With summer on the horizon, Beacon, Britain’s leading purchasing company, is welcoming the arrival of barbeque season with open arms and encouraging operators to take stock of the latest meat trends to get ahead of the competition.
Alice Bexon, Purchasing Manager at Beacon, working alongside some of Beacon’s leading suppliers, shares her advice on how operators can take advantage of this year’s trends:
“Insight from our leading meat supplier, Fairfax Meadow, has shown that ‘Beer Can Chicken’ and American True BBQ style are proving popular and could take centre stage on barbeques this summer, closely followed by the inclusion of adventurous meats, such as ox heart, bavette and kidneys. We are urging all operators to look at how they can incorporate these trends by simply adapting their offerings.”
Don’t be ordinary: variety is the spice of life
While chicken remains a hugely popular choice for the barbeque, meat-eaters across the country are getting more creative in the way they cook it. Beer Can Chicken in particular is becoming a favourite; this involves standing the chicken on a beer can directly on the grill to absorb the beer’s flavours and make the meat more succulent. Consumers are also showing an interest in using aromatic beers that offer different flavours. We would recommend offering Beer Can Chicken using hoppy beer types, such as IPAs or craft beers, as these are the best for releasing aromatic flavours. Stand out from the crowd and add a twist on the traditional taste by marinating the meat in cider the night before, in order to create additional taste temptations.
Slow and steady smoking
Smoked products continue to prove popular across the UK, with insight from Fairfax Meadow showing that pulled pork items have seen sales growth of £10m from last year alone. American True BBQ, a leading trend currently tickling the nation’s taste buds, is a style of cooking where meat is smoked over a variety of different woods, including hardwoods such as alder and beech, or fruitwoods such as apple or cherry, and slowly cooked for hours until it is tender enough to easily pull apart. Operators are able to deliver this trend by adding slow cooked meats to their menus, with this offering a desired smoky taste to consumers. Operators can further enhance the taste of their slow cooked meats offering by cooking over a variety of different woods. Applewood is a great all-rounder with a sweet finish, whilst hickory wood boasts a strong flavour with a nutty finish.
Take a walk on the wild side
There is no doubt that barbequed meats such as burgers, steaks, chicken and hot dogs will continue to remain the most popular, yet there has been a rise in the appearance of more unusual meats, including ox heart, ox cheek, bavette, kidneys and liver. We advise operators to take advantage of these cost-effective meat options to generate larger profit margins, while also creating a fantastic talking point for foodies. This will help an establishment stand out from competitors by offering more exciting variety and help generate great word-of-mouth promotion.”
“By taking into account the growing popularity of smoky, American-style meats, the various methods of barbequing chicken and exploring different types of meat, operators will be able to make their barbeque offering stand out from the crowd this summer.”