M&S introduces Flavours of the World range for Irish shoppers

Retailer introduces Flavours of the World range for Irish shoppers

One of the team spotted a Christmas garland cake that inspired what is sure to be a bestseller for M&S this year

One of the team spotted a Christmas garland cake that inspired what is sure to be a bestseller for M&S this year

 

Remember when Tayto crisps and Fairy Liquid appeared in M&S and how we all wondered what was up?

Now the selection of goods on offer is growing again as the retailer integrates items from its Flavours of the World range to shelves in its Irish stores.

Flavours of the World, a selection of luxury larder cupboard products spotted by the M&S food development team on their worldwide travels, is much like a great deli within a supermarket, with plenty of exotic jars, bottles and boxes to tempt the shopper, weary of filling the trolley with the humdrum purchases that dominate the weekly shop.

Customer spending power and shop size dictates where these Flavours of the World display units are located.

The Liffey Valley, Dundrum and Blackrock stores are the only ones in the Republic to offer the complete range. But now some of these international brand products will be on sale in most of the M&S stores in Ireland, though only the aforementioned three will have the complete range.

Pretty sackcloth bags of Spanish calasparra paella rice now sit alongside own brand basmati; boxes of artisan Faella Italian pasta are slotted in beside the familiar bags of penne and macaroni, and Alicos Sicilian bruschetta topping is positioned among the jars of pasta sauces and pestos.

Hasslacher’s solid drinking chocolate bar (€7.49), Hay Boo coconut jam (€8.99) and balsamic jelly made by Aceitaia San Giacomo (€7.49) have been solid sellers among the range of condiments, sauces, confectionery, pastas and sauces in the flavours range, according to Paul Dixon, food trader for M&S in Ireland.

Dixon predicts that Sicilian pistachios will be one of the big trends for autumn/winter, appearing as a paste and a pesto in new M&S products.

Ultimately what ends up in our shopping baskets depends on what the M&S food development managers team have been up to – and where they’ve travelled.

There are more than 40 of them working for the brand at its central London HQ, where they identify trends and develop new dishes.

The job also involves a lot of travel; last year’s destinations included New York, “where they were inspired by everything from cocktails to meats”; Barcelona, “for chocolates” and Paris, “for everything from deli to bakery”, according to a company spokesman.

It was in Paris that one of the team spotted a Christmas garland cake that inspired what is sure to be a bestseller for M&S this year, a round of Cornish Camembert cheese surrounded by brioche rolls, presented like a Christmas wreath, baked together and drizzled with rosemary oil.

It bears a striking resemblance to a centrepiece created by Great British Bake Off 2013 finalist Kimberley Wilson.

Look out for it in their stores in December.

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