The Authenticity Trend
More consumers are seeking out food that is made with integrity and respect for culinary traditions… No matter what cuisine is being offered, consumers increasingly expect that food to be true to its roots and culture.
So proclaims a new white paper from Coast Packing Company, the West’s leading supplier of animal fat shortenings lard and beef tallow. The document – Return to Tradition: Renovate Your Menu with Authentic Ingredients — details how animal fat shortenings can improve profit margins and enhance flavor and quality, while meeting growing consumer demand for authenticity, health and sustainability.
“One simple, easy and economical way to increase the authenticity of many ethnic cuisines as well as American comfort foods is to switch from vegetable oils to natural animal fat shortenings, such as lard and beef tallow,” writes Coast Packing Corporate Chef Ernest Miller, author of the white paper. “In addition to enhancing the bottom line, heritage fats are on trend for flavor, wellness and sustainability.”
Underlying the Coast white paper are three lessons for the restaurant sector, Miller said:
– Consumers are demanding authenticity
– Animal fat shortenings enhance quality naturally
– Animal fat shortenings are more sustainable
“Consumers do not want insipid, watered down, banal versions of a cuisine; they want to embrace and celebrate that cuisine,” he said. “Rather than generic versions of a nation’s culinary arts, diners are seeking out more authentic, local variations – not just Mexican food, but Oaxacan dishes or other regional specialties. Even when the menu being presented mixes and matches elements of cuisines for nouvelle or fusion effects, diners assume that the ingredients will reflect the essence of the dishes that were the inspiration for the synthesis.”
As the Coast white paper explains, customers would rather a restaurant incorporate authentic ingredients and provide a faithful experience of a culture’s food than dispense the mere simulation of a dish: “And those who can provide patrons with an authentic experience earn their trust and build a relationship with their consumers for the long-term.”
According to Coast Packing CEO Eric R. Gustafson, this reverence for tradition isn’t simply a search for historical accuracy – it’s a quest for flavor. “There is a reason certain ingredients are traditional — they provide better taste and quality than the non-traditional alternatives,” he said. “That is how they became traditional in the first place. And with 95 years in the business, we at Coast know a little bit about tradition.”
To download a copy of the Coast Packing Company white paper, click here.
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