Learn more about current trends in Middle Eastern, North African and Balkan Cuisines brought to you in whitepaper published by Technomic and SupHerb Farms.
Like in other global regions, the cuisines of the Middle East, North Africa and the Balkans are diverse with a degree of homogeneity. Cereals like bulgur and couscous, vegetables and pulses, herbs and spices, and grilled meats and stews are all staples in the region. But each region—and each country within the greater area—has its own specialties, preparation techniques and influences.
More than a third of consumers (35%)—and almost half of Gen Zers (47%) and Millennials (46%)—would like to see more Middle Eastern and North African influences on restaurant menus. About a quarter of consumers (24%)—and 41% of Gen Zers and 37% of Millennials—seek out different regional Middle Eastern and North African cuisine experiences, such as Tunisian and Yemeni, while only 19% (including 30% of Gen Zers and 29% of Millennials) know the culinary differences among the various countries of the Middle East and North Africa.
Slightly fewer consumers—but still a noteworthy amount—would like to see more Balkan influences on restaurant menus, with 21% of consumers agreeing, including 31% of Gen Zers and Millennials. Some 16% of consumers seek out different regional Balkan cuisine experiences (e.g., Albanian, Bulgarian, etc.), and the same percentage of consumers say they know the culinary differences among the numerous Balkan countries.
Despite the lower interest in Balkan cuisine compared to Middle Eastern and North African cuisines, additional research shows that a greater proportion of consumers are interested in trying specific Balkan countries’ cuisines (such as Bulgarian and Croatian) over gastronomies of Middle Eastern and North African countries. This implies that operators shouldn’t overlook Balkan cuisines as potential up-and-comers.
Consumer Opinion, Action and Knowledge on Middle Eastern/North African and Balkan Cuisines
Base: 1,000 consumers aged 18+ who purchase food or beverage 1 away from home on weekdays or weekends
To download the full whitepaper and learn more about trends in Middle Eastern, North African, and Balkan cuisines, click here.
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