Post Categories: July 2016

Executive Perspectives: From the President

Our Culinary Secret Weapon

BharatRupaniDaymon is a company lucky enough to have industry-leading experts such as Nicole Peranick, our Director of Global Culinary Strategy. Nicole is one of our secret weapons, though the last thing we want to do is keep her expertise a secret. Nicole helps our Daymon associates, retail customers and supplier partners around the world “see around the corner” to guide how we as retail leaders prepare for and act on the future of food and flavor.

This month Nicole was kind enough to answer a few questions on her role, her advice for our retail partners, and tips for associates.

Can you share a little bit about your background? 

Prior to Daymon, I was the Owner and Executive Pastry Chef of With Love From The Cupboard® Inc., a premium baked goods company that sold into wholesale and specialty retail outlets. As part of this, I worked day-to-day with retailers on strategy, product development and store operations within the Bakery department. Additionally, I served as an active member of the local food and women’s entrepreneur community, mentoring and consulting for new start-ups.

What are some of the food trends that consumers will see this summer?

As we all know, there is massive movement around the world to get healthier, but we still want to enjoy our food and indulge every now and again. Now that summer is here, cookouts and BBQs are all the rage, though they are not always the best for your diet. However, thanks to the creativity of chefs and food enthusiasts on social media, we are seeing new and innovative ways to hold onto these delicious seasonal traditions, while making them healthier. Specifically, here are a few trends that bring this idea to life:

  • Using vegetables in “meaty” ways as alternatives to traditional proteins and carbs. For example, replacing some of the ground beef in burgers with ground mushrooms, or a cauliflower couscous salad instead of a mayonnaise-y potato salad.
  • Taking inspiration from the many BBQ styles from around the world to healthify the traditional cookout. For example, the flavors of Korean, Cuban and Hawaiian style BBQ (think kimchi, mango, citrus, pineapple, etc.) are becoming particularly popular.
  • Using the grilling method to dial up flavor and health in non-traditional foods. For example, grilling pizza with seasonal veggies, rather than packing on the cheese; or charring fresh fruits for dessert, instead of indulging in a sweet pie.
  • Serving bubbly without the buzz. Even though we are a culture that loves our cocktails, we are also trying to be more moderate. Thanks to the creativity of today’s mixologists, fizzy health drinks like kombucha and shrubs are being incorporated into cookouts as alternatives to the traditional beverage assortment.

NicolePeranickHow can our Sales Advisors incorporate these trends into their demos?

Shoppers love to be inspired by new flavors, ingredients and “twists” on familiar recipes that marry flavor and health. We can take cue from these trends to add a bit of the “unexpected” to our summer demos. Here are a few examples to consider:

  • New marinade recipes with spicy Korean gochujang
  • Kimchi instead of the usual relish for burgers and hot dogs
  • Fresh Cuban citrus mojo sauce instead of a sugary BBQ sauce
  • Veggie noodle salad instead of traditional pasta salad
  • Charred peaches topped with frozen Greek yogurt for a lighter dessert
  • Kombucha flight tasting for a twist on the traditional beer flight

What’s your favorite food to make?

Breakfast is by far my favorite meal of the day. As a little girl, I would wake my parents up early in the morning on weekends, so that I could stand on a chair alongside them while they made pancakes at the stove. My Dad would always let me add the vanilla (his secret ingredient!) to the batter. My grandmother, who was my inspiration for becoming a pastry chef, taught me how to make morning breads from scratch. To this day, my favorite foods to make (and eat) involve breakfast/brunch. However, with severe food allergies, I have had to make some modifications to the recipes I grew up with. Here is my updated recipe for a classic morning bread. You won’t even know that it is gluten and dairy free!

What tips can you give our Sales Advisors who need to multitask—primarily with cooking or preparing food and engaging shoppers at the same time?

I completely appreciate the challenge—I’ve been there too! While it’s no easy task by any means, here are 3 tips that helped me and I hope they work for you too:

  1. Keep It Simple: Shoppers want easy and approachable. If it looks daunting, more often than not, they will not attempt to replicate at home.
  2. Inspire through the 80/20 Rule: Shoppers seek inspiration from the store, but it’s important to strike the right balance. Seek to incorporate the “unexpected” through the 80/20 rule—80 percent approachable, 20 percent inventive—to pique interest while reducing barriers to trial.

Smile, Have Fun and Improvise! Shopping is not always enjoyable, but you have the ability to lighten and liven up the experience, so just keep it fun. Even if something goes wrong, improvise and keep smiling. Remember, you are the only one who knows the difference.