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Preferences for new flavors increasingly vary by generation

Study conducted by Technomic reveals the latest trends and data needed to better understand consumers’ shifting flavor behaviors and attitudes

CHICAGO, Oct. 26, 2017: Baby boomers are showing a growing tendency to forgo new flavors, as millennials and Gen Xers continue to drive demand for unique flavors, according to Technomic’s recently released 2017 Flavor Consumer Trend Report. Differing attitudes ring particularly true for spicy, bold and ethnic flavors, with millennials twice as likely as baby boomers to order ethnic foods at least once a week.

“The growing divide in flavor preferences between millennials and boomers heightens the need for a product mix that appropriately balances familiarity and innovation,” explains Kelly Weikel, director of consumer insights at Technomic. “Creating a small twist on classic recipes with flavors that particularly appeal to boomers, such as smoky flavors, can provide an element of uniqueness without going too far out of their comfort zone.”

Key takeaways from the report include:

  • Forty-two percent of consumers say they expect restaurants to offer signature flavors they can’t get elsewhere
  • More 18- to 34-year-olds now (47%) than in 2015 (39%) say their preferences change with the seasons
  • Forty-five percent of consumers say they crave bold flavors, up from 41% in 2015

Compiling findings from more than 1,500 consumers, as well as Technomic’s MenuMonitor and Digital Resource Library, the comprehensive 2017 Flavor Consumer Trend Report serves as a guide to help foodservice operators and suppliers better understand consumer behavior and attitudes toward new and unique flavors.

Technomic publishes a complete library of Consumer Trend Reports. To learn more, please visit or contact one of the individuals listed below.

Press Inquiries and Report Details: Kelly Weikel, (312) 506-3830, or
Purchasing Details: Patrick Noone, (312) 506-3852, or

About Technomic
Only Technomic, a Winsight company, delivers a 360-degree view of the food industry. We impact growth and profitability for our clients by providing consumer-grounded vision and channel-relevant strategic insights. Our services range from major research studies and management consulting solutions to online databases and simple fact-finding assignments. Our clients include food manufacturers and distributors, restaurants and retailers, other foodservice organizations, and various institutions aligned with the food industry. Visit us at

About Winsight, LLC
Winsight LLC is a recognized leader in business-to-business media and information services for the convenience-retailing, foodservice and grocery industries. Winsight has an extensive media portfolio, including five publications: CSP, Restaurant Business, FoodService Director, Convenience Store Products and Grocery Business. Winsight also offers a suite of digital products, including websites, e-newsletters, webinars, video products, mobile and tablet apps, and custom marketing solutions. In addition to more than 12 major EduNetworking conferences and advisory meetings, Winsight also produces seven exclusive, large-scale executive-level conferences: Restaurant Leadership Conference, Global Restaurant Leadership Conference, Outlook Leadership Conference, Convenience Retailing University, FSTEC, MenuDirections and Restaurant Directions. Winsight acquired Technomic Inc., a provider of primary and secondary market information and advisory services for the food industry. For more information on Winsight and its brands, go to

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