With the Fourth of July at hand, it’s time to look at how popular décor and food trends are being incorporated into Independence Day plans.
The National Retail Federation‘s Annual 2022 Independence Day Spending Survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, reveals that 84% of Americans plan to celebrate our nation’s birthday this year. Per-person spending on food items will average $84.12. Of those celebrating, 26% plan to purchase additional patriotic items.
Many people will be entertaining. According to the same NRF survey, consumers are returning to pre-pandemic levels of socializing. This is evidenced by a 4-5% increase in cookouts, barbecues and picnics. Leading the way: small soirées and nostalgic themes.
Key symbols used for the Fourth have stayed consistent for years. Think stars, American flags and fireworks. That said, the way these icons are incorporated into décor and food varies from year to year. For 2022, both categories are taking things up a notch.
Case in point: expressions of the American flag. The American flag is among the most common symbols used for this holiday. Décor items for both inside (figurines, toss pillows, wreaths) and outside (beverage buckets, yard signs, picnic plates) are perfect for this motif.
At moderate price points, trolls are newly dressed in clothing that mimics the Stars and Bars. This approach teams one of the most popular themes of the decade so far (trolls and gnomes) with the patriotic holiday.
Abstract versions bring an elevated and artistic sensibility to upscale assortments. For example, artist Margaret Hemsley created a fabulous flag-inspired ceramic mosaic for this year’s Laguna Beach Sawdust Art Festival. In this piece, red-and-white stripes are cleverly crafted. They use alternating rows of broken Campbell’s soup mugs and chunks of white dinner plates.
When it comes to food, some marketing experts are urging manufacturers and retailers to create a bigger buzz around secondary holidays, including Fourth of July, as a means of keeping the sales of snacks soaring in these post-lockdown times. This strategy is bound to be a success, given that consumers can’t seem to get enough of food items that connect with this holiday.
A few treats makers have already launched products expressly for patriotic holidays. Doscher’s Candies’ Patriot Pillows, red, white and blue hard candies made a splash at last months’ Sweets & Snacks Expo. Runamok’s Star Spangled Sparkle Syrup, seen at the Summer Fancy Foods Show, is sold out on the company’s website.
Meanwhile, tins filled with tri-colored popcorn in patriotic red, white and blue continue to be sought-after from The Hampton Popcorn Company. Bakers across the country are still making cakes adorned with red and blue berries.
But more-adventuresome consumers are proving that they are ready to take Fourth of July themes further with food. Enter S’mores drizzled with red, white and blue decorating gel. Add in star-shaped bites of white cheeses, rows of raspberries and blueberries, and blue-corn chips. Together, they make a patriotic statement on American-flag-themed charcuterie boards (nobiggie.net has some great ideas). These boards probably won’t replace hot dogs, corn-on-the-cob or potato salad as top foods for the 4th. However, they add an overlay of trend (not to mention sophistication) to the mix.