Every year the predictions roll in for the next hot ethnic food. Will it be Yucatecan? Greek? Australian? We at the Center for Culinary Development (CCD) believe these pinpoint predictions sell short the smorgasbord of global (a term we prefer to “ethnic”) cuisines available to hungry diners, who are becoming ever more sophisticated with each passing year, trend, travel adventure and immigration wave. Today, a variety of global ingredients, flavors and foods are simultaneously growing popular around the country, driving global cuisines far beyond niche business status.
Myriad forces are driving this exciting growth, including new immigration and the resulting new restaurants and food carts, consumers traveling internationally or at least (in this recessionary era) watching internationally themed cooking shows, and the rise of globally inspired packaged prepared foods in a variety of retail channels.
Yet these drivers alone aren’t the whole story. American consumers find great appeal in global foods, as they always have. They seek out the adventure and discovery of new foods, using familiar forms—like sandwiches, stews, barbecue or rice bowls—as a bridge to more exotic culinary expressions. They enjoy the interactive qualities of wrapping, dipping and using chopsticks. And many of them are drawn to the authentically healthful nature (and often the more economical nature) of many foreign cuisines—think Japanese or Indian, with their reliance on vegetables and grains. And then there is the thrill of new flavors: the power of umami, the savory fifth flavor; the artfully balanced hot-sour-salty-sweet Southeast Asian sauces; the aromatic, cinnamon-spice-scented Moroccan tagines.
Emerging Global Cuisines: Culinary Trend Mapping Report profiles five emerging global cuisines that have great potential for trend translation. These cuisines are generating excitement among adventurous diners, restaurant chefs, food editors, celebrity chefs and cookbook writers. Although we are tracking other great global cuisines, such as Indian, these five have exciting and novel elements that are well suited for product development right now because these elements translate so well.
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In the News
Global Cuisines Capture the Attention and Appetite of Every Generation
New York, January 19, 2009 - Emerging global cuisines are literally opening up a whole new world of culinary experiences to American consumers of all ages due to the nearly infinite range of ingredients, forms and flavors they offer, according to Emerging Global Cuisines: Culinary Trend Mapping Report from the Center for Culinary Development (CCD) and Packaged Facts.
According to CCD, emerging global cuisines include Peruvian, Moroccan, Korean, Japanese and New Southern—a regional American favorite that has recently reemerged on the national table. Driven by a host of forces, such as immigration, international travel, cooking shows, celebrity chefs and chain competition, these global foods are becoming more familiar and common.
“American consumers of all generations have always been open to global foods and to adopting them into their lifestyles. Now more than ever, a wider swath of global foods is adding relevance across generations — via flavor adventure, interactive and customizable dining, and authentically healthful dishes and preparations,” says CCD CEO Kimberly Egan.
Culinary adventure and the adults of Gen Y. Many global cuisines offer novel interactive experiences, perfect for the open minds and thrill-seeking palates of Gen Y and anyone else looking to customize and play with their food. Wrapping, dipping, sharing and using new dining elements at the table such as chopsticks, Korean tabletop barbecues, and bento boxes can make dining memorable and fun. In addition, snacks, handheld foods and meal kits are burgeoning must-haves for those looking to recreate favorite global dishes at home. Everything from Peruvian causas to frozen Korean fried chicken and bulgogi BBQ wrap kits could cater to Gen Y’s varied culinary pursuits.
Easy-to-prepare with an international flair attract Gen X families. Globally oriented but busy Gen X parents are discovering the joys of easy-to-prepare one pot dishes such as Moroccan tagine stews with whole grain couscous or modified Korean bibimbap made with brown rice, vegetables and lean chicken. Meanwhile, parents are increasingly seeking healthful alternatives to chicken nuggets for their children, making room for globally inspired microwavable frozen snacks such as healthful mini empanadas made with beans and corn, miso soup cups, and even blue French fried potatoes that add variety to after-school snacks.
Boomers intrigued by a dose of nostalgia and the promise of healthful, flavorful meals. The pull of nostalgia is strong for Boomers whose appetites could be whet by New Southern dishes that evoke traditional America and offer an extra twist of comfort food appeal, such as breakfast grits topped with eggs and grated cheese, Healthful global foods, such as the grain-like quinoa or the über-versatile edamame, may take longer to attract a substantial following of younger consumers, while for Boomers ready-made quinoa salads and stir-fries infused with edamame jibe with the cohorts’ current wellness agenda.
The Culinary Trend Mapping Report is co-published by the Center for Culinary Development and Packaged Facts.
About the Center for Culinary Development - CCD is a full-service food and beverage strategic innovation company that successfully blends culinary creativity with consumer insights, trends and marketing expertise.
About Packaged Facts - Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com, publishes market intelligence on a wide range of consumer market topics, including consumer goods and retailing, foods and beverages, demographics, pet products and services, and financial products. Packaged Facts also offers a full range of custom research services.