Be on the Know on the Latest the African Flavors and Ingredients Gaining the Consumers Attraction! The Number of Innovations in the Open Food Markets Are on the Rise, More and More International Brands Are Starting to Adopt West African Techniques and Flavors, Combining These With Their Exciting Products.
Most of the attention has been focused on the vibrant flavors of northern Africa, but more and more people are becoming interested in the cuisine of West African countries such as Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal. Searches for African recipes on Pinterest saw a 311% increase in 2019 - a large increase - and Whole Foods featured West African cuisine in its food trends report for 2021.
The number of innovations in the open food markets are on the rise, more and more international brands are starting to adopt West African techniques and flavors, combining these with their exciting products. Product innovation includes some key ingredients used in most West African dishes like okra, plantain, moringa, kola nuts, yam, beans, sorghum, ginger and scotch bonnet chilies - these tastes and spices have become more widely available in the U.S., and you can expect to see them become a bigger part of the American culinary conversation.
Why has this trend been on the rise since early 2020? Here are a few factors and manufacturers driving West African foods into the mainstream.
Traditional Cuisine Is on the Rise
The growing health awareness of consumers has led to a demand for spices and seasonings that are rich in antioxidants, plant-based meal solutions, and less processed foods. That is why traditional cuisine such as Vietnamese, Korean and African has received tremendous response from consumers worldwide. In the coming years, we will witness more chefs presenting dishes based on Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic theory, and slow cooking methods in order to broaden the dialogue about less-known food cultures.
African Food and Spices Becoming More Accessible to the International Scene
The rise of some renowned kitchen superstars from West Africa helped introduce West African cuisine to the international food community in the UK and other Western countries. The Ghanaian-born Zoe Adjonyoh, for example, led the change in raising awareness of the diverse cuisines of her home country by starting her business and writing a book with the same name: Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen.
Another notable ambassador for West African cuisine is Chika Russell, who has taken the UK by storm with her line of African snacks. Chika’s Foods can be found at most major retailers, including Waitrose and Holland & Barrett. From toasted nuts to plantain crisps, every product is inspired by the exotic foods and flavors of Nigeria, which Ms. Russell remembers from regular holidays there as a child.
African Food Takes the Spotlight on Youtube
Since January, African-American creators have been sharing their experience of tasting West African food (mostly Nigerian) for the first time with their viewers. Fufu and Egusi are two spicy, traditional dishes making the rounds. And creators haven’t failed to take us along for the delicious ride: how does it feel on the tongue? What texture does it have? How does it smell? These videos are a very descriptive trip via all five senses. And the proof is in the fufu: videos related to mukbangs with "fufu" or "egusi" in the title have been viewed over 25 million times this year to date (January - March 2021).
African Food - Market Opportunities
West Africa's tastes are still largely untapped and unexplored, and this cuisine offers numerous possibilities for innovation: with the growing African food service scene in the UK, there is an opportunity for brands or private labels to partner with rising restaurants and chefs to bring these flavors to the masses. Additionally, West African ingredients have many varied and unique properties that can be utilized to elevate products when they are sourced from the region, and it is safe to say that product innovation featuring vibrant African flavors coupled with well-known modern formats can be turned into a successful story in the food aisles.
Extra! - African Peanut Soup Recipe !
For those of you who have aroused their curiosity to know this kitchen more in-depth, here is a simple recipe for African Peanut soup.
Origin of African Peanut Soup There are several names for the traditional, iconic groundnut stews you’ll find all over West Africa: Mafé, Mahfe, Maffé, Maffe, Sauce d’Arachide, Tigadèguèna, Tigadegena, Sauce Z’ara, African Peanut Stew, Groundnut Stew. Peanut soup or stews are found across West Africa, with ancient roots in dishes made with native groundnuts before the peanut arrived from the New World in the 16th century. Maafe can trace its origins to the Mandinka and Bambara people of Mali.
Vegetarian African Peanut Soup
This West African-inspired peanut soup recipe is a creamy, comforting, spicy vegan soup. Made with a simple combination of peanut butter, tomato paste and collard greens, this soup comes together quickly and would be a great weeknight meal. If you love spicy flavors, don’t hesitate to use liberal amounts of ginger and garlic.
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 tablespoons peeled and minced fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 bunch collard greens (or kale), ribs removed and leaves chopped into 1-inch strips
¾ cup unsalted peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
½ cup tomato paste*
Hot sauce, like sriracha (AKA rooster sauce)
¼ cup roughly chopped peanuts, for garnish
Cooked brown rice, for serving (optional)
Combine the broth and water in a medium Dutch oven or stock pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, then add the onion, ginger, garlic and salt. Cook on medium-low heat for 20 minutes.
In a medium-sized, heat-safe mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter and tomato paste, then transfer 1 to 2 cups of the hot stock to the bowl. Whisk the mixture together until smooth, then pour the peanut mixture back into the soup and mix well. Stir in the collard greens and season the soup with hot sauce to taste.
Simmer for about 15 more minutes on medium-low heat, stirring often. Season with additional salt or hot sauce if desired. Serve over cooked brown rice if you like, and top with a sprinkle of chopped peanuts.
Interested to learn more about the African Food Trends? Read about: Fufu: The West African Trendy Dish!