Flavors Beyond Boxes

Seafood - Salmon
Call it a paradox – meal kits are so versatile that they can’t be put in a box! Every player in the industry has its own distinct offering and personality. The meal kit’s core advantage – convenience – helped expand its customer base early on. Yet a few trail-blazers began elevating meal kits by enhancing quality, emphasizing healthfulness, and most crucially, channeling globally inspired cuisines and well-travelled flavors into their products. (You have to admit, sitting at home and enjoying self-cooked Israeli cuisine is a foodie’s dream come true.) Believe it or not, your meal kits are a road to freedom in foods and flavors with tasty surprises all along the way. This major shift in consumer behavior bears witness to a celebration of meal kits’ role in discovering new favorites.
To help you make the most of it, our R&D and culinary teams are continuously scan the globe for flavors that will enable those convenient, fun, and most of all, intriguing meal kits to grow your customer base:

Who wants a messy kitchen? No one! Meal kits simplify home cooking, with less mess and no running around to find unusual ingredients.

Food calls for fun! Enhance cooking’s role in the shared pleasures of home, with engaging new flavor-first recipes.

Lead a flavor expedition! Meal kits make an easy and inviting gateway to trying new cuisines, especially exotic flavors – 65% of US adults hitchhike with foods to cross cultural borders.

Now the first big challenge: how do you develop those exotic flavors, and where do you source your ingredients? This is where our super powers can really save the day! As your custom-flavor-solutions partner, Giraffe Foods helps draw the map for your entire culinary journey – from collaboration to manufacturing and packaging to shipping. Running a hybrid model? We know how it’s done. Creating meal kits in various formats (ready-to-heat-and-eat or pre-portioned, packaged ingredients) to deliver the enjoyment of home cooking? Wherever you’re headed, we know the way! Our sauces, dips, dressings, marinades, and glazes help you pack delicious dimensions into every box.

Let’s look at some ideas to get you started. Scroll through to sample a few ingredient combinations that can help you win over more meal-kit customers –

half rice half curry chicken

Ready-to-Heat-and-Eat Frozen Meal Kits

A majority of millennials are adding single- or multi-serve frozen or refrigerated meals to their routines. 62% of these busy little families are hungry for globally inspired flavor – only in small portions. Here’s what to pack into their lunch or dinner boxes –

half rice half curry chicken

Curries for the curious – South Asian curries are now the most-explored flavor in North American households. So, it’s time to tap into this world of spices to help your foodie consumers discover their next flavor destination. Could it be widely popular dishes like Indian Butter Chicken or mild Malaysian Massaman? Or maybe the cilantro-based Hariyali, Kashmiri Chili-infused Rogan Josh, Green and Red Thai, or the super-spicy, Portuguese-influenced Vindaloo curry? All you need to complete the meal is steamed rice or some naan bites. We can help turn any of these combinations into a solution for single-serve frozen meals that exceed flavor expectations, bring novelty to mealtime, and do it all with virtually no food waste. You save labor and make flavors, so your customers can make memories!

Elaborate on “Everything Chicken”Would you believe that the most-loved chicken prep in the ready-to-eat meal category is rotisserie chicken? It’s true – your dine-in guests are now heading to their local grocery stores to get fine-dining-like experiences. You can heighten their appreciation of a well-cooked roasted chicken by adding new options for dips and sauces. From mainstream to mature, familiar to fashionable, old favorite to true original, our flavors can help make your rotisserie stand out in a world of same-old staples. How? We carefully research and custom-craft our creations to make flavors work wonders, transforming an ordinary dish into an extraordinary indulgence. Consider these thought starters:

Try Black Pepper Vinegar Sauce – a hint of honey balances the pungency of mustard paste, complementing the juicy flavors of the chicken.

Combine the deep notes of Worcestershire Sauce with infusions of tamarind, chili-pepper extract, and molasses.

Reinvent rotisserie chicken as a gumbo meal kit – or make it soupy for fall comfort-food season – packed with additional flavors, including okra, creole seasoning, and chicken broth.

Let shoppers luxuriate in a creamy Buffalo Ranch Chicken dip with roasted chicken. This combination will inspire them to come back to your brand again and again.

Fried chicken and chicken sandwiches are the next two can’t-miss dishes consistently being added to shopping carts. So don’t miss out – add mouth-watering flavors to curate appealing combos in this category. Up the ante with our pepper-forward hot sauces, like Cayenne, Serrano Garlic, Ghost Pepper, 4-Chili, Habanero infused with Peach or Pineapple, and Calabrian Chili.

These ideas can turn light users into moderate ones, and moderate users to heavy ones – happy, loyal customers in all three categories for at-par foodservice experiences in their retail shops.

Ready-to-Cook Meal Kits

70% of your customers believe meal kits are a good replacement for a restaurant quality meal and bringing families together. Mintel reports, meal kits have always had the potential to play big on all four of the pillars of “Mintel Global Trend Driver Experiences”: Adventure, Playfulness, Pleasure, and Nostalgia. The category seems to be gaining momentum; even consumers who love to cook may not want to do so every night. Meals with easy prep and simple instructions offer an ideal solution. To capitalize on versatility with mass appeal, you need to tune in to the “health halo” – address the food claims consumers look for while making their weekly meal plans, serve the desires of vegans and flexitarians, and last but not least, always go strong on flavor. Diversify veggie and protein dishes with delectable sauces, dips, dressings, marinades, and curries to add the fun and fascinating flavors your consumers are here for.

hot dog with sauce drizzle

“Out of reach” is out of the question – Years ago, few consumers had the time and dedication to cook complicated dishes like Spinach Ricotta Ravioli, Fried Chicken Burgers, Balsamic Pork Chops, Miso-flavored Donburi, Korean Bibimbap, Bulgogi Bowls, and Shrimp Rolls. Thanks to meal kits, today everything is convenient, super-easy, and much tastier!

Mediterranean magic – Our distinctive hummus options such as beet-chive, garlicky chickpeas, creamy avocado, roasted pepper, and smoky sweet potato add differentiation to healthy bowls. Consider creating your own Chicken Gyro, Chicken Souvlaki Pita Pockets, a hearty Chicken Skillet, or a colorful, craveable Mezze Platter.

True-blue American comfort – Nostalgia is in the air when consumers home-cook their own childhood favorites like Saucy Steaks in Balsamic Sauce or Strip Steaks in Demi-Glace. Elevate the experience by bringing more enticing flavors to burger recipes, as in Nashville Chicken Fried Burgers, Cheeseburgers with Aioli, or Turkey Burgers with mustard sauces.

More and more (and more) Mexican! – North American streets are literally filled with Mexican flavors, so why not mirror in your boxes? Add más sabor Mexicano to pack a flavorful punch: Chicken Enchiladas with our Salsa Verde and Hot Sauce, Shrimp Tostadas with zesty Cilantro Crema, Lime Chicken with Tomatillo Salsa, or Tex-Mex Rice bowls with Enchilada Sauce.

Asian adventures – Discover our endless possibilities to expand your offering of Asian flavors, from Chinese to Indian, Thai to Japanese, and a lot more. Go big and go bold with our expertise, and together we’ll fire up demand for your Asian cuisines – sometimes literally! Need proof? See what happens when you add sweet-heat sauces like Gochujang Aioli, Hoisin, Pad Thai Sauce or the Cantonese favorite Char Siu to your stir fries, tempura bowls and BBQ. Consumers will be hooked on your hot new recipes!

Now, everyone knows that at Giraffe Foods, we love crossovers. Our mix ‘n’ match flavors make it easier to hit the tastebuds right every time. For menu versatility, break out of the mold and into new flavor combinations like Chili Crisp BBQ, Wasabi Aioli, Carrot Ginger, Dill Pickle Ranch, Pineapple Ginger, Habanero Peach or Pineapple, Coffee-infused BBQ, Mango Habanero Sauce, Creamy Alfresto Sauce, and more. Finally, when only a unique new taste will do, we’ll help you find your own flavor!

Red pepper chicken wings

Snacks Promoted to Meals

GenZ and millennials are snacking for snacks, lunch, and dinner. In fact, 34% of them now replace meals with snacks at least once a week. Rule Number #1 to tempt these younger consumers is to find flavors that resonate – add international cuisines to your snack-foods toolkit to help build on the category’s momentum. A consumer’s day offers multiple touch-points for you to strengthen your relationship using fun foods. Set up these mini-bites as a launch pad to introduce your LTOs with playful or exotic flavors. The next step on the road to snack superiority is to cast a wider net – our creative-culinary team can help you stretch your product’s market versatility by adding dips, sauces, marinades, dressings, and more.

Think of the most saleable snacky items, with accompaniments that add value and turn them into meals –


Red pepper chicken wings

Chicken, chicken, and more chicken – This protein might be foodies’ first love, given how well it transcends all flavors. Imagine chicken nuggets made marvelous with our sweet-heat category of dips, like Hot Honey, Strawberry or Peach Habanero, Spicy Honey Garlic, or Smoked Jalapeno Honey. Or serve a chicken-strips combo complete with the classics: Ketchup, Honey Mustard, Ranch, and Chipotle Aioli. Your customers want dips to drizzle, dunk, and dabble – and we’ve got ‘em!

Glazed chicken wings – Let us help you find the perfect glaze to own the snacking aisle. For starters, you can trust us to come up with fun fusion flavors – like Maple Bourbon or Peach Bourbon Glaze, Huli-Huli, or Habanero Bourbon Glaze. This is more than first-rate flavor-making; it’s a full-scale culinary adventure!

Veggie vibes – Consumers are becoming more and more mindful all around, and their food choices are no exception. Celebrate their conscientious caution with vegetarian side dishes, such as crispy cauliflower bites paired with Dill Pickle, Chili-Lime, Sriracha-Mayo, Buffalo Ranch, Soy Ginger – or even the truly audacious Apricot Dijon dipping sauce.

Superb spring rolls – Loaded with veggies or chicken, easy to heat and eat, they’ve always had a sweet spot in consumers’ hearts and shopping carts – and our dipping sauces can help you stake your claim to it. We’re especially fond of sweet-and-tangy Vietnamese Nuoc Cham (fish sauce), the umami notes of Hoisin Sauce, and Classic Soy Sauce. Add the flavor of tried-and-true favorites like Plum Sauce, Thai Chili Sauce, and Oyster & Tamarind Sauce to give your spring-roll business a bounce.

To serve your foodie consumers properly and consistently, it’s crucial to stay ahead of the trends, understand customers’ moods, and plan your moves wisely. We’re here to help! Together, we can make their lives richer with fun, fascinating foods that are anything but boring. At Giraffe Foods, we understand flavor exploration not only adds versatility to meal-kit formulations – it also delivers big on home-cooking satisfaction.

*Getflavor, Mintel Meal Kits 2021

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