Foods. The line combines a variety of snack ingredients including dried fruit, crackers, dried peas and roasted nuts, and melds an array of tastes and textures including unusual blends of sweet, sour, salty and spicy flavours. Among the products in the range are Koh Samui Thai Spice featuring honey red pepper almonds and Thai spice cashews with pineapple and coconut, Louisiana Hickory Barbecue comprising hickory smoked almonds and barbecue green peas with jalapeno and honey & mustard sesame sticks, and Ir de Tapas, a Spain-inspired blend of chilli lime broad beans and peas with spicy chilli corn, roasted almonds and roasted & salted peanuts.
The burgeoning popularity of ‘street food’ culture has led a number of industry watchers to predict a growing role for the concept in the FMCG space, although arguably this is something that has yet to come to pass in any significant way. Instead, the trend has predominantly been restricted to the non-retail arena, appropriated in fashionable areas of major cities where ‘street food’ markets act as a testbed for new gourmet hot food concepts, proving especially popular with a young and ‘hip’ audience.
While there is clearly an inherent challenge in transferring the concept of freshly-prepared, gourmet fast food to the mainstream retail arena, a creative interpretation of the key attractions of ‘street food’ could potentially provide useful marketing ammunition in a number of FMCG categories. Allying innovative flavour fusions with notions of ‘fresh’ and ‘exotic’ (Forest Feast Street Food Snack Mixes, for instance, are “freshly processed for genuine Street Food taste” and target “the intrepid traveller trying to conjure up memories of backpacking across Asia”), producers could look to draw on key aspects of ‘street food’ appeal, attracting a new generation of more adventurous ‘foodie’ consumers to mass-market retail categories.