Fresh Food

3 Innovative Ways Soy Sauce Can Amp Up the Deli

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From stir fry to sushi, soy sauce is a beloved condiment to add to an array of foods. Soy sauce can boost the overall flavor of a dish, add authentic flavor to a favorite meal and more. In the prepared foods area, it may be a bit of a mystery how to incorporate Kikkoman soy sauce into more types of cuisines. After all, many consumers only know of it as something that offers a finishing touch to a fully prepared dish, but there are a few innovative ways that retailers can use soy sauce to create delicious, craveable dishes customers love. Try these three soy sauce applications to help shake things up in the deli department.

Marinades for meat and more

Blended with ingredients like grated ginger, orange and lime juice, honey, garlic, rice vinegar and more, soy sauce is perfect for marinating proteins from chicken to fish, beef to pork, even tofu and other vegetarian proteins. Soy sauce offers a base flavor that’s savory and tasty, while other components add depth to the flavor. Get creative with recipes and use soy sauce in marinades with pineapple juice or sriracha to enhance the flavor profile. For instance, soy sauce, pineapple juice, honey and ginger can be blended together for an island-inspired teriyaki, while soy sauce, mirin and sriracha can add bold flavors to a marinated, grilled steak.

According to Technomic’s 2017 Flavor Consumer Trend Report, 73% of consumers say that of all the ways flavor can be imparted into a dish, the most appealing way is through preparation style. With marinades, the flavor is infused into the dish before it ever gets cooked, ensuring flavor permeates every bite—and ensuring that great flavor lasts throughout the whole meal.

As a global flavor enhancer

Most people may not immediately think of soy sauce when pondering ways to enhance the flavor of dishes. But the fermentation process used to make soy sauce helps impart rich, umami flavors into dishes of all kinds, including kimchi, quick pickles, noodle dishes and many more.

Fermentation is sweeping the nation, thanks to its ability to intensify natural flavors. By incorporating it into sauces, dressings, brines and other preparations, grocery deli departments can boost the flavor of an array of dishes—all while offering the globally influenced options that consumers are looking for—according to Technomic’s 2018 Ethnic Food & Beverage Consumer Trend Report, 35% of consumers ages 18- to 34-years old say they are eating more unique types of ethnic foods than they did two years ago, and of them, 41% say it’s because they’ve become more adventurous in what they eat. Additionally, nearly half (47%) of consumers overall say they order ethnic foods or foods that feature ethnic flavors at least once a month from grocery store prepared foods sections. By offering new and unique flavors and foods featuring global ingredients like soy sauce, grocery store delis can appeal to those consumers who are on the lookout for global flavors to try.

Turning up the volume on veggies

When customers pick up veggies from a prepared foods department, they can expect to find familiar steamed or sautéed options, but offering rotating dishes like grilled veggie kabobs or roasted vegetables can be a great way to keep shoppers interested—and, thanks to Kikkoman soy sauce, building flavor is easy. Try menuing roasted portobello mushrooms brushed with Kikkoman soy sauce, or prepare a soy sauce-based glaze, with brown sugar, mirin, ginger and garlic, to be drizzled over roasted broccoli, sweet potatoes or butternut squash, to increase appeal. According to Technomic’s 2019 Value and Pricing Consumer Trend Report, 66% of consumers agree that they’d be more likely to purchase menu items that feature brand-name ingredients versus unbranded ingredients. With that in mind, retailers should highlight the fact that Kikkoman-brand soy sauce is part of the recipes being used—that brand name recognition can increase appeal.

Soy sauce offers a versatile, savory and umami-rich flavor to virtually anything that chefs want to add it to. From meats to sauces to veggies, it’s a perfect flavor booster for plenty of prepared foods.

This post is sponsored by Kikkoman