Innovate Blog
Bowl food: all the comforts of home, while on the go

Wednesday February 15, 2017

You may be wondering how ‘bowl food’ can be a trend. It’s not a recipe or an ingredient, in fact this trend is based more around the serving vessel than what’s inside. It’s true that putting food into a bowl is not an innovative or new idea, however this trend is all about creating the perfect combination of flavours in a way that is simple and easy to enjoy. With bowl food there’s an option for everyone, it’s unfussy, fast and adaptable. What has traditionally been seen as a quick way to throw a meal together at home has launched itself directly onto the menus of the UK high street.

The rise in the popularity of bowl food is often traced back to the trend of ‘smoothie bowls’. Health-conscious food bloggers flooded Instagram with colourful bowls of fruit, yoghurt and oats, encouraging the everyday smartphone photographer to reach for their fruit bowl and create a visual masterpiece. After gaining traction on Instagram, foodies took the opportunity to create their own versions, using bowls containing other vibrant, healthy ingredients.

Dishes like ramen, a popular broth based bowl food originating from China and Japan, provides a delicious, filling and unique meal that is easy to hold and eat.

It is well-documented that the colour and texture of food will influence taste, and putting food into a bowl is likely to help with portion control – a hot topic here in the UK.

So how can you take advantage of this trend and provide a stylish, well-balanced and photogenic meal that will have your customers snapping photos and coming back for more?

Bowl food is all about ease. The ease of being able to hold the bowl in one hand to eat – ideal for consuming on the go, the ease of eating healthy food while still enjoying delicious flavours and the ease of a simple to create meal for even the fussiest of customers.

Steps for creating a delicious meal in a bowl:

  • Ingredients need to be soft enough to tackle without a knife, so no large chunks of meat or huge pieces of vegetable.
  • Vegetables work fantastically when cut into interesting shapes. Try spiralising the carrot, ribboning the courgette and julienning the celery.
  • Bowls can be savoury or sweet and almost anything can be added, however there is said to be a science to the perfect food bowl. Follow this recipe: 15 per cent lean protein, 25 per cent whole grains, 35 per cent vegetables, 10 per cent sauce and 30 per cent extras (including nuts, seeds and sprouts) and you are unlikely to go wrong.
  • Flavour is really important but it doesn’t always have to be as a dressing. Broth or soup based bowls also go down really well with customers. Take ramen for example, the liquid adds extra flavour and soaks into the other ingredients to make them extra tasty.
  • No food should overpower another, but complement each other to create a soothing heavenly masterpiece that is guaranteed to impress.
  • Bowl food should be warming and easy to hold. Take a look in our Food Packaging e-brochure to see our range of bowl style packaging that will help you add bowl food to your menu with ease.

Hungry? Click on the links below for some inspiration from popular dishes that work especially well in a bowl:

RamenPhoPokeSoupIce-cream ramenSmoothie bowls