Delicious, versatile and easy to prepare, croquettes continue to be one of the most popular dishes in Spanish gastronomy. Proof of this is the significant increase in consumption at home that this traditional food experienced in 2020, when it increased by 9.4%.
The data offered by the Spanish Association of Prepared Dishes Manufacturers (ASEFAPRE) reflect the popularity of this dish, which during the past year experienced a significant increase in the volume of tons sold only in the home sector of organized distribution, reaching the 14,691 tons in 2020 compared to 13,393 in 2019.
Croquettes are still an ideal option for dinners with family or friends, as they have an immensity of varieties that adapt to practically all tastes. One of the bases of its popularity lies precisely in its wide and diverse capacity for innovation, which year after year, does not stop growing. If last year the sector surprised with the introduction of varieties made from superfoods such as spirulina and guarana, this year it is also pointing to the latest trends in the development of ‘plant-based’ products or made 100% based on products. vegetables, an increasingly growing market. In order to satisfy the needs of these types of consumers, who demand products without meat, but with maximum flavor, companies innovate to develop croquettes made from textured vegetable, wheat and soy proteins, which imitate the texture of meat and they are suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
These latest proposals based on 100% vegetable alternatives join other preparations that were already present on the market, -spinach and goat cheese, mushrooms, vegetables and goat cheese, beet and gorgonzola, potato, pepper … – or seafood -tuna and piquillo, seafood, hake and prawns, cod, squid in its ink, prawns … The ‘fusion’ proposals also stand out, such as the potato omelette, cod and ajoarriero croquettes, pumpkin and parmesan, chicken and curry, of black rice and aioli or suckling pig and apple, and those that take a more daring step such as gin and tonic croquettes, exotic fruits or aphrodisiacs. All of them coexist with the most classic croquettes based on the use kitchen -cooked, beef tail, chicken, ham, blood sausage …
In this sense, Álvaro Aguilar, general secretary of ASEFAPRE, highlights that “this sector has a wide range of solutions that allow it to respond to the different tastes and needs of consumers, which favors innovation in the sector through identification of new raw materials and ingredients, innovative formulations or new manufacturing processes. All this results in products with new flavors and concepts, adapted to the tastes of any consumer ”.
In addition to offering a wide variety of flavors, the sector is also in charge of developing products adapted to the different needs of consumers, producing gluten-free or lactose-free varieties.