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Baldor Specialty Foods Shares 2024 Food Forecast; Emily Murphy Comments

Baldor Specialty Foods Shares 2024 Food Forecast; Emily Murphy Comments

Monday, December 18th, 2023

What’s on the plate? Baldor Specialty Foods recently provided us with an in-depth exploration of the latest trends impacting foodservice demand. Discussing products, practices, recent legislation, and more, the distributor has released its 2024 Food Forecast.

Emily Murphy, Merchandising Director, Grocery and Specialty, Baldor Specialty Foods“Across all of these categories, consumers are increasingly seeking sustainability and ethically sourced products. With global upsets such as war, climate change, and increased costs of living, we are all driven to focus more on our dollar spends and be more conscious about our choices. The who, what and why of a product are important," shares Emily Murphy, Merchandising Director, Grocery and Specialty. "At Baldor, we seek out partners that provide honest and transparent details of their operating practices—as they relate to sustainability, community, fair wages, elimination of pesticides and antibiotics, and more—so we can make the buying decisions more efficient. We look to celebrate those who are driving fair trade progress, B Corp certification, and regenerative and restorative farming practices. Vital Farms, SIMPLi, and Farm Direct are three of many that shine in these areas.”

First up on the list of 2024 trends is Allergy Awareness. Baldor has reported a notable surge in products that taste great and meet the needs of those with dietary restrictions. From gluten-free bagels to dairy-free sour cream, cream cheese, and ricotta cheese, operators are seeking to expand their allergy-friendly offerings.

Baldor Specialty Foods recently provided us with an in-depth exploration of the latest trends impacting foodservice demand

Several other categories are seeing impressive boosts in the foodservice arena, including:

  • Cultured Oil: Cultured oil is a neutral cooking oil that’s made from fermented sugarcane; its fattiness and high smoke point work well for roasting, sautéing, or frying

  • Local Seafood: Baldor expects the trend toward locality and aquaculture to continue as foodservice businesses aim to combat rising water temperatures and the disruption of natural environments

  • Freshwater Fish: Within the larger trend of local seafood, there has been a spike in interest in freshwater fish, particularly trout

  • Restorative is the new Regenerative: The distributor is now seeing farmers, producers, and chefs turn toward "restorative"—both in vocabulary and in practice

  • Heritage Breeds and Seeds: Baldor reports a surge in farms and producers who are reaching into the past to build the future—specifically sourcing heritage breeds and seeds that provide the best flavor possible

  • Fair Trade 2.0: As noted in the report, Baldor plans to grow the number of categories in which it offers certified fair trade products in 2024

  • Legislative Impact: Recent laws are pushing the country’s pork producers to change their production methods and raise their animals in a more humane way. In addition, more legislation has affected the California market with the recent law banning food additives, including red and yellow colorants

On the Baldor Hot List, the distributor pointed to rising interest in Buddhist Fresh Duck (with head and feet), noting 118 percent growth in the past few months.

Baldor’s vast product catalog includes more than 6,000 items across produce, specialty, dairy, meat, poultry, and fish, serving its nearly 13,000 customers across the industry. The distributor’s network includes restaurants, grocery stores, and event spaces spanning from Maine to Virginia. As a testament to its unwavering quality, Baldor’s customer list includes 75 percent of Michelin-starred restaurants in its regions.

To view the full Food Forecast, click here.

Stay tuned as DMN continues to uncover the latest trends making waves in our industry.

Baldor Specialty Foods