Technomic’s 2018 Ethnic Food & Beverage Consumer Trend Report highlights the need for accessibility, authenticity and transparency as consumers explore ethnic menu items
CHICAGO, July 31, 2018: Consumers continue to expand their palates, seeking new ethnic foods and flavors. This trend is pushing operators and suppliers to add new, exciting ethnic varieties on menus, but they must also be mindful of consumer preferences and demands when doing so. Technomic’s 2018 Ethnic Food & Beverage Consumer Trend Report finds that consumers want to be informed about ethnic options to ensure that their expectations of authenticity—a term that changes meaning per person—are met. Indicators of authenticity can vary widely, from native chefs/cooks to imported ingredients and bold flavors. By offering transparency upfront, the customer can decide if the dish fits their take on authentic.
“Everyone’s definition of authentic is different, so when it comes to ethnic fare, it’s vital to clarify the flavor profile and ingredients upfront so consumers aren’t surprised or disappointed in their order,” Kelly Weikel, director of consumer insights at Technomic, explains. “Additionally, ethnic options must feel accessible rather than intimidating and this can be achieved through providing flavor and sourcing information about each ethnic dish.”
Key takeaways from the report include:
Among the 87% of consumers who ever order ethnic fare or food with ethnic flavors:
- 32% would be willing to pay extra for authentic ethnic fare
- 44% always prefer completely authentic fare, while 23% say their preference changes based on the cuisine
- 36% like to explore regional varieties of mainstream ethnic cuisines to try new foods and flavors
Compiling findings from more than 1,400 consumer responses, as well as menu and industry data from the Ignite database, the comprehensive 2018 Ethnic Food & Beverage Consumer Trend Report serves as a guide for foodservice operators and suppliers to discover the opportunities, challenges and consumer attitudes regarding ethnic flavors, foods and beverages.
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