Expert outlines top summer barbecue trends

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

There's plenty of inspiration for barbecue-themed product development this summer
There's plenty of inspiration for barbecue-themed product development this summer

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Chewing gum tobacco, cola leather and marshmallow smoke are among the experimental barbecue flavours consumers could encounter this summer, according to Celia Holt, product development expert at Food Innovation Solutions (FIS).

Product developers seeking inspiration could nip over to events such as Grillstock​, which was likely to feature such quirky flavour combinations, she said. The music and food festival will take place in Bristol on June 6 and 7 and Manchester on June 28 and 29.

“Meaty centre pieces will appear in a myriad of forms for the anytime, anywhere feeding frenzy and will dominate the summer foodie festivals,”​ Holt told

Aside from creative and random flavours, another trend that could feature at barbecues in 2014 was a move from hot dogs to the ‘choripan’ – or chorizo sausage sandwich, she added. That was especially likely with Latin American influences set to dominate, she said.

Sources of ideas

As the season really kicked off, sources of ideas for product developers included London restaurants such as Neil Rankin’s The Smokehouse​ in Islington, Ember Yard and Foxlow​ in Clerkenwell, Holt said. Ember Yard specialises in Spanish and Italian-inspired dishes cooked over charcoal.

She also recommended a visit to Blackfoot​ in Exmouth Market to get the creative juices flowing about barbecue pork options.

And Holt encouraged interested parties to head to Austin, Texas, in the US to try the menus at Rubys and Salt Lick, or New York to sample eateries including Fatty Cue, Mighty Quinn’s and Blue Smoke.

World BBQ Championships

The World Championship BBQ Cooking Contest​ in Memphis starts today (May 15) and runs until May 17. Holt urged those working on barbecue dishes to drop in at James Neeley’s Interstate BBQ or Charlie Vertigo’s Hogs Fly in Memphis if they had the opportunity to get a real feel for current US trends.

FIS advises top supermarkets and foodservice clients on product development. Holt previously worked as head of innovation at 2 Sisters Food Group and has held product development roles at companies such as Marks & Spencer, Intersnack and Dairy Crest.

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